Steven J Sivak

Personal Finance, Retirement, Investing
“With over 14 years of experience in the financial industry, Steven J Sivak serves his clients by alleviating common issues of the financial services industry.”

Innovate Wealth

Job Title:



Over the past 10 years, Steve Sivak has worked with high net worth individuals in all situations and through several market cycles. Client frustrations with the ‘Big Bank’ model of the business led him to want to improve the experience. Steve created Innovate Wealth with the vision to refocus the business away from a product sales culture and back to the clients, their education, their behavior, and do it all at a more affordable cost.

Steve has been in the financial services industry for 14 years and spent the last 10 working for Wall Street banks. He is a Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP©) and previously attained the Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) and Certified Portfolio Managers (CPM) designations while at Morgan Stanley, and an engineering degree from Lafayette College. He spends his free time reading (a lot of finance!), with his dog Kimo, serving on various community Boards, or doing anything outside or active.


BA, Civil Engineering, Lafayette College

Assets Under Management:

$11 million

CRD Number:


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October 2017

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    Investing, Annuities
When is a Tax Deferred Variable Annuity a good strategy?
25% of people found this answer helpful

First, congratulations on maxing your retirement accounts!  That's always a good goal and you've clearly prioritized that during your peak earning years.

It's really impossible for anyone to answer whether this is a good idea unless they had your entire financial situation.  Let me try to arm you with more information to make a good decision:

1.  There are very few situations in which an annuity makes sense.  Very few.  It's not to say they're terrible products in all cases, but given your age and savings rate, it's likely not worth using an annuity.  You have plenty of time to save enough money to create your own income stream, which is the goal, right?

2.  Annuities are often oversold because they pay large commissions.  The percentages say your 'advisor' is likely making this recommendation based on how much money he/she will make on the product sale, not how it fits into your strategy.

3.  Is your advisor a sworn fiduciary?  Have they signed an agreement to that effect?  Why not?  Advisors that have a fiduciary responsibility and don't receive commissions magically stop recommending annuities.

4.  Be very clear about the terms before you sign anything.  Understand how it works, and how you can get your money out of the product if you want.  Is it too hard to understand how it works?  Then why are you buying it?  Finance doesn't have to be complicated.

5.  Finally, seek out a second opinion from a fee-only, fiduciary advisor.  They are sure to look at your entire financial picture and give you an objective opinion, rather than force you into a product.

Good luck!

December 2017
    Investing, 401(k), Real Estate
Which investment and/or saving option will help me generate the most funds to put toward a down payment?
22% of people found this answer helpful
December 2017
    Financial Planning
What is a wrap account and what are the advantages of using one?
20% of people found this answer helpful
September 2017
    Mutual Funds
Can I use my mutual funds as a savings account?
20% of people found this answer helpful
October 2017
    Banking, Investing
What does it mean when you move your investments to cash?
17% of people found this answer helpful
September 2017