Kirk Kinder

Personal Finance, Retirement, Investing
“Kirk Kinder, owner of Picket Fence Financial, is committed to saving his clients from Wall Street with his low cost, fee-only financial planning.”

Picket Fence Financial

Job Title:



Kirk Kinder, CFP® (Certified Financial Planner) is the founder and President of Picket Fence Financial. He originally hails from Flint, Michigan where he spent the first eighteen years of his life. After eighteen years of winter and mosquito season, Kirk attended the University of Miami, Florida. However, after one year of school at UM, Kirk was offered an appointment to the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut, which he accepted. Kirk claims he left the warm weather and relaxed atmosphere to see if he could endure the rigors of a service academy and to serve his country, but most people think he was temporarily insane. Either way, Kirk spent the next four years of his life at the Academy where we traveled extensively, including a cruise to Europe on the Eagle, and performed a million push ups.

After graduating, he was stationed aboard the USCG Cutter Rush, a 378 foot ship, based out of Honolulu, Hawaii. The newly minted Ensign patrolled the waters from South America to the Bering Sea in Alaska conducting drug enforcement ops, search and rescue missions, and fisheries regulation. He even worked with the Russian Border Guard (the old KBG fleet) in the first joint operation in the Pacific since the end of the Cold War. After serving two years in Hawaii, Kirk was sent to Coast Guard Headquarters in Washington DC where he pushed a lot of papers and slept in a bed each night that didn’t move. However, Kirk still experienced some exciting events such as running with the Bulls in Pamplona and bicycling 3,500 miles across America for charity.

After his commitment was up, Kirk left the Coast Guard, but not before he married his beautiful sweetheart Michele. Kirk and Michele had a chance meeting at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta as Kirk was on his way from Hawaii to DC. They dated for 3 years before marrying in October 1999. Since that time, Kirk and Michele had two daughters – Caroline and Shayla. For employment, Kirk worked for the Motley Fool where he served as their Director of Member Services. The Fool’s approach of exposing Wall Street’s dirty secrets appealed to Kirk. They shared a common belief that financial planners entrusted with other’s money should have their client’s interests at heart. After leaving the Fool, Kirk worked at a fee-only financial planning firm in Palm Harbor, Florida. There Kirk finished his studies for the Certified Financial Planner designation. Kirk then started Picket Fence Financial with offices in the Baltimore/DC area and Tampa/Clearwater, Florida vicinity. Kirk also has a Masters degree in Personal Financial Planning from the College for Financial Planning – the organization that manages the education requirement for the CFP.

Kirk has been quoted in several financial publications including the Wall Street Journal, Kiplingers, Investor’s Business Daily, Standard and Poor’s, and Bloomberg Wealth Manager to name a few. Kirk has also been featured on the local Fox, ABC and NBC affiliates in Baltimore and Tampa Bay. He has served on the Board of Directors of his local Financial Planning Association, is a member of NAPFA, and is a board member of his local Rotary.


US Coast Guard Academy
MS, Personal Financial Planning, College for Financial Planning

Assets Under Management:

$22 million

Fee Structure:


CRD Number:



All written content on this site is for informational purposes only. Opinions expressed herein are solely those of Kirk Kinder, CFP®, the President of Picket Fence Financial and his editorial staff. Material presented is believed to be from reliable sources and we make no representations as to its accuracy or completeness. Picket Fence Financial, LLC is registered as an investment adviser with the State of Maryland. The State of Maryland has not verified nor endorsed the statements presented on this site. All material contained herein is copyright protected and may not be reproduced in any manner without the express written permission of the copyright owner. All information contained herein is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a solicitation or offer to sell securities or investment advisory services. Offers can only be made in states where representatives are registered or where an exception from such registration is available. If you are a resident of the State of Maryland or Florida and are interested in our services, please email us or call and request our Form ADV which provides detailed information about us and our services. The internet is not a secure network and online access may be interrupted.

  • About Kirk Kinder, CFP
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    Career / Compensation
What amount of fees should I reasonably expect from a Financial Advisor?
80% of people found this answer helpful

I am taking a different approach than the other advisors here. I think your goal should be to pay under 1% for all costs: advisor fees, trading commissions, investment products, and miscellaneous fees. Many options exist now to keep your costs in check like robo-advisors and advisory firms that charge under 1%. Costs are the one area you have total control over, and it has been proven that costs have a substantial impact on returns. The other reason to focus on fees is the yield on bonds is historically low. If you pay more than 1% in fees, and the yield on a 10 year Treasury bonus is 2%, you are losing most of your return on bonds to your advisor.

The 1% cost was fine in the 1990s but investors can do better today.

January 2017
    IRAs, Insurance
Am I able to borrow money from my IRA to pay for health insurance?
50% of people found this answer helpful
June 2017
    Investing, Real Estate
Is real estate crowdfunding a safe investment?
33% of people found this answer helpful
July 2017
    Annuities, End of Life
Should I annuitize or satisfy my RMD?
0% of people found this answer helpful
January 2017
    Career / Compensation, Choosing an Advisor
What are the advantages to being a fee-based financial advisor?
0% of people found this answer helpful
December 2016