THE ARGOSY TEAM

  • Alex M. Kimura – CFP®, AIF®, MBA
    Alex M. Kimura – CFP®, AIF®, MBA
    Investment Advisor Representative
Alex M. Kimura – CFP®, AIF®, MBA
Investment Advisor Representative

Alex is a co-founder of Argosy Wealth Management. Because Alex believes everyone has only this one life, he is dedicated to helping clients understand their financial options so that they can have the best life possible. For more than 20 years, Alex has been committed to helping clients make informed decisions about the complex financial world.

After working on Wall Street and in large corporations for many years, Alex was accepted to a PhD program at a top business school, with a full scholarship. Clearly this was a critical decision point in his life. Should he pursue an academic career or start serving the world with the skills he had developed? As he struggled with this question he was invited to a Zen monastery near the Japan Alps. He shared his dilemma with the Zen master, and was told to follow his heart. In his mid 30’s, he hadn’t spent much time doing that, and he wasn’t sure what it meant or how to start. The Zen master offered to teach him, and so Alex stayed at the monastery for several months and lived as a lay monk. During those months, Alex learned what it meant to follow his heart, and found that his true calling was to be an advisor to others. Even though he was the newest person at the monastery, he found many of the monks would seek him out for advice.

When he left the monastery, Alex turned down the scholarship and started a financial planning practice where he could be an advisor and share the skills he had developed on Wall Street. Because he listened to his heart, Alex sincerely loves what he does. His commitment and dedication stem from that sincerity. Alex sees himself as a partner in clarifying the complex financial options so the implications are clear.  He focuses on comprehensive planning and education before critical decisions are made and investment strategy is designed.

Alex sits on the Argosy Investment Committee and is committed to daily research of investments and alternatives for clients in an effort to meet goals, risk tolerance and investment return target objectives. He also works with the team on client services and operations management, and along with Michael Karon, provides strategic direction for the company.

Previously, Alex worked on Wall Street for Morgan Stanley & Co. in New York City.

Alex is committed to serving the financial services industry. He sat on the Board of the Los Angeles International Association of Financial Planners (now the FPA), was part of a team that designed test questions with ETS in Princeton, NJ for the CFP Board of Examiners, and taught the Pension and Retirement Benefits course to aspiring CFP’s at UCLA. He also contributed to a book on financial planning for physicians, Financial Planning for Physicians and Healthcare Professionals, edited by David Marcinko.

Industry Certifications and Registrations:

  • CFP® Certified Financial Planner
  • AIF® Accredited Investment Fiduciary
  • Previously passed the Series 7, 66

Education:

  • AB, Harvard University (Cum Laude)
  • MBA, UCLA Anderson School of Management

On a Personal Note:
Alex has been married for over 25 years. His wife works at Yahoo! and loves her work. Together they have twins, a boy and girl. They devote most weekends going to see their kids play tennis, water polo and basketball. Occasionally, they find time to go camping with the family and everyone has a great time. Every two or three years, the family likes to take an adventure trip.  Recently, for their 25th wedding anniversary, Alex and his wife took the family to Alaska.

Alex has a black belt in judo and once was the California state champion. He is also an Eagle Scout. Alex enjoys bike riding and camping and resides in Beverly Hills, CA.
Contact Alex by phone at 424-212-4951 or by email at akimura@argosywm.com

  • Marjorie White, AIF®
    Marjorie White, AIF®
    INVESTMENT ADVISORY REPRESENTATIVE| CA INSURANCE LICENSE #0B69870
Marjorie White, AIF®
INVESTMENT ADVISORY REPRESENTATIVE| CA INSURANCE LICENSE #0B69870

“Life sometimes offers difficult challenges that can have profound and purposeful outcomes. Growing up in Elkhart Indiana, I was 15 years old when my father died suddenly in an airplane accident. Just one year before that, he took out a $100,000.00 life insurance policy on his life, which in 1967 was a large sum of money. It allowed our family to continue to afford our lifestyle, our family home, and for the 3 of us children to continue on to college. This experience was the subliminal and driving force for me to eventually become a financial advisor and to know firsthand how important planning for financial security can be.” – Marjorie White

