Michelle Brownstein

CFP, Series 65
Personal Finance, Retirement, Investing
“Michelle Brownstein is a senior advisor at Personal Capital passionate about helping people live better lives by combining cutting edge technology with a personal touch.”

Personal Capital

Job Title:

Senior Vice President


In her advisory work with clients, Michelle Brownstein seeks to deliver a cohesive, transparent strategy to managing their wealth and achieving their goals. Michelle understands that the first step in any successful relationship with a client is to truly listen and ensure that there is a clear set of goals laid out up front. 

While Michelle currently specializes in working with higher net worth individuals, her experience ranges from working with individuals just starting out and putting their first plan in place out of college to those living off their assets in retirement and figuring out the best way to pass assets to the next generation. Michelle is known for her directness and believes that being straight forward with clients is the best way to help them, even if the truth is a bit hard to swallow at times.

Michelle holds a BA in Economics along with a minor in Political Science from UCLA where she graduated with Honors; she earned her CFP® after completing the necessary course work through New York University. 

Michelle loves to travel and often visits her family, who are still based in Southern California.  When not in the office, she spends her time running, swimming, exploring new restaurants in San Francisco and cooking.


BA, Economics, UCLA

Fee Structure:


CRD Number:


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    Debt, Retirement, Real Estate
How should my husband and I allocate our income if we have debt and we are trying to save money for our children's future education expenses?
75% of people found this answer helpful

As a general rule of thumb, before putting money towards retirement, pay off loans with an interest rate exceeding 5%. Interest fees on loans with interest rates above 5% will offset any probable investment gains, so you should start making extra payments toward these loans to reduce total interest expense, if you can. However, if the rate on the loan is less than 5%, it usually makes sense to invest extra cash, rather than paying off loans faster.

According to research we recently conducted, 48% of parents say they would prioritize saving for their child’s college education over their retirement – so the situation you’re faced with is a common one. When managing conflicting financial priorities, in most cases, saving for retirement should be a priority over saving for your child’s college. There are ways to offset the costs of college, like scholarships and student loans, but it’s a lot more challenging to offset the costs of retirement.

Remember to max out 401k contributions up the amount your employer (and your husband’s employer) will match at your respective jobs. If not, you’re leaving money on the table!

September 2018
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    Banking, Retirement
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