Deborah Fox Senior Wealth Advisor & Founder
Deborah Fox, a nationally recognized financial advisor that has been in practice for over 30 years, founded Essential Planning Services, LLC to provide clients with unbiased, timely and holistic financial planning and wealth management services. She is known for creating the firm’s unique Integrated Financial Planning™ approach, which is tailored to deliver a highly effective and high-touch planning experience to the firm’s clients.
Deborah is also the founder of Fox College Funding LLC, (www.FoxCollegeFunding.com) our specialty planning company that assists parents with a college-bound high school student in reducing their out-of-pocket costs for college. Deborah and her team have used the proprietary planning process she developed over the past twenty years to help thousands of families pay significantly less for college.
Deborah is often sought out to train and coach other financial professionals on how to organize and run a successful financial advisory firm. She has a passion for helping others succeed. In addition, she regularly provides continuing education for professional groups such as the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA).
Deborah is a native Californian and graduated college from the University of CA Santa Barbara with a degree in Aquatic Biology. When she determined that the day-to-day work of her first job in fish farming was not well suited to her, a friend encouraged her to pursue a career in financial planning to leverage her analytical, math, problem-solving and people skills. Building her own wealth management and financial planning firm ended up being the perfect fit for her. EPS provides Deborah with purposeful work she is passionate about.
Deborah is always grateful for the success that has come her way and believes it is important to give back to the community. She devotes a significant amount of time each year doing pro bono work with both adults and children and speaking to various groups.
Outside of work, Deborah enjoys spending time with family and friends, being surrounded by beautiful nature, traveling, hiking, body surfing, working out, sharing a great meal and reading.
Deborah has been recognized by the industry by being placed on the cover of Financial Planning magazine and is regularly interviewed and quoted by publications such as the Wall Street Journal, Fortune, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, Forbes, Money, Fox News, Kiplinger’s, Financial Advisor, Investment News and other industry publications. Deborah is regularly asked to present at FPA, AICPA and other industry conferences.
Andrew Hoffarth, CFP® Wealth Advisor
Andrew joined Essential Planners in 2010 as a summer intern. He quickly began learning the firm’s core philosophies and holistic planning processes and three months later accepted a permanent role with the company. It was here Andrew further developed his technical financial planning skills working side-by-side with Deborah.
Andrew now provides the firm’s clientele with highly personalized wealth planning services in his current role as a Financial Advisor. Additionally, he is passionate about financial education and multigenerational planning He has taken the lead role in working with the children and grandchildren of our firm’s clients by providing guidance and planning advice in a variety of areas.
Andrew is highly experienced in modeling various financial scenarios for clients and is in charge of working with the firm’s sophisticated financial planning software. He often serves as the point person for handling our clients’ needs and implementing the agreed-upon investment trades for managed client accounts.
He earned his B.S. in Business Administration (Finance) and his Certificate in Personal Financial Planning at San Diego State University. He is also a Certified Financial Planner™ professional.
Andrew is originally from the Los Angeles, CA area and enjoys spending time outdoors hiking with his wife, Cristina and dog, Watson. Andrew has a passion for sports and loves participating in athletic activities, traveling, cooking and working on home improvement projects.
Michelle Hewitt Client Relationship Manager
Michelle has seven years of experience in this position. She is typically the friendly voice that answers the phone and is first in line to handle clients’ non-planning needs. She is passionate about keeping the firm organized and making sure the firm’s daily workflow keeps moving forward to completion. We have never met anyone else who gets so excited about completing a workflow step! Michelle pays attention to the details and keeps our team on track.
Michelle is a vivacious person who looks for the good in life. She constantly looks for ways to improve both as a person and professional. She is also committed to continually giving back to the community. She has volunteered for the past five years at Feeding America in San Diego and supports the Soroptimist International Clubs of Poway and North San Diego, which provide transitional housing and other programs to support women and girls.
Michelle and her husband, Craig have two children, Selena and Jacob. The whole family loves animals and have added rescued animals to their clan: four dogs, three furry cats, and two birds. Each of them truly treasures their family time together. They enjoy taking road trips together, Tuesday movie nights, cooking, and being outdoors.