As co-founder of North Ranch Financial Group, Inc. Marjorie serves a select clientele of families, individuals, and small businesses. She joined her husband, James Kottra, in his financial planning practice and became registered as a financial advisor in 1994. She has earned the designation of Accredited Investment Fiduciary, along with her securities and advisory registrations and insurance licenses. Over the past 23 years, Marjorie and Jim have taught financial planning classes at Santa Monica College Community Services and in the Thousand Oaks area. They have conducted workshops for employees of Fortune 500 companies and continue to offer events to clients on specific financial topics.

Marjorie attended Indiana University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1976. After graduation, Marjorie spent 9 years as a counselor in the fields of mental health, addictions and social work. She later worked as an accountant for small businesses for 6 years. Her background in both counseling and accounting contributes to the unique value she brings to clients as an advisor. As an independent advisor, she worked in the Credit Unions of both Litton and Rand Corporations. This developed her skill and understanding for 401k plans and in planning with clients as they retire.

Her outside interests include running marathons, yoga, swimming, and skiing. Marjorie is currently a big sister in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program of Ventura County. She has volunteered with the Conejo Valley Relay for Life sponsored by the American Cancer Society and in the local branch of the Childhelp Foundation.

Industry Certifications and Registrations:

  • AIF® Accredited Investment Fiduciary
  • Investment Advisor Representative
  • Series 7
  • Series 63
  • Life, Health, and Long Term Care Insurance
  • Federico Avendano
    Federico Avendano
    OFFICE MANAGER | CA INSURANCE LICENSE #0G08666
Federico Avendano
OFFICE MANAGER | CA INSURANCE LICENSE #0G08666

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” –Benjamin Franklin

Federico Avendano has experienced Benjamin Franklin’s words to be true. As the son of immigrant parents, Federico has worked diligently to conquer every obstacle he has faced in his pursuit of knowledge. Federico’s drive and thirst for knowledge have been essential to his continued success in finance. Federico is a graduate of UC Santa Barbara where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Financial Mathematics and Statistics.

Since graduation, Federico has worked in the banking and financial services industries. His analytical nature and knowledge of mathematics and finance have served him well in assisting clients with meeting their financial goals. As a Registered Representative at North Ranch Financial Group, Federico’s number one goal is to provide clients with the best service possible, while also assisting them with maintaining and building wealth.

Federico is originally from the Coachella Valley, but has been a resident of Santa Barbara and Ventura County for over ten years. Federico’s wife, Elizabeth is a lifelong resident of Ventura County and a fellow graduate of UC Santa Barbara. In their spare time Federico and Elizabeth enjoy the company of their daughter Violeta, extended family and friends. The Avendano family also likes to attend and volunteer at their church.

Securities Registrations & Insurance Licenses:

  • Series 6
  • Series 63
  • Life, Health, and Long Term Care Insurance
  • Michael Karon –  CFP®, AIF®, MBA
    Michael Karon – CFP®, AIF®, MBA
    Investment Advisor Representative
Michael Karon – CFP®, AIF®, MBA
Investment Advisor Representative

Michael is a co-founder of Argosy Wealth Management.

Growing up in a highly educated, but financially unsophisticated family, Michael experienced firsthand how the lack of access to high quality tools, advice and information made achieving and maintaining financial independence very difficult.  As a graduate student during the waning years of the Reagan administration and in the years following, he set about learning as much as possible about the theory and practice of financial decision making, all with the long term goal of creating a better way to level the playing field.

