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When Your Story Changes



Introducing order and stability to the financial turmoil associated with a significant grief event, so that individuals and families can focus on healing and building a new vision for their financial future that provides a sense of security, opportunity and hope.

About


Welcome to Ambient Financial Advisors.


We are so glad you stopped by to learn more about our firm, and how we might serve you and your family during the more trying times of life.  It has been a long road for us to arrive here, and the same is probably true for you too.  How could words describe such a journey? 

The short of it is that our firm’s focus found us.  Our founding partner, Jeffrey, began in the financial planning industry back in 1984.  Over the next 36 years he would build a successful practice that helped expatriates and foreign nationals navigate cross-border financial planning.  He found where his experience was needed and committed to this need. 

When our now managing partner, Christopher, joined the team, the two set out to assess the future of the firm, in hopes to reinvigorate current client trust-bonds while also serving a unique, unfulfilled need of everyday people.  They wanted to find where their joint passion and life experience met their greatest conviction.

As father and son, Jeffrey and Christopher have grown extraordinarily close over the years.  After living through numerous compounding personal losses in the family spanning death, disease and divorce, they had 2 realizations. 


First

A person’s thoughts and behaviors around money are emotional, unique and always changing, especially in times of deep grief.  Cookie cutter financial advice does more harm than good to families who are either preparing for, or repairing from, traumatic transition. 

Second

What if we met this need head on by providing tailored financial service to individuals and their families with a high dependence on their story and the nature of their transition?


Ambient Financial Advisors was born, hoping to provide a sense of security, opportunity and hope as everyday people navigate the financial turmoil caused by a significant grief event.  It is our greatest passion to help engage, organize, simplify, protect and guide you when your story changes.


Meet Our Team


Jeffrey D. Hill, CFP® Photo

Jeffrey D. Hill, CFP®

Founding Partner | LPL Financial Advisor | LPL Registered Principal
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Jeffrey D. Hill, CFP®

Founding Partner | LPL Financial Advisor | LPL Registered Principal




Greetings.  I am a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, having begun my professional wealth management practice in 1984. I am the founding partner of Ambient Financial Advisors, formerly Global Wealth Management Group, a Boulder branch of LPL Financial.   It has been one of my life’s great joys to partner with my son in serving individuals and their families on their personal financial journeys.

I have always been a “planner” at heart

Since the outset of my cherished career, my focus has been one of comprehensive financial planning, helping clients make financial decisions in all areas of their lives, that are in their best interests. I was inspired by the early CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals who paved the way for holistic financial planning and became excited to spend the majority of my life learning this all-encompassing (ambient) approach to personal finance.

I earned a BA in English Literature from Washburn University and my CFP® professional designation from the College for Financial Planning.  I also did graduate work at Washburn University School of Law and am proud of my 37+ years of membership in the Colorado Financial Planning Association (FPA), as well as the continuing education required to maintain my professional designations and licenses. 

I previously worked for the airlines

I began my career in the early 1980’s while still working as a flight attendant/purser, using my bilingualism in English and Spanish to serve on both domestic and international flights.  My international travel and contacts across the USA and Latin America led to a focus on clients residing outside the USA, whether USA expats or foreign nationals. I quickly found my focus doing cross-border financial planning and investment management for these families.

I have learned that stories of grief greatly affect stories of money

I have realized that many, if not most, of our current client relationships began or developed around a grief or transition event.   Through years of walking alongside families before, during and after these events, I have become devoted to the immense need for specialized financial care, especially in the studies of behavioral finance.  Our team’s approach in helping those experiencing or expecting significant grief events and the emotions involved in making sound, timely and prudent financial decisions, gives me both professional and personal fulfillment in life. 

Have I mentioned that I love México?

I continue to maintain a home in México and the USA, having chosen Colorado as my family’s primary residence and the principal location for Ambient’s office.  I am an overall sport’s enthusiast, loving both Colorado and Pittsburgh football. I collect art and enjoy time spent in the appreciation of art, architecture and design.  I am married to El Hernández-Hill, a bilingual educator and translator. And of course, enjoy a close relationship with my son, Christopher, who is managing partner at Ambient Financial Advisors.

I greatly look forward to a conversation with you and your family.


Christopher D. Hill, CFP®, CGRS Photo

Christopher D. Hill, CFP®, CGRS

Managing Partner | LPL Financial Advisor
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Christopher D. Hill, CFP®, CGRS

Managing Partner | LPL Financial Advisor




Hi there.  I am very grateful to be one of the advisors at Ambient Financial Advisors.  It is a dream come true for me to work closely alongside my father, Jeffrey, in our 36-year-old practice.  A little about me:

I come from the non-profit world.

