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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:


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August 2018
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    Financial Planning, 401(k), IRAs
Are there any benefits in contributing to my employer's 401(k) as opposed to my individual Roth IRA if my employer doesn't match my contributions?
100% of people found this answer helpful

You live in a venue with a high state income tax. If your taxable income is $85,000, you are looking at a 34% combined marginal rate.  That argues for the utility of the immediate tax deduction afforded by traditional 401k contributions. Keep in mind, that your 401k plan design likely allows for after tax ROTH 401k contributions. This allows you to make Roth contributions that grow tax-free and which are NOT means tested. You can alternate from year to year if you like. And if you separate from service later, you can roll the Roth 401k into your old Roth IRA.

California's Savings Plus program offers you a self-directed brokerage account to manage your 401k, whether it be traditional or Roth. There is a wide array of low cost index funds available in this program. Schwab itself owns several index mutual funds and ETFs that have among the lowest costs in the industry. Consider their Total Stock Market Index (SWTSX) with 0.03% of management fee. 

Bottom line: Californians should be fairly aggressive with taking tax deductions while working there. The tax rates they pay are high. You can still do Roth contributions within the framework of a 401k. Do both.  And use index funds available in the self-directed brokerage option available to state employees. 


August 2018
    Retirement, Investing, Insurance, Life Insurance
Should we keep paying the premiums for a whole life insurance policy and let the cash value grow until year 10, or do we get out now and invest the difference and hope to recoup the losses?
100% of people found this answer helpful
October 2018
    Banking, Debt, Investing, 401(k)
I am saving $50,000 a year and have $175,000 in a money market savings account; what should I be doing with this money?
86% of people found this answer helpful
August 2018
    Retirement, 401(k), Bonds / Fixed Income, IRAs, Stocks
Am I safe to continue investing in Warren Buffet's 90 percent stock, 10 percent bond recommendation, or should I play it safe and become more conservative as I near retirement?
82% of people found this answer helpful
June 2018
What's the difference between an index fund and an ETF?
69% of people found this answer helpful
April 2017