Guiding Women to Forge
Their Own Paths
Xena Financial Planning is a fiduciary, which basically means we put your best interests first. Xena FP is a fee-only advisory firm and we never sell products or receive commissions. We always operate with the utmost integrity and work hard to earn your trust.
We use various tech tools to enhance and streamline the overall client experience. We expect our clients to be relatively comfortable using video-conferencing software (i.e. Zoom) and logging in to online systems. Note that we take cybersecurity extremely seriously. Please ask for more detail on how your information is kept safe.
We treat our clients with dignity and respect and, in turn, expect the same from you. We practice deep listening and strive to honor your life experiences. We’re committed to having long-lasting, healthy relationships with all of our clients.
Above all, we encourage clients to be true to themselves. If your inner dream is to quit your job and travel the world (Danika has done just that), Iet’s find a way to make it happen! We want to have real conversations about what you want in life and would never recommend doing something that makes you miserable just for the money.
We welcome clients of all backgrounds, and strive to make financial planning more accessible to groups of people who have typically been underserved by the financial planning profession, particularly Black and Brown Americans. We are also strong advocates of the LGBTQ community and work with clients of any gender identity or sexual orientation. Within the industry, we are always seeking ways to amplify the voices of women and people of color, who continue to be woefully underrepresented in financial planning.
The firm is based in Seattle but the practice is 100% virtual.
We work with clients all over the United States to provide fee-only advice.
Danika (she/her) is our Founder and Lead Planner.
From early on, I would sit down with my dad and a stack of bills once per month. I would write out all the checks (he signed them) and then balance his checkbook. I loved being involved in the process and seeing where our family’s money went. Even more, I appreciated my dad’s willingness to “pull back the curtain” and give me a front row seat into how our budget worked. I am a firm believer in removing the stigma we have around money conversations, even with our closest family and friends.
I went on to get a BA in Mathematics but had no idea how I planned to use it. I spent roughly 15 years after college in various accounting roles, slowly working my way up to be a Controller. I loved the order and problem solving, but there was virtually no human interaction and I was increasingly bored with helping the company bottom line. Finally, in 2012, after much research and consideration, I decided to pursue the CFP® designation and change careers. At long last, in my late 30s, I found my passion; putting together the problem-solving and technical side with client relationships and interpersonal dynamics. I find the work deeply satisfying.
In 2020, I founded Xena Financial Planning. While I enjoyed the role at my prior firm, I felt called to be bold and create something from the ground up. Starting my own practice allows me to be more nimble and innovative, while specializing in a particular niche. Women are so often left out of the conversation when it comes to their finances and investing. I have many years of experience with equity compensation: going back to my husband’s years of working at Amazon.com in the early 2000s, when I first learned about RSUs and had to figure out what the heck to do with them. Since becoming a CFP®, I’ve worked with clients at many of the big tech companies and know my way around ISOs, NQSOs and ESPP.
While originally from Western New York, I’ve lived in Seattle for 20 years. Along with my husband, our chaotic household includes our two daughters plus two cats and a puppy. We’re huge travelers and are happiest when we’re planning our next overseas adventure. In 2019, we had a grand European vacation which included 6 countries in 16 days, even driving to Spain for lunch one afternoon. Current trips are on hiatus, but we also love being in the mountains (skiing, running) and throwing a frisbee.
Mariana (she/her) is our Associate Planner.
I first began my journey of becoming a financial planner at eight years old after moving to the United States, where I was simultaneously required to learn English and acclimate to a foreign culture. To be clear, I did not yet realize what I wanted to do for my career, but notably it was those earliest experiences in America that steered me in the direction of financial advocacy for independent women and minorities. Going from living in a poor Mexican border town to an upper class county along the Main Line in PA was certainly overwhelming.
While obtaining my degree in International Business at West Chester University, I started working for an independent financial advisory firm servicing high net worth clients. It was here that I first learned about financial planning and the impact of building generational wealth. I earned the Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF®) designation to better serve clients in a fiduