Louis Kokernak

Personal Finance, Retirement, Investing
“Louis Kokernak, Owner of Haven Financial Advisors, is an experienced investment advisor and financial planner who has been helping individuals for nearly two decades.”

Haven Financial Advisors

Job Title:



Louis (Lou) Kokernak has been serving the investment community for nearly 30 years, after obtaining an MBA from The University of Texas. He founded Haven Financial Advisors as a fee only advisor in 2002. His goal was to deliver unbiased advice to clients. He has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Barrons, Bloomberg News among many other media outlets. Lou has taught courses to CFP candidates at The University of Texas, St. Edwards Univerisity, and the University of Texas at San Antonio.

Haven Financial Advisors is committed to their clients' future. They have been a fee only financial advisor since 2002. The first step in the relationship is getting to know clients and what their goals are. It's a two way communications process that requires the engagement of both parties. Lou and his team develop a financial plan that includes a diversified asset allocation tailored to every clients personal situation. Experience tells them that the key value proposition of the plan is the comfort level it delivers to the client - that clients are taking concrete steps to achieve realistic financial goals.

​Lou has lived in Austin since 1990. He is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and is a member of the National Association of Personal Financail Advisors (NAPFA). His charitable interests include public health and secondary education.


MBA, The University of Texas
BSCS, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Assets Under Management:

$55 million

Fee Structure:


CRD Number:


  • Mission Statement of Haven Financial Advisors
  • Haven Financial Advisors explains the evolution of the HSA
  • Haven Financial Advisors Discusses the Benefits of Foreign Stocks
  • How to invest your Health Savings Account (HSA)
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January 2017
    Insurance, Taxes
March 2017
    Retirement Savings, Social Security
June 2017
    ETFs, International / Global, Investing
September 2017
    Investing, Stocks
March 2017
    College Tuition, Financial Planning

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What's the difference between an index fund and an ETF?
71% of people found this answer helpful

The differences between an indexed mutual fund and an exchange-traded fund (ETF) are subtle, but can be important. Most indexed mutual funds are low cost. There are exceptions to the rule. Mutual funds that track the S&P 500 have management fees that range from 0.03% to over 0.50%. That adds up over several years. Indexed ETFs all almost uniformly competitive with the cheapest index mutual funds. 

The security structure of mutual funds and ETFs is different. Mutual funds are marked to market once a day, after close of market. They are priced at the net asset value (NAV) of the underlying holdings. ETFs trade continuously throughout the day like stocks. Their bid ask spread reflects the overall trading volume in the ETF plus a risk premium that dealers require to make a market in a security that may have illiquid underlying assets. 

Mutual fund managers must retain cash balances to satisfy share redemptions. Thus, some of the investor money sits idly. On the other hand, the number of ETF shares is fixed in the short term. Almost all of the ETF value is invested in the index.

ETF shares are created and redeemed by authorized participants (APs) in exchange for the market basket of underlying securities. This feature allows the ETF issuer to manage the cost basis of the inventory they deliver during the redemption of shares. Bottom line, equity ETFs are more tax efficient than equity mutual funds. SPY, for example, has paid virtually no capital gains distributions in its 20+ year lifespan. 

Some ETFs do pose a disadvantage relative to mutual funds. Prices of the less liquid ETFs can deviate materially from their NAV. Moreover, bid/ask spreads can be substantial with these less liquid ETFs. The mark to market feature of the traditional open-ended mutual fund does insulate investors from trading anomalies like this. Thus, investors should be careful in placing orders for some of the smaller ETFs in the marketplace.

April 2017
    Banking, International / Global
How will recent Trump appointees to the Presidential Cabinet impact our economy and markets?
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January 2017
    Investing, Stocks, Taxes
How can we grow our funds without a broker?
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February 2017
    Investing, IRAs
How should a college student invest her funds inside a Roth IRA?
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January 2017
    Bonds / Fixed Income, ETFs
Should I diversify the types of Bond ETFs I want to buy?
67% of people found this answer helpful
January 2017