His entire career has been focused on sound decision-making as the key to success. It is through this focus that Michael has been able to pursue for his clients results tied directly to their specific needs and goals. He focuses on customized financial planning first in order to gain the knowledge to help clients make the best decisions about investments and proper portfolio management. Michael and the team at Argosy Wealth Management are tireless advocates for their clients never losing sight of goals, risk tolerance and investment return target objectives.

Michael sits on the Argosy Investment Committee that conducts daily research and evaluation of investments in order to maintain client portfolio objectives. He also coaches the operations team on strategies for providing consistent and outstanding client service, and along with Alex Kimura, provides strategic direction for the company.

Prior to Argosy Wealth Management, Michael spent more than 20 years as a manager and executive at both large and small technology companies from start-ups to public companies.

Industry Certifications and Registrations:

  • CFP® Certified Financial Planner
  • AIF® Accredited Investment Fiduciary
  • Previously passed the Series 7, 66

Education:

  • BA in Chinese, UCLA
  • MBA in Finance, UCLA Anderson School of Management

On a Personal Note:

Michael and his family are passionate about community service. He has devoted more than 40 years as a volunteer with American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) and serves as the Commissioner for over 2000 players and their families helping to make sure all kids have a positive and encouraging youth sports experience.  He also mentors UCLA students.

He has been married for over 30 years, his wife works at UCLA where they met as college freshmen, and they have 2 children. Michael’s wife volunteers on-campus to bring arts programs to economically disadvantaged kids and to help select the next generation of UCLA students. Their daughter is a graduate of UC Santa Cruz, lives in Washington D.C. and works on keeping inner city kids in school. Their son is a graduate student in public health at UNC Chapel Hill and founded a student organization to promote gender equality.

Michael is a serious student of literary fiction and on an on-going mission to discover perfect wine and food pairings. He resides in Los Angeles.

Contact Michael by phone at 424-212-4952 or by email at mkaron@argosywm.com

  • Christina Hung
    Christina Hung
    Registered Representative
Christina Hung
Registered Representative

Before Christina even took her first step, Christina’s Taiwanese tiger mom had already mapped out Christina’s life, of course. Christina was going to (and she did) study hard, become a concert pianist, go to a good college, get a degree in engineering, and land a good and stable job. It wasn’t until Christina was studying for her M.B.A at the UCLA Anderson School of Management that she dared to explore life on her own, apart from her mom’s life plan for her. Christina soon discovered an interest in the financial markets, specifically in advising individuals and families around their personal wealth.

Today Christina is a Client Relationship Manager with Argosy Wealth Management. She is passionate about client service and most enjoys advising clients and helping them achieve their financial objectives. Previously, Christina worked for Goldman Sachs, & Co. as a Private Wealth Advisor in Los Angeles.

Christina has a Bachelor in Science degree in Computer Science from UCLA and an M.B.A. in Finance from the UCLA Anderson School of Management. She previously passed the Series 7 Securities Registrations. Christina also speaks Mandarin Chinese and some Spanish.

Christina is committed to serving the local community. She has been a Board Director of the Friends of Greystone, helping raise funds to restore the historic Doheny Greystone Estate in Beverly Hills. She is also on the Board of Directors for the Asian Business Association, Los Angeles, an organization that provides resources for small businesses and encourages networking through Asian American professionals in the greater Los Angeles area.

Christina is recently married and resides in Los Angeles with her husband. She spends her free time trying to be a better home cook, hiking, and running outdoors. When she and her husband are not eating a home-cooked meal, you’ll most likely find them at a sushi restaurant or in the Taco Bell drive-thru.

  • Jinky Knoob
    Jinky Knoob
    Operations Administrative Associate
Jinky Knoob
Operations Administrative Associate

“Whatever Your Mind Can Conceive and Believe, It Can Achieve.”– Napoleon Hill.

This Napoleon Hill quote has been a constant source of inspiration for Jinky. Using this wisdom as a guide, she has found the confidence and strength to accomplish so many goals in so many different areas of her life.

