Jim Lear


Guideway Financial, LLC

Principal and Investment Manager

Jim Lear


Guideway Financial, LLC

Principal and Investment Manager

As a fee-only financial planner, my focus is to offer unbiased financial advice to help you achieve your life goals. - Jim Lear, CFP®

Fee-Only financial planner located in Austin, TX, serving clients locally and across the country

Jim Lear is an Austin, TX fee-only financial advisor serving clients locally and across the country. Guideway Financial, LLC provides comprehensive financial planning, retirement planning, tax planning, and investment advice to help clients organize, grow and protect their assets through life’s transitions. As a fee-only, fiduciary, and independent financial advisor, Jim Lear is never paid a commission of any kind, and has a legal obligation to provide unbiased and trustworthy financial advice.

Jim Lear is chief investments manager at Guideway Financial. He earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees from the University of Texas at Austin in Electrical Engineering.

While his interest in financial planning has extended over 20 years, Jim’s primary career for some time was in the semiconductor industry. He developed techniques for modeling and verifying the design of complex mixed-signal systems for communications products, as well as optimization algorithms for high-performance circuits. Jim was actively involved in updating standards for an engineering programming language and has written a number of papers and spoken at conferences about mixed-signal engineering methodologies.

Jim’s engineering research dovetailed into his work with optimization methods for financial planning. Since 1995, Jim has studied and invented portfolio optimization methods, and in recent years, he transitioned to the financial industry full-time. He holds a patent for the Portfolion Planning® technique, which enables retirement income to last exactly as long as planned. He has also spoken at conferences on topics such as “Understanding and Working with High-Risk Investors,” and “Self-Managing Your Retirement Nest Egg.” Jim recently published an article in Advisor Perspectives entitled “Why Monte Carlo is Optimistically Biased,” describing how many financial planning tools in the industry systematically overestimate future returns.

Jim’s interests outside of work include jogging, time with friends and family, and consideration of school finance issues. Jim is originally from Torrance, California and moved to Clear Lake, Texas as a teenager.

Both Jim and Sharon have lived in Austin for over 20 years. It is home base for them along with their teenage daughter and college-student son (when he is home!).

Guideway Financial is a fee-only financial consulting firm owned by Sharon and Jim Lear, headquartered in Austin, Texas. We specialize in comprehensive planning services to create livable strategies to strive for your best life today and in retirement. Our goals-driven process uses an annual retainer model, rather than assets under management, since we feel this best enables us to put your interests first. You maintain control and implementation of your investments at the bank, brokerage, or custodian of your choice.

Our holistic approach incorporates all aspects of a client’s finances, including investment strategy, retirement planning, college planning, insurance review, tax planning and preparation, cash flow and record keeping, estate planning, and more. Unforeseen financial topics that arise during the year are included with no additional charge. In some situations, we also offer project or hourly planning engagements.

Guideway works with clients throughout Texas. Austin, San Antonio, and North East Texas are focus locations, and we serve clients in other states on a limited basis. We offer video conferencing to communicate with remote clients and busy professionals.

Our process brings all aspects of your financial life in balance using a layered approach to identify goals and optimize investment selection for each goal. Tailoring investment risk to the goal, not to investment products or volatility, provides a clearer roadmap of the future with concrete steps to achieve.

Retirement planning is a specialty at Guideway. Our system provides time-certain retirement income, which means income lasts exactly as long as planned. You choose the exact time period the income will endure, so there is no need to worry about money running out. Higher safe withdrawals can be anticipated, so you can fully enjoy your savings.

With Guideway, clients benefit from the expertise of two advisors who work as a team. This makes us especially attune to the financial planning needs of couples.

Fee-Only, Fiduciary, Independent: Three Important Criteria to Consider When Choosing a Financial Advisor.


  • Comprehensive Financial Planning
  • Retirement Income Planning
  • Investment Management
  • College Education Planning
  • Tax Planning

Ideal Clients

  • Retirees and Near Retirees
  • Growing Families
  • Business Owners and Executives
  • Sudden Money Situations
  • Novice Investors

Working Together

  • In-Office Meetings
  • Virtual Meetings
  • Clearly Defined Fees
  • No Product Sales
  • Complimentary Initial Consultation

Professional Designations & Affiliations

  • National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)
    Jim Lear is a NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor

    The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) is a leading professional association of Fee-Only financial advisors—highly trained professionals who are committed to working in the best interests of those they serve.

  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
    Jim Lear is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional - Click for Verification

    CFP® professionals are held to strict ethical standards to ensure financial planning recommendations are in your best interest. What’s more, a CFP® professional must acquire several years of experience related to delivering financial planning services to clients and pass the comprehensive CFP® Certification Exam before they can use the CFP® designation.

Contact Jim Lear

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Office Locations:

  • 3345 Bee Caves Rd
    Suite 104
    Austin, TX 78746
  • 401 E. Sonterra Blvd.
    Suite 375
    San Antonio, TX 78258
  • 510 E Loop 281
    Suite B #215
    Longview, TX 75605

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