Michael  Powsner

Michael Powsner


Upstart Wealth Management


Contact Me



  • Fee-Only Financial Planning
  • Financial Review
  • Hourly Fee Consultations
  • Retirement Planning
  • Investment Management
  • Tax Planning
  • Estate Planning
  • Insurance Services
  • College Education Planning
  • 401(k) and IRAs
  • Business Planning
  • Employee Benefits


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582 Market St
Suite 808
San Francisco, CA 94104

Fee-Only & Fiduciary

The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) is the country's leading association of fee-only and fiduciary financial planners.


Michael Powsner is a San Francisco, CA Fee-Only Financial Planner serving San Francisco and all surrounding areas. Upstart Wealth Management specializes in providing objective financial planning to help clients build, manage, grow, and protect their assets through life's transitions. Michael Powsner is a NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional.

Michael Powsner is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Financial Planner™ with deep experience in stock options and restricted stock planning. He is also a Personal Financial Specialist (PFS), the designation awarded to less than 1% of CPAs who specialize in financial planning. He founded Upstart Wealth Management in 2014.

Michael learned his craft during a decade at some of the top public accounting and wealth management firms in the country. He is well-versed in the tax and financial implications of non-qualified stock options, incentive options, restricted stock units, and 83B elections. He has worked with investors of all types, from young professionals to executives at Fortune 500 businesses. Financial planning, investment and risk management, tax preparation, retirement, trust and estate planning are all part of his portfolio.

Michael graduated cum laude with a degree in accounting from Binghamton University. In his free time, Michael enjoys hiking in California and exploring new destinations. His favorite trips so far include hiking the mountains of Patagonia and scuba diving in the Great Barrier reef.


Financial planning is an important step toward building your future, regardless of whether or not you have assets under management.

For those just starting out, a dedicated financial planner can provide the guidance and framework for long-term success. For example, advice on company stock options or how best to save for a goal like starting a business or buying a new home.

For those who've already been saving, a financial planner can monitor and review to support ongoing financial health as well as proactive ideas that add tangible value.

This includes adding to 529 plans to save for college, reviewing 401K/403B allocations / making appropriate changes and ensuring that clients have their risks properly protected.

Investment Management Principles

Upstart is a fee-only firm for a reason: this structure gives our clients a completely transparent process they can trust.

We receive no commissions and no 12b-1 fees. We're paid to manage your investments and deliver the best possible returns.

Conflicts of interest are not rare in the financial planning industry. As one example, advisors at many big firms are paid extra to recommend one product over another. When such commissions are involved, you can never be sure that an advisor is completely on your side. We are on your side, and the proof is in our results.

We don't believe in market timing. Research has shown that picking actively-managed mutual funds based on the hot stock or sector is a losing battle. Instead, we focus on what we can control: fees. We use exchange-traded funds and institutional mutual funds (based on Nobel Prize-winning research from Dimensional Fund Advisors) to keep investor costs to a minimum.

Taxes can be a huge drag on investor returns; smart tax efficiencies can save an investor 1% or even 2% each year. And as you might suspect, reckless investor behavior can be the biggest drag of all on returns. That's why we take a disciplined approach, working to ensure that investors have the right amount of risk in their portfolios, and rebalancing actively when times of market volatility offer the rare opportunity to buy low and sell high.

As investors, we favor the Fama-French research model, which has shown that equity investors are rewarded for taking the risk of owning small companies versus big companies, for owning value companies rather than growth companies, and for favoring stocks over bonds. These concepts are evident in all our client portfolios.