Karen Altfest

Ph.D., CFP®

Altfest Personal Wealth Management

Financial Advisor

Karen Altfest

Ph.D., CFP®

Altfest Personal Wealth Management

Financial Advisor

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

(212) 406-0850

    Wealth Management and Fee Only Financial Planner Located in New York, NY and Serving Clients Nationwide

    Karen Altfest is a New York, NY fee-only financial planner. Altfest Personal Wealth Management provides comprehensive and objective financial planning to help clients organize, grow and protect their assets through life’s transitions. As a fee-only, fiduciary, and independent financial advisor, Karen Altfest is never paid a commission of any kind, and has a legal obligation to provide unbiased and trustworthy financial advice.


    Karen Caplan Altfest, Ph.D., is a Principal Advisor and Executive Vice President of Client Relations. She helps many of the firm’s clients on a variety of investment and financial planning issues.

    Karen is frequently a speaker on the subject of women and money and conducts educational seminars for recent widows and people looking to retire. She is often interviewed by the national media and wrote a monthly Financial Question and Answer column for All You magazine. Her Financially Savvy Woman™ programs, including the Women’s Financial $pa™, are popular with clients.

    Karen’s most recent book, Keeping Clients for Life, was published by John Wiley & Sons in 2001. An earlier book, Lew Altfest Answers Almost All Your Questions About Money, which she co-wrote, was published by McGraw-Hill and was named one of the best financial planning books by Money magazine.

    In 2017, Forbes named Karen Altfest to their inaugural list of "America's Top 200 Women Advisors." Investment News identified Karen as one of the "Top 20 Most Influential Women to Watch" in 2015, and Financial Times placed Karen on their list of "Top 100 Women Financial Advisors" in 2014. Previously,InvestmentNews recognized her with their Community Leadership Award, and Worth magazine named Karen one of the "Best Financial Advisers" in the United States. She has been named one of the "120 Best Financial Advisers" by Medical Economics, and selected as "Planner of the Month" and one of "100 Top Advisors" by Mutual Funds magazine. In 2013, Financial Planning magazine honored Karen in a cover story with the Lifetime Achievement Influencer Award, as an advisor who over the course of her career, has empowered women and pushed the financial planning industry to higher levels.Wealth Manager named Karen one of the "50 Distinguished Women in Wealth Management" in 2008 and 2009.

    She is also listed in "Who’s Who of American Women" and in 2007 was awarded the Thornton Award by the Ph.D. Alumni Association of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in recognition of her skills in combining the business world with that of academia.

    Karen received her Ph.D. in history from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She also holds M.A. and B.A. degrees from Hunter College, is a graduate of McGill University in Montreal, and holds the CFP® designation. She is a member of the Financial Women’s Association and is on the board of directors of Temple Shaaray Tefila in Manhattan. Karen is co-chair of the Alumni Professional Development Task Force of the Graduate Center of CUNY, serves on the CUNY Graduate Center Foundation Board, sits on McGill’s Alumni Board of New York, and is a founder and former chair of the New York Common Pantry. She is also the president of her co-op Board.

    Karen is a former President and Chairperson of the New York Chapter of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and a former Chairperson of the Northeast Region of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA). She was the co-Director of the Financial Planning and Investments Program at The New School in New York City and the Coordinator of the Certified Financial Planner™ program, a professional program for financial planners, which she originated at Pace University in White Plains, New York.

    Karen Altfest is a Member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors

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

    NAPFA members live by three important values:

    • To be the beacon for independent, objective financial advice for individuals and families.
    • To be the champion of financial services delivered in the public interest.
    • To be the standard bearer for the emerging profession of financial planning

    How We Help You

    At Altfest Personal Wealth Management, we want to help you meet your goals. We understand that each person’s lifestyle is unique and requires distinct consideration and planning. That’s why we provide services with a personal touch, whether it’s investing client money or providing advanced financial planning guidance – we listen to what you really want, and really don’t want. Clients benefit from our expertise, objectivity and genuine service, which have been a hallmark at our firm since 1983. That’s why we believe our clients make a smart choice in working with us.

    Today, we offer you:

    • A staff of some 20 smart and friendly professionals dedicated to making you comfortable as we make your financial life easier.
    • The willingness to serve you in the way that best addresses your own special circumstances, sensitivities and concerns.
    • Sophisticated financial planning to help you navigate your way to a secure future and make intelligent decisions in areas such as investments, retirement, college planning, insurance or estate planning.
    • A diversified portfolio of select individual stocks, mutual funds, bonds and private investments, custom tailored to your individual needs, objectives, and concerns, and managed by a talented team led by Chief Investment Officer, Lewis J. Altfest, regarded by many as one of the best in wealth management.

    Pioneers in the world of fee-only wealth management – no commissions, no products to sell; therefore no conflicts of interest -- Altfest has worked hard to earn and reward the trust of our clients. Beyond the personal fulfillment of having a respected and successful practice, are the strong and lasting relationships with our family of clients.

    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

    Contact Karen Altfest

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    Office Locations:

    • 445 Park Ave.
      6th Floor
      New York, NY 10022

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