Gary Alt

Retirement, Investing, Lifestage Based Planning
“We help families navigate the complexities of wealth through proper planning and investing based on time-honored financial principles, not fads or gimmicks.”

Monterey Private Wealth

Job Title:



Gary Alt is a financial advisor and co-founder of Monterey Private Wealth.  Gary is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner. 

Gary focuses on the needs of professionals, business owners and executives.  He has expertise in executive compensation including stock options and deferred compensation, retirement plans for professionals and business owners, as well as the unique concerns of affluent families.

He has had his articles published and has been quoted by The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, CBS News MoneyWatch, and other major publications on a variety of financial topics, and contributes articles to his hometown newspaper, the Pleasanton Weekly.

Before co-founding Monterey Private Wealth, Gary co-founded Willow Ridge Capital Advisors, recognized as one of the top 500 wealth management firms in the nation according to Wealth Manager magazine.  Prior to forming Willow Ridge, he held numerous management and executive positions in the technology industry.   As vice president and general manager at Polycom, he spearheaded the $339 million acquisition of an Israeli company traded on the NASDAQ and Tel Aviv stock exchanges. 

Gary graduated with a B.A. in Finance from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and holds a Certificate in Financial Planning from the University of California Los Angeles extension.

He has served as president of his Rotary Club and its Foundation. He is finance chair for the Stanford ValleyCare Charitable Foundation.  As a scoutmaster in the Boy Scouts of America, he served as a high adventure leader and as a mentor to those working toward the rank of Eagle Scout. He also worked closely with the chiefs of the local Police Department and Fire Departments to develop a community leadership program through the chamber of commerce.

When he is not working with clients he and his family enjoy many outdoor activities including running, camping, hiking and cycling.


BBA, Finance, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Assets Under Management:

$350 million

Fee Structure:


CRD Number:


All Articles
Sort By:
Most Helpful
February 2018
    College Tuition

All Answers
Sort By:
Most Helpful
    ETFs, Mutual Funds, Taxes
Who should be concerned about the tax efficiency of ETFs or Mutual Funds?
25% of people found this answer helpful

Your reasoning in your example is correct and you ask a good question. There is a lot of confusion and misinformation on this topic on the internet.  

The structure (ETFs vs mutual funds) matters less than the investment strategy of the fund. An actively managed fund, whether it's an ETF or mutual fund, will generally produce greater taxable gains than an index fund.  In other words, it's the trading activity that will determine the taxes, just as if you held your own portfolio of stocks.   

ETF advocates point to a very esoteric benefit called in-kind redemption. While technically true, the true impact to investors is minute.  

ETFs started out as passive vehicles, which gave them greater tax efficiency. Recently we are seeing more and more actively managed ETFs and we are also seeing more and more index mutual funds. Therefore, you have to look at the underlying investment strategy to understand its tax efficiency.

Morningstar wrote an article that helps clarify this issue.  Untangling ETF Tax-Efficiency Myths

Hope this helps!

Gary Alt

August 2016
    Career / Compensation, 401(k)
How wary should I be of 401(k) fees through my company's plan?
20% of people found this answer helpful
June 2017
    Debt, Personal Finance, Peri-Retirement
How cautious should I be of retiring when I still have substantial debt on my plate?
0% of people found this answer helpful
June 2017
    Marriage / Divorce, Asset Allocation
After a divorce, can assets be distributed to into an account that is not in my ex-spouses name?
0% of people found this answer helpful
August 2016