Karen Caplan Altfest, Ph.D., CFP, is a Principal Advisor at Altfest Personal Wealth Management. She helps many of the firm’s clients on a variety of investment and financial planning issues.
Karen is a former President and Chairperson of the New York Chapter of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and a former Chairperson of the Northeast Region of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA).
Karen is frequently a speaker on the subject of women and money and conducts educational seminars for recent widows and people looking to retire. She is often interviewed by the national media. Her Financially Savvy Woman™ programs, including the Women’s Financial $pa™, are popular with clients.
In 2017, Forbes named Karen Altfest to their inaugural list of "America's Top 200 Women Advisors." Investment News identified Karen as one of the "Top 20 Most Influential Women to Watch" in 2015, and Financial Times placed Karen on their list of "Top 100 Women Financial Advisors" in 2014. Previously, InvestmentNews recognized her with their Community Leadership Award, and Worth magazine named Karen one of the "Best Financial Advisers" in the United States. She has been named one of the "120 Best Financial Advisers" by Medical Economics, and selected as "Planner of the Month" and one of "100 Top Advisors" by Mutual Funds magazine. In 2013, Financial Planning magazine honored Karen in a cover story with the Lifetime Achievement Influencer Award, as an advisor who over the course of her career, has empowered women and pushed the financial planning industry to higher levels. Wealth Manager named Karen one of the "50 Distinguished Women in Wealth Management" in 2008 and 2009.
Karen’s most recent book, Keeping Clients for Life, was published by John Wiley & Sons in 2001. An earlier book, Lew Altfest Answers Almost All Your Questions About Money, which she co-wrote, was published by McGraw-Hill and was named one of the best financial planning books by Money magazine.
She is also listed in "Who’s Who of American Women" and in 2007 was awarded the Thornton Award by the Ph.D. Alumni Association of the Graduate Center of the City University of New York in recognition of her skills in combining the business world with that of academia.
Karen received her Ph.D. in history from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She also holds M.A. and B.A. degrees from Hunter College, is a graduate of McGill University in Montreal, and holds the CFP® designation. She is a member of the Financial Women’s Association and is on the board of directors of Temple Shaaray Tefila in Manhattan. Karen is co-chair of the Alumni Professional Development Task Force of the Graduate Center of CUNY, serves on the CUNY Graduate Center Foundation Board, sits on McGill’s Alumni Board of New York, and is a founder and former chair of the New York Common Pantry. She is also the president of her co-op Board.
Karen was the co-Director of the Financial Planning and Investments Program at The New School in New York City and the Coordinator of the Certified Financial Planner™ program, a professional program for financial planners, which she originated at Pace University.
Recognition of Our Principals
America’s Top Next-Generation Wealth Advisors
Forbes – Andrew Altfest, 2017
America’s Top 200 Women Advisors
Forbes – Karen Altfest, 2017
Top 1,200 Financial Advisors in the Country
Barron’s – Lew Altfest, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors in the Nation
Barron’s – Lew Altfest, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
New York SmartCEO Family Business Award
SmartCEO - Karen Altfest, 2016
Top 20 Most Influential Women to Watch
InvestmentNews - Karen Altfest, 2015
Top 100 Women Financial Advisors
Financial Times – Karen Altfest, 2014
Advisor Hall of Fame Inductee
Research Magazine - Lew Altfest, 2014
The Influencers - Lifetime Achievement Award
Financial Planning magazine - Lew and Karen Altfest, 2013
NAPFA's 30 Most Influential
NAPFA (The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors) Lew Altfest, 2013
InvestmentNews and Invest in Others Charitable Foundation Community Leadership Award - Karen Altfest, 2012
Best Financial Advisors for Dentists
Dental Practice Report – Lew Altfest, 2011, 2012, 2013
150 Best Financial Advisors for Doctors
Medical Economics – Lew Altfest, 1998-2013
One of the “financial planning profession’s most respected veterans.”
Money magazine – Lew Altfest, 2009
The 50 Distinguished Women in Wealth Management
"One of the most prominent female wealth managers in the business"
Wealth Manager* magazine – Karen C. Altfest, 2008-2009
Recognition for Altfest Personal Wealth ManagementSM
300 Top Registered Investment Advisors in the Nation
Financial Times, 2014, 2015, 2017
Top 10 Rated Wealth Advisors in New York, NY
AdvisoryHQ, 2016, 2017
Leading Registered Investment Advisors in the US
Financial Advisor magazine 2006-2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017
Best Practices Award
Due Diligence/Research Manager All-Star Team Award
Financial Advisor magazine 2012, 2013
Top 150 Wealth Managers in the Nation
AdvisorOne* magazine 2011, 2012
Bloomberg's Top 300 Wealth Managers in the Country
Bloomberg Wealth Manager* 2003-2008, 2010