The financial planning industry is a unique one.   In the early years, advisors found their way into the profession through channels similar to the industry itself (think insurance agents, bank tellers, stockbrokers, or tax professionals).  Nowadays, people find their way to the financial planning profession from many different career paths.  I am one of those advisors.  

Before joining the firm in 2017, I spent a decade of my life working with high school students and their families in Boulder, CO.   During my time in ministry, I worked in an organization called Young Life, later moving on to direct a fairly large youth ministry department at a prominent church.  The experience was rich, fun and challenging, and some of the conversations I had then are no different in depth and meaning than those now.

I am a fellow griever.

Before I reached my 30’s, I lost many of my closest people through sudden death, diagnosis and divorce.  My grief journey has been marked by a unique characteristic; a compounding effect.  Much of the loss I experienced happened within a short time frame.  Compound grief happens when one grief event lands shortly after another, inevitably causing you to lose track of where one event’s effects end and another’s begin.  For me, this has made navigating my own grieving process difficult and alienating.   My experience has changed my relationship with money.  It has opened my eyes to see that grief does not discriminate based on financial status, gender, orientation, religion, race or even mental fortitude.  It has invigorated me to provide better financial care to those experiencing loss.  

I believe that financial turmoil stunts our ability to live, mourn, and heal appropriately

My hope is to provide the space and financial insight other grievers need in order to make sound financial decisions without having to neglect their own unique grieving process.  I currently hold two distinct certifications that have prepared me for the work we do.

As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, I have taken an oath to provide and carry out fiduciary financial recommendations after completing an extensive experience period and passing a rigorous examination.   I have chosen to adhere to a very high code of ethics and standard of conduct as well as be a life-long student in my continuing education requirement.

I also hold my Certified Grief Recovery Specialist designation.  In short, I knew what it was like to tell of my own experience, but effectively listening and engaging with another’s is truly an art.  Being a griever does not make you an expert on grief.  However, it can ground you in a more empathetic and patient approach to someone in pain.  

I reside in the small, but mighty town of Longmont, Colorado.  

Yes, if you visit you will see t-shirts displaying “Longmont vs Everybody,” “Long Live Longmont,” or even “LOCO” (Shortened Colorado talk for Longmont, Colorado).  People who live there, love living there.  I love living there.  After growing up in downtown Denver, CO, the pace and feel of Longmont is much welcomed.   You can catch me walking my big golden doodle “Sunny” around town, attending Crossfit Longmont, or enjoying our beloved Main Street in the heart of the city.  I also chair a subcommittee for our local Young Life area, for which our firm is an advocate. 

I look forward to meeting you, sharing stories and serving you and your family.  

Karla Fernandez Photo

Karla Fernandez

Administrative Assistant
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Karla Fernandez

Administrative Assistant


I was born and raised in San Diego and I am bilingual in English and Spanish. I live with my husband, Ismael, and our dog, Rocky. We have traveled extensively in Europe, Mexico, and Latin America. We spend our extra time hiking, with friends, and giving back to the community in Bible education work.

I have ten years of experience in the banking and financial services industry. Prior to joining LPL, I served as a Relationship Licensed Banker at Union Bank, where I worked closely with the financial advisor in prospecting and referring clients. I was also a Registered Client Service Associate at UBS Financial, where I worked with many top financial advisors providing excellent customer service for high net worth clients and played a central role in the growth of the advisors’ businesses. I understand the daily operational challenges that clients, their families, and their businesses encounter, and I am dedicated to managing and guiding a seamless client experience.

I hold a California Life Insurance license (#0I02548) as well as FINRA series 6, 63, 7 through LPL Financial and CA Real Estate license.


Where the Emotional Collides with the Financial


Financial and Logistical Clarity and Guidance

Any grief event, whether expected or unexpected, carries with it a high level of anxiety, confusion and emotion. Often, they trigger a financial transition that can be overwhelming. For some, sudden wealth can be as burdensome as unanticipated financial tension. In the aftermath of a difficult life-altering event, most people are in a state of shock and confusion that can make it difficult to know the appropriate course of action legally, logistically and financially. In these times, grief-stricken individuals need trusted professional advisors who can guide their clients through the immediate necessary decisions and tasks and discern which matters can safely be addressed at a more emotionally appropriate time.

