Tim Kochis

Founding Partner of Aspiriant, Former Partner of Aspiriant

Meet Tim

What do you enjoy most about wealth management?

Assisting clients to understand and then achieve their goals.

What do you love most about being part of Aspiriant?

The association with and ability to mentor great professional talent.

What professional accomplishments are you most proud of?

My service on numerous professional boards – CFP®, FPSB, Foundation for Financial Planning. Founding and teaching at the UC Berkeley Personal Financial Planning Program. The Tim Kochis Teaching Excellence Award. Publishing two books and many articles. Receiving the inaugural Schwab Impact Award, FPA's P. Kemp Fain Award and the inaugural Insider's Forum Leadership Award. Founding Aspiriant and one of its predecessor firms, building on my prior responsibilities in banking with Bank of America and accounting with Deloitte.

What qualities of yours make you best suited to what you do?

An appetite and talent for leadership and a genuine interest in personal connection with others that helps them improve their lives through my efforts.

How should people think about their wealth?

Only as a means to a variety of ends, whether personal consumption, family benefit, or philanthropy.

What do you love to do outside of work?

Travel, make and appreciate art, read, write.


Having previously served as Aspiriant’s CEO and then as Chairman of its Board, Tim remains a principal and is currently devoting efforts to civic and philanthropic activities and to professional developments worldwide, particularly in rapidly growing markets in Asia.

He has more than 40 years of experience in the personal financial and investment planning profession. He has advised a select group of corporate executives, professionals, and business owners throughout the United States and overseas since 1973. Before founding Kochis Fitz, a predecessor firm to Aspiriant, in 1991, he was National Director of Personal Financial Planning for Deloitte & Touche (1985 – 1991) and before that for Bank of America (1981 – 1985).

Tim has had a tremendous influence on the development of the planning profession through his service in professional and educational organizations. In 2010, the Financial Planning Association conferred on him its most prestigious recognition, the P. Kemp Fain Award for exceptional career-long contributions to the financial planning profession. In 2006, he was awarded the inaugural Charles R. Schwab Impact Award for outstanding individual leadership in the independent advisory profession and the University of California Berkeley Business School Extension has created an annual award for teaching excellence in his name. In 2013, Tim was awarded the inaugural Insiders’ Forum Leadership Award and was inducted into the Estate Planning Hall of Fame. In 2007, Barron’s ranked him fifth in its inaugural listing of the “Top 100 Independent Advisors” in the U.S., and the San Francisco Business Times twice ranked him first among the top 25 independent Wealth Managers, and for the second time, Financial Planning Magazine has listed him as one of his profession’s “Movers and Shakers”.

    His current professional activities include:

  • Member of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board.
  • Member, Emeritus, of the Advisory Board of CCH Financial and Estate Planning Reporter.
  • Member of the San Francisco Estate Planning Council.
  • Director (Hon.) of the Japanese Academic Society for Financial Planning.
    Past responsibilities have included:

  • Chair of the Board of Directors of the Financial Planning Standards Board, the international CFP® certification authority.
  • Chair of the Board of Governors of the Foundation for Financial Planning.
  • Chair of the International CFP® (Certified Financial Planner) Council.
  • President of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, the US CFP® certification authority.
  • Chair of the Board of Examiners of the CFP® Board.

As chair of the Board of Examiners, Tim was responsible for supervising the creation of the examination now used throughout the profession to qualify CFP® candidates. In addition, he was a co-founder of the Personal Financial Planning Program at University of California-Berkeley, one of the first accredited financial planning programs in the United States, where he taught for eighteen years. Tim now serves as the Honorary Chair of its Advisory Board.

Tim has long been acknowledged as one of the key leaders of his profession. He was named Financial Planner of the Year in 1987 by the San Francisco chapter of Financial Planning Association (FPA, formerly known as the IAFP). He has been included in Worth Magazine’s list of the country’s Best Financial Advisers each year since the list was initially published in 1994. Tim edited, and along with his colleagues at Kochis Fitz, co-authored the book, Wealth Management, A Concise Guide to Financial Planning and Investment Management for Wealthy Clients (now in its second edition, 2006). Tim is also the author of the book Managing Concentrated Stock Wealth: An Adviser’s Guide to Building Customized Solutions (June 2005). He is frequently quoted in the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and many other publications and is a sought-after speaker for financial and investment forums throughout the world.

    Tim sits on the Board of Trustees of Schwab Strategic Trust (the Schwab ETF business unit) and his current civic involvements include:

  • Member of the Board of Trustees of the University of San Francisco
  • Board of Directors of the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco (Chair of the Investment Committee)
  • Member of the Board of Directors of The Asia Foundation
  • Member of the Board of Directors of The YMCA of San Francisco

Tim earned a BA in Philosophy from Marquette University (1968), a JD degree from the University of Michigan (1973), and an MBA from the University of Chicago (1979). Tim served in the US Army from 1969 to 1971 including a tour of duty in Vietnam where he received a Purple Heart for wounds received in action.


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