Originally from Philippines, Jinky came to the United States when she was 13 years old. As a child, her dream was to be a teacher. She accomplished that goal in her 20’s and felt a great sense of satisfaction and fulfillment as an educator.

After teaching for several years, she attended school to become a Medical Assistant. But shortly thereafter, she was introduced to opportunities in the financial world and was enticed by the possibilities…the possibilities of educating others and helping families prepare for their future.

Jinky soon found herself working full time at a financial firm. At the same time, she attended school at night and on weekends to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management. And just to prove that she’s an incredibly hard worker, she accomplished all of this while raising her son, Richie!

Now with fifteen years of experience in the financial business, Jinky continues to achieve her goals. She is thrilled to be part of the Argosy team.

Outside of the working world, Jinky is very active and enjoys hiking, rock climbing, wakeboarding, snowboarding, yoga, and travel. She is very close to her large extended family and currently resides in Glendale.

  • James Kottra, AIF®, CRC®
    James Kottra, AIF®, CRC®
    INVESTMENT ADVISORY REPRESENTATIVE | CA INSURANCE LICENSE #0A14268
James Kottra, AIF®, CRC®
INVESTMENT ADVISORY REPRESENTATIVE | CA INSURANCE LICENSE #0A14268

“Creativity, learning, adding value and freedom to peoples’ lives is the inspiration for my work. I have the opportunity to design innovative solutions for clients and their families that can make a difference in their future. The most important part of planning is discovering all the issues to be resolved. The rest is details.” – James Kottra

As president and co-founder of North Ranch Financial Group Inc., James Kottra has over 26 years of experience as a financial advisor and has earned the designations of Accredited Investment Fiduciary® and Certified Retirement Counselor®.

After transitioning from a career in design and advertising, Jim entered the financial services field in 1988. His wife, Marjorie White, joined their financial planning practice in 1993. Together they serve a select clientele of families, individuals, and local business owners.

Jim attended the Illinois Institute of Technology on a National Merit Scholarship and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Design. Jim has conducted financial planning workshops for employees of Fortune 500 companies and spent eight years teaching financial planning classes at Santa Monica College Community Services.

Jim works closely with each individual to design, implement and manage a financial plan constructed to help meet their specific objectives.

Jim volunteers with Trout in The Classroom, an educational program designed to teach young students about ecology, biology and the history of trout and other aquatic life. In his spare time, Jim enjoys music, golf, photography, and fly-fishing.

Industry Certifications and Registrations:

  • AIF® Accredited Investment Fiduciary
  • CRC® Certified Retirement Counselor
  • Investment Advisor Representative
  • Series 6
  • Series 63
  • Series 7
  • Series 24
  • Series 26
  • Series 51
  • Life, Health, and Long Term Care Insurance
  • Donna M. Hicko
    Donna M. Hicko
    Operations and Compliance Manager
Donna M. Hicko
Operations and Compliance Manager

Donna Hicko is Argosy’s Operations and Compliance Manager. She is a seasoned financial manager with over 25 years of experience in the brokerage and financial services industry in areas that include management, trading, financial sales, and compliance.

Donna seeks to provide a high level of client service and management and truly enjoys working with clients and staff alike. Over her career, she has strived to foster a sense of integrity and promote an inclusive work environment amongst the teams she manages.  One of Donna’s most memorable times was when she grew a small department of just 3 associates at a financial services firm to a very successful and thriving workplace of 16 associates. Throughout her time there, she cherished the positive feedback that she received from both clients and team members. She still remembers an initially frustrated client who became one of Donna’s greatest advocates. He wrote a letter to the Regional Manager speaking of his positive experience, one that Donna kept for years. Donna brings that same passion to serve clients and support her team members at Argosy and has made it her home.

Born on the East Coast, Donna moved to Southern California when she was in her late twenties.  She still relates to the ‘east coast pace.’ She lives with her husband, Vito, her mom, and her fur family in the Pacific Palisades. Her four-legged family includes 3 dogs and a cat. “It’s not a home without the sound of four-legged friends charging the front door when I walk in.”  In her downtime, Donna enjoys reading and watching movies.

