Financial Planning for the startup community.
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Our Typical Clients

We help ambitious startup folks make smart, life-changing financial choices.

Our clients are:

- Founders & early employees anticipating acquisition, IPO, or other liquidity event
- Professionals with stock options & equity comp complexity
- From all walks of life & are mostly 30 - 45 years old

People come to us when they are experiencing equity compensation complexity and want to make informed decisions to grow their wealth, or when they have built a pool of assets but do not have the time or interest to focus on their financial health.


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Financial Planning

Thinking of your financial future should make you feel optimistic, confident, and in control. That’s why we start with a clear-eyed view of each client's current standing, and then work to clear the path toward their vision of the future.

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Investment Management

We provide each client the building blocks to meet short-term commitments and retain flexibility for new opportunities while taking advantage of market returns to reach mid- and long-term goals.

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Tax Planning & Return Prep

We solve client's tax needs by completing returns and running tax projections to efficiently identify opportunities to boost after-tax wealth over time.

Fee Only Fiduciaries

Clients get our full-service team for a simple annual retainer of $7,600, which includes the first $750,000 of assets under management (AUM). Once AUM exceeds this amount, we charge the following fee schedule:

The annual asset management fee is determined by the following schedule:
$0 – $750,000: 0%
$750,001 – $2,500,000: 0.80%
$2,500,001 – $10,000,000: 0.75%
$10,000,001 – $20,000,000: 0.55%
$20,000,001 and above: 0.45%

We take your success personally. That means we offer our services on an independent and fee-only basis, putting your needs first. We’ll never choose a fund to claim a commission, because we don’t take commissions. We have nothing to sell you but guidance that is aligned with your vision for the future.

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About Us

Mike Powsner

Mike Powsner



Michael Powsner is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Financial Planner™, and a Personal Financial Specialist (PFS). He founded Upstart Wealth Management in 2014 to help Silicon Valley founders and employees with the tax and financial planning decisions that come from a concentrated position in the company they work for. Prior to Upstart, Mike learned his craft during a decade at some of the top public accounting and wealth management firms.

Youxi Liu

Youxi Liu


Director of Tax & Financial Planner

Youxi Liu is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Financial Planner™, and a Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) with nearly a decade of experience in the wealth management industry. Her global background and entrepreneurial mindset feed her passion to bring financial planning to the modern nomad - the new generation of professionals who transplant themselves for opportunity and experiences. 

Zach Bennedsen

Zach Bennedsen


Financial Planner & Project Manager

Zach has honed his craft at advisory firms big and small, and joins Upstart to add his financial planning and project management skills to the team. Zach is just as happy coaching a client through a complex financial decision as he is designing schema to help an organization run more efficiently.

Russell Kroeger

Russell Kroeger



Russell’s unique mastery of tax and equity compensation is tightly integrated with his background in the financial life planning movement. He developed his skillsets working with several high-end financial planning firms and is passionate about helping people make informed decisions by understanding the trade-offs implicit in life’s decisions.

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