Karen O'Brien


trueNorth Wealth Advisors

Financial Advisor

Karen O'Brien


trueNorth Wealth Advisors

Financial Advisor

As a fee-only financial planner, my focus is to offer unbiased financial advice to help you achieve your life goals. - Karen O'Brien, CFP®, CPA

(206) 652-4314

Fee-Only financial planner located in Seattle, WA, serving clients locally and across the country

Karen O'Brien is a Seattle, WA fee-only financial planner. trueNorth Wealth Advisors 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 O'Brien is never paid a commission of any kind, and has a legal obligation to provide unbiased and trustworthy financial advice.
Karen O’Brien, CPA, CFP®
Karen O'Brien co-founded trueNorth Financial Services, LLC, in 2001 after a twenty-year career in corporate accounting.  She is a Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner as well as a Certified Public Accountant.  Karen leads the firm’s financial planning practice, and is focused on providing clients with understandable and timely advice.
She has been active in professional organizations throughout her career, and has close ties to the region’s accounting community.  She is a charter member and former president of the Bellevue chapter of the American Society of Women Accountants (AWSA).  In 1999, she received the chapter’s “Woman of Achievement” award which honored her as an outstanding example of the qualities and standards set by the organization.
Licenses & Registrations
Certified Public Accountant – Washington State
Bachelor of Science in Accounting – City University
Post Graduate Classes in Taxation – Golden Gate University
College for Financial Planning – CFP® education program
Fundamentals of Financial Life Planning Training – Money Quotient™
Professional Affiliations
National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA®)
American Society of Woman Accountants (ASWA)
Leadership Roles
2010-2012 Treasurer, Women’s University Club, Seattle
2006-2008 President Advisory Board, Bellevue Chapter of ASWA
1996-1997 President, Bellevue Chapter ASWA
1992-1996 Board of Directors, Bellevue Chapter of ASWA
Speaking Experience
2012 American Society of Women Accountants NW Regional Conference - Financial Touchstones for Women
2009 University Presbyterian Financial Counseling Ministry - What is Comprehensive Financial Planning?
2007 Seattle University Department of Accounting & Seattle Chapter of American Society of Women Accountants (ASWA) - Fees: Mutual Funds, Accounts and Advisory
Articles Published
National Association of Personal Financial Advisors Planning Perspective, Sep/Oct 2011: Social Security’s Online Benefits Estimating Tool.

Karen O'Brien 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
Welcome to trueNorth. Our goal is to be your financial partner, and to help you align your financial decisions and resources with your values and the life goals that are most important to you – your personal trueNorth.

We’re a good fit for people who are serious about developing a comprehensive financial plan, and who desire professional management of their investment portfolio. 

We are a fee-only firm -- that’s fundamental. We don’t think it makes sense for someone to trust their financial decisions with an advisor who is subject to the conflicts of interest that commissions or referral fees can generate.

Financial Planning
We have developed a financial planning process that is collaborative, detailed, and systematic. People commonly come to us feeling tremendous uncertainty about their financial future; by the time they’ve worked with us through the financial planning process, they have a better understanding of exactly what needs to be done and more importantly, understand why.

Investment Management
As investment advisors, we take on the management of our clients’ nest eggs. Our portfolio management process is as disciplined as our planning process, and provides the same benefits: peace of mind, clarity in the face of uncertainty, and a strategy designed to get each client where they, in particular, want to go.

Certified Financial Planner™Professionals
As a team of Certified Financial Planner™ professionals, we’re strongly positioned to extend the benefits of a team approach as well as the independence and objectivity of an advisor-owned firm.

We are located in the heart of downtown Seattle and work primarily with clients in Washington State.

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)
    Karen O'Brien is a NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor

    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.

  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
    Karen O'Brien 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.

  • Dimensional Funds
    trueNorth Wealth Advisors has access to Dimensional Funds

    The Dimensional approach focuses on academic research that isolates the factors that tend to outperform the broad market over long time periods and the risk characteristics that can be eliminated from a portfolio. While indexes are simply measures of an asset class, DFA funds aim to efficiently capture the excess returns of an asset class without taking uncompensated risk—and at a low cost.

  • Financial Planning Association
    Karen O'Brien is a member of The Financial Planning Association® (FPA®)

    FPA® is the largest membership organization for CFP® professionals in the U.S. and supports high standards of professional competence, ethical conduct, and clear, complete disclosure when serving clients.

Contact Karen O'Brien

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Office Locations:

  • 1200 Fifth Avenue
    Suite 1810
    Seattle, WA 98101

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