Professionally Appropriate Empathy and Patience

Grieving is a highly individualized process. To be of greatest assistance to their clients, professional services providers need to be sensitive to an individual’s grief journey, understanding when it is appropriate to offer professional advice and when it is better to provide personal support. While it is important to ensure necessary decisions are made, the best advisors understand that every individual will progress toward healing on a different timeline and will take that into consideration when setting the pace of their financial plan.

Family Mediation on Financial Issues

Grief events that trigger a financial transition, either as sudden wealth or financial strain, can create a challenging family dynamic that can have a lasting impact on relationships. In these situations, families benefit from a financial advisor who can provide guidance, mediation and professional objectivity as they face highly emotional financial issues.

Ecosystem of Professional Resources

The impact of a significant grief event can be widespread and complex, spanning emotional, financial and legal issues. Individuals who are grieving are often clouded and in need of guidance but may not have the necessary professional resources, leaving them feeling vulnerable and anxious. What is more, the need to explain their situation to each new service provider can be emotionally exhausting or even traumatic. At such times, access to a network of like-minded professionals who have an established protocol for referrals and client hand-offs designed to simplify triage and in-take can be invaluable to those in the midst of grief.

Reassurance and Encouragement

In the case of the death of a loved one or abandonment, the people left behind often feel isolated or lost. When the loss triggers a financial transition, whether it is sudden wealth or financial crises, the individual can be overwhelmed about how to move forward. In those moments, individuals need a financial advisor who can demonstrate commitment and offer encouragement. By reassuring clients they are not alone in dealing with their financial well-being, these professionals are providing an invaluable service both financially and emotionally.

Help Re-Imagining the Future

Significant grief has the power to shatter an individual’s vision of the future. Suddenly, their picture of what lies ahead has been altered in a way that leaves an individual unable to look forward. In the immediate aftermath of the event, thinking ahead may not be necessary or even helpful, but as time passes, establishing hope in the future can offer tremendous healing. While financial well-being is only one aspect of this process, having an advisor who can help the individual see what is possible can be beneficial.



Services


Solutions

We provide a comprehensive financial planning relationship, or what we call our "Ambient Engagement," accomplished by defined "Roadmaps" tailored to your current situation.  Regardless of the client’s Roadmap, Ambient Engagement consists of 4 main elements, all of which we believe are integral to caring for someone’s entire financial picture:


 

Financial Tools

 

One of the most important parts of our time spent together will be organizing all of your financial data into one central hub.  

With WealthVision, your own encrypted personal financial website powered by Emoney, you will have simple transparency into your ever-changing financial information. 

Through storage of important documents in your Vault (electronic safe deposit box), secure aggregation of financial accounts and deep projection and analysis tools, we are able to constantly visualize goal setting, decision making, and estate distribution, all stress-tested by customized “What-If” scenarios. This tool makes your financial life less of a static snapshot and more of a visual, dynamic plan.

Take a Closer Look at WealthVision

 

Financial Life Planning

 

Depending on a client’s Roadmap, we will explore financial decisions that you deem necessary to achieve your goals and desired outcomes.  As applicable, we will explore what the CFP® community considers the different elements of one's financial life:

The Essentials

Mastering financial, economic and cash flow | debt management concepts.

Investment Planning

Understanding a portfolio, including different investment types, diversification and risk management.

Retirement Savings and Income Planning

Performing retirement needs analyses, evaluating retirement plans, and understanding Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. 

Tax and Estate Planning

Understanding how laws and management techniques around taxes, property transfer and estate planning apply to you.

Risk Management and Insurance Planning

Evaluating risk and assessing different types of insurance, from healthcare to property to disability.

Education Planning

Preparing to save and pay for higher education.

Our hope is that you would not only be given proper analysis and recommendations, but that you would also come away educated.

 

Investment Management

 

We have been providing active management of investments for decades through many different economic climates.  We love helping families understand both the technical and behavioral side of investing and seek to be a calm presence in all market landscapes.  

We are powered by one of the most robust Independent Broker/Dealers, LPL Financial, to provide you with professional, active account management, an agnostic universe of investment types and options and high-end account servicing.

We have access to everything from separate account managers whom we trust (larger, more complex investments) to the most fundamental and simple model portfolios.  

