How to Balance Your Future and Present Financial Needs for Fulfillment

With Dr. Michael Kothakota | CEO of WolfBridge Wealth | Researcher


Dr. Michael Kothakota has been a financial planning practitioner for over 18 years. He currently serves as CEO of WolfBridge Wealth, a Registered Investment Advisor firm and is the former Head of Research at CFP Board. As a researcher and innovator, he operates and conducts research at the intersection of artificial intelligence and the psychology of financial planning. Dr. Kothakota has consulted for financial technology firms and has developed behavioural models to assist with the delivery of financial planning services via technology platforms. He is an experienced instructor and teaches at Columbia University. Dr. Kothakota received his Master’s in Predictive Analytics from Northwestern University and his Ph.D. in Personal Financial Planning from Kansas State University.

Why You Should Listen:

In this episode, we’re sharing practical wisdom about your finances. First, we’ll explore why pausing and thinking about your money is vital, ensuring it matches what truly matters to you, not what society says should matter. Then, we’ll show you how to make money a useful tool in your life, not just talk about it. You’ll discover why quick tips and one-size-fits-all money advice often don’t work and how to make financial advice fit your unique situation. We’ll also discuss why chasing what’s “financially perfect” doesn’t always lead to what’s best for you. Plus, we’ll emphasize the importance of treating financial research seriously in the planning profession. Lastly, we’ll explain why those “standard rules of thumb” regarding money don’t fit everyone’s life.


  • Aligning Finances with Your Goals
    • Learn why aligning your financial life with your genuine goals is crucial, not society’s expectations.
  • Money as a Practical Tool
    • Discover how to use money as a practical tool to achieve your dreams.
  • Personalizing Financial Advice
    • Navigate the pitfalls of one-size-fits-all financial advice and make it work for you.
  • Balancing Optimization with Values
    • Find out why financial optimization doesn’t always align with what’s best for you personally.
  • Leveraging Financial Research
    • Explore how research can enhance financial planning and decision-making.
  • Beyond General Rules of Thumb
    • Those “standard rules of thumb” regarding money don’t fit everyone’s life.


“Sometimes, what’s financially optimal isn’t always what’s best or right.” Dr. Kothakota



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