Industry Certifications and Registrations:
Previously passed the following:

  • AIF® Accredited Investment Fiduciary
  • Investment Advisor Representative
  • Series 7
  • Series 8
  • Series 24
  • Series 31
  • Series 63
  • Series 66
  • Series 99
  • Life, Health, and Long Term Care Insurance
  • Kyle Ray, CFP®
    Kyle Ray, CFP®
    Investment Advisor Representative
Kyle Ray, CFP®
Investment Advisor Representative

Kyle spent his formative years growing up in Louisville, Kentucky. While in school, Kyle always loved studying, especially math and art. Kyle is also a true “people-person” and believes in treating people the way they would like to be treated.

Leading up to high school, his family moved to La Canada, CA for a job opportunity and to take advantage of education at La Canada High School, a distinguished California school.  This move to Los Angeles in part helped Kyle learn about the wonderful diversification of the city.

Kyle has always been fascinated with how people live around the world. While attending San Diego State, Kyle earned a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and minored in Latin American Studies. Upon, graduating, Kyle embarked on a backpacking expedition through Western Europe. Later, he earned a Master of Arts in Latin American Studies with an emphasis on the political economy of the region.

During his time in graduate school, Kyle participated in an internship at a large national investment firm, which intrigued him of the possibility of working in the finance industry. He noticed that the majority of the focus of the advisors and the firm itself was a near complete focus on sales growth. He noticed that this kept good intentioned advisors from spending time and energy on solving client problems. Also, during his graduate studies, Kyle met a fellow student and future love of his life from Brazil. The two were later married and have been together for nearly 20 years and are raising three daughters. This also began a love affair with travel to Brazil. The two have travelled to Brazil over twenty-five times. Along the way, they have travelled extensively to Western Europe, throughout much of the US, and to Tokyo and Sapporo, Japan.

Upon graduation, Kyle was offered a position at another national investment firm where he helped individuals and families meet their financial goals. Over his eight years at this firm, Kyle moved up the ranks to a management position, which he enjoyed, but felt his calling was helping clients achieve their goals. He then worked the next nearly seven years developing a financial planning-based practice at a major financial company. He was again struck by the focus on sales growth which contributed to only top clients getting the attention they deserved, expected and were paying for. It was during this time that Kyle decided that he wanted to stay on the cutting edge of advisors and earned his (CFP®) Certified Financial Planner™ designation, which he has held since 2010.  Concurrently, Kyle’s wife graduated with a PhD and was offered a position as a professor at UCLA.

Part of being a CFP® is maintaining a commitment to the highest levels of integrity and always applying the fiduciary standard to every client interaction.  The fiduciary standard requires an advisor to always put the clients’ interests first. It sounds like a basic assumption when working with an advisor but is poorly applied across the financial industry. Kyle became acutely aware of the restrictions and conflicts of interest that exist in helping his clients even in the most well intentioned of brokerage firms. He decided that he would move to an independent advisory firm which also follows the fiduciary rule.

Kyle began a search in earnest to find an independent firm that puts the needs of the client first and is not a sales-based culture. This is what brought Kyle to Argosy Wealth Management. The first principles of Argosy are based in truly understanding the needs and wants of the clients and offering advice that takes into account all of the known variables and factors in potential risks for the plan. Argosy focuses on solving client problems, not how to dazzle prospective clients. The Argosy mantra is to take the long view and treat clients like they were family and connected in a way that contribute to them being life-long clients, helping them with the issues that affect today and tomorrow.

Investment advisory services offered through Argosy Wealth Management dba North Ranch Financial Group, an SEC-registered investment adviser.
Custody and other brokerage services provided to clients of Argosy Wealth Management dba North Ranch Financial Group are offered by Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE/SIPC.