We even have our very own automated, algorithmic-based investment platform, Guided Wealth Portfolios, that pares us as your advisor team with the latest cutting-edge technology and ease-of-use in investing.  You can read more here:

Guided Wealth Portfolios

 

Financial Advice

 

In addition to providing necessary tools, financial life organization and education, and investment management, we seek to be the team you trust for financial advice in all topics big or small.  We exist to help you make decisions that are in your best interest (fiduciary) and that apply to your specific situation.  

You can call, text or email us at any time during our engagement, as you are not bound to interacting with our team only when you have a scheduled meeting.  We know that financial situations can change quickly.  We are available.



Ecosystem Access

As a bonus, but integral part of our service, we provide access to our coveted “Ambient Ecosystem.” This is a network of like-minded professionals who we have found and vetted on your behalf to help when your needs fall outside of our scope either in subject or complexity. If they are called upon, we will prep the professional with your situation (with permission) and will accompany you to an introductory meeting so that you do not have to begin the relationship alone.

Roadmaps



Our 4 Service Roadmaps

We have developed process-driven service roadmaps designed to serve the unique needs of grieving individuals and families.  These Roadmaps are only a starting template crafted from our experiences, providing the scaffolding that takes greater shape and detail once we get to know your specific story.



Pricing


We charge one simple flat fee for our Ambient Engagement relationship paid in 2 installments.  If your desire is to outsource investment management to our team, a separate fee will be calculated on amounts managed (see below), and your 2nd Ambient Engagement installment will be reduced proportionately.


Ambient Engagement

Once your free consultation is complete and we have agreed to work together, we charge a simple flat fee for the first year of service, based upon your specific complexity of needs and the nature of your current situation.  This fee is paid in two installments.  The first half is due at our first official meeting (not at your free consultation), and the remainder due when our firm’s recommendations are made.  Basing your pricing on complexity means that some of the most simple engagements are $500, while some of the most complex can be $15,000.


Ongoing Ambient Engagement

At the 1 year anniversary of our professional relationship, we will reassess the need for our services.  Many of our clients continue to work with us on an ongoing basis, with pricing less than year 1 costs.  We provide semi-annual or annual financial check-up, planning and accountability sessions, continued access to your personal financial website, ongoing Ambient Ecosystem access, and full text, call and email communication to our team at any time.  Life, and the plans we make, change quickly.  We want to be your financial team...for life.   


Investment Management

We price for Ambient Engagement and Investment Management separately, as we do not require families to have investable assets held with us.  During our process, if investment management becomes agreed upon, we will charge by the method that is in our client’s best interest.  We conduct most investment management fees as a fixed percentage of managed assets ("Assets Under Management") in advisory accounts.  This puts us on the same side of the table as our clients.  If an account grows, both the client and our team benefit.  If an account shrinks, our team is paid less.  In an advisory account, you pay one simple fee regardless of what happens in the account.  You do not pay a commission for each transaction.

If a client prefers (or gets a better deal with) a commission-based account (sentimental holdings, buy and hold strategy, specific insurance policies), we can use that method with proper disclosure and education.

Investment Management Fee Schedule

< $250,0001.50%
$250,000 - $500,001.25%
$500,000 - $1 Million1.00%
$1 Million - $2 Million0.85%
$2 Million - $5 Million0.75%
> $5 MillionNegotiable


*The above fees do not include any special portfolio options that may be added, such as separately managed accounts, multiple model managers, etc.

The Ambient Ecosystem

We have developed an ecosystem of professional service providers who share our values and people-first approach so we can confidently connect clients with complex needs to a trusted partner who can provide services outside our scope of engagement.





Current | Prospective Ecosystem Partners Click Here.


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Frequently Asked Questions

Do you work with those who are not grieving?

As niche advisory practitioners, our specialization lies in helping people prepare for, or repair from, transitions where financial turmoil stands in the way of healthy emotional processing.  We understand that you may be in need of our services, but the label "griever" may not be a label you prefer.  If you find our service model to be at all relevant to your situation, we invite you to start a conversation with us.

Do you work with clients virtually?

We have decades of experience working virtually with families all over the world, including video conferencing, screen sharing and telephone communications. That being said, we set a high value on sitting face-to-face with people during the more trying times of life. Money, by itself, is a very emotional topic, and our ability to understand intricacies of your past stories and future hopes through body language elevate our trusted relationships.

What is a CFP®?

CFP® stands for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, a professional certification that has been the standard of excellence for financial planners for more than 30 years. Before anyone can call themselves a CFP® professional, they must meet rigorous education, examination, experience and ethical requirements and commit to CFP Board's ethical standards that require them to act as a fiduciary, putting their clients' interests first. CFP® professionals take a holistic, personalized approach to bring all the pieces of your financial life together. You can read more HERE.

