Elissa Buie, CFP® earned an MBA from The University of Maryland and a B.S. in Commerce from The University of Virginia. She has been practicing financial planning since 1983.

Elissa sits on the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for Financial Planning and is a past Chair of the Foundation. She is also a past Chair of the Financial Planning Association (US) and is a Dean for the FPA’s Residency Program. Elissa currently serves on the Schwab Advisor Services Advisory Board where she shares ideas and insights to help Schwab develop high-level strategies and enhance their services.

Elissa has been named as a top advisor by Worth and Washingtonianmagazines and by Bloomberg Wealth Manager and was named to Financial Times Top 100 Women Financial Advisers list in 2014. In 2015, Elissa was listed on InvestmentNews’ Women to Watch list. Elissa has appeared on The Today Show, CNBC, CNNfn, NBC News and McLaughlin One-on-One. She has been quoted in national media including The Washington PostTime and Businessweek magazines.

Elissa’s article, “To Feel . . . Like a CFP”, was published in July 2000 in The Journal of Financial Planning (JFP). Her article, co-authored with Dr. Dave Yeske, CFP, “Policy-Based Financial Planning Provides Touchstone in a Turbulent World”, was published in the July 2006 issue of the JFP, where their most recent collaboration, “Evidence-Based Financial Planning: To Learn . . . Like a CFP®” also appeared in November, 2011. Elissa contributed 17 chapters to the CFP Board’s first-of-its-kind Financial Planning Competency Handbook, published by John Wiley & Sons.

In October 2013, Elissa was awarded the prestigious P. Kemp Fain, Jr. Award, the Financial Planning profession’s lifetime achievement award.

Elissa’s significant role in merging the Institute of Certified Financial Planners (ICFP) and the International Association for Financial Planning (IAFP) to form the Financial Planning Association, her contributions as a thought leader to the advancement of the profession through her writing, presenting, and teaching, and her contributions to society and the profession through her work at the Foundation for Financial Planning were highlighted as she received the award. In 2017, Elissa was awarded the Lifetime Achievement award from the Financial Planning Association’s National Capital Area chapter.

Elissa holds an appointment as Distinguished Adjunct Professor in Golden Gate University’s Ageno School of Business, where she and Dave co-teach the capstone Cases in Financial Planning course.

Current Update: Elissa is enjoying spending more time in San Francisco, where the weather is basically always nice. She and Dave are embarking on downsizing their Virginia home. They have a big vacation planned to Africa this summer, where they will visit Tanzania to watch the wildebeest migration, Zanzibar for a spice tour and South Africa … just because. And Elissa, at the risk of sounding old, is enjoying watching the life transitions of all the young people in her and Dave’s life: babies and job searches and new homes and engagements and weddings.


Note on methodology: The Washingtonian developed its list by surveying hundreds of experts, asking “Whom would you trust with your own money?” The magazine then followed up the recommendations with their own research. Those on the list received the most recommendations. Elissa was one of 77 financial planners named.