What is a Certified Grief Recovery Specialist?

Certified Grief Recovery Specialist is one of the most comprehensive Grief Recovery education and certifications you will find. People seek this evidence-based training not only to help others, but because their lives were devastated by personal loss. Having experienced grief, they know how hard it can be and want to help others who are also grieving. You can read more about the certification and The Grief Recovery Institute HERE.

What is LPL Financial?

LPL Financial is the independent broker/dealer we have aligned ourselves under for more than 25 years. This “mothership” provides us, as independent financial advisors, tailored back office, compliance, training and research assistance so that we can spend more of our time interacting with the families we serve. Instead of requesting us to provide proprietary services and products to our clients, LPL makes it possible for us to be truly product and service agnostic, as we operate under our own firm DBA structure. LPL has been labeled the largest independent broker/dealer in the nation*, and recently received a perfect score in the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 2020 Corporate Equality Index (CEI), a national benchmarking survey and report measuring corporate policies and practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) workplace equality. We love LPL.

Do you offer stand-alone investment management?

The cases for pure investment advice/management are few and far between in our firm. We find it unwise and unethical to make investment recommendations without holding a more holistic picture of a family’s finances and an understanding of their behavioral habits, tendencies and history with money. However, we realize that especially before or shortly after a major life event, the management of investments might be first and foremost in someone’s mind. We are always open to a conversation about this.

Do you have minimums or charge for an initial conversation/meeting?

No to both. We believe that every person should have access to financial advice, regardless of net worth, income or lifestyle choice. Therefore, we do not require any investment minimums, nor do we require clients to invest with us in order to engage. We also do not charge for our initial consultation, where we discover the journey that has brought you to today, and determine whether our firm is a good fit for your needs.

Do you work with entire families?

We do. In fact, this is our favorite type of engagement. Intergenerational planning is something we are personally passionate about and is something we encourage each of our clients to consider. With pleasure, we will play the middleman in financial conversation, helping each family member understand a healthy way forward depending on the situation at hand.

Are you available to speak to groups? What subject(s)?

We are available to come speak to groups of all kinds. As CFP® professionals, we are knowledgeable in all areas of personal finance, however it is our specific experience in holding both the emotional/behavioral and the financial in proper tension where we find most meaning. We enjoy speaking with professional groups about the implications of grief when it comes to their clients making important financial decisions too. If you are interested in setting up a speaking engagement, you can send an email to team@ambientfinancialadvisors.com.

Will you work with families’ other professionals?

As advisors, we wear countless hats, as real people’s lives are not perfectly compartmentalized. However, we will be the first to tell you that many of the hats we wear are put on with humility, knowing that we are not formally trained or certified in those areas, and with the knowledge to understand the line between giving general advice, and our client’s need of another professional.

For example, we may be the first to notice and mention cognitive decline or insipient Alzheimer’s in our client relationships. We are not equipped or certified to give in-depth advice about health or medical topics, and will refer someone to their doctor. Similarly, we spend significant time in conversation about a family’s estate planning, and have developed a strong knowledge base for how a family can take action now to take care of those they love later. We are not, however, attorneys who practice law.

So, yes, we will work closely with your family’s trusted professionals when appropriate. We also have specific relationships with local professional partners (we call this network our “ecosystem”) whom we have spoken with and vetted so that we are confident in referring you when needed.

What if I already have a financial advisor?

We do not believe in the notion of using multiple financial advisors to achieve money diversification. One of the reasons we shy away from offering stand-alone investment management without our Ambient Engagement is due to the lack of in-depth discovery and holistic information needed to give recommendations that are in our client’s best interests. It is the same for using multiple advisors. We believe that having one advisor who knows much is better than having many advisors who all know a scattered little. We are also not fans of poaching clients from other advisors, on principal. If you come to us unhappy with your current advisor, we will ask many questions about your previous advisor relationship before moving forward in a new engagement.


If your question was not addressed in our FAQs above, leave us a message here and we will get back to you during normal business hours. If you would like to schedule a free introductory consultation, please use our “Start Here” button.



Location

You can reach us by using any of the methods below. Please use the “Start Here” button to schedule an appointment. We are not able to accommodate drop-ins currently.

2919 Valmont rd. Suite 109
Boulder, CO 80301

Call and Text 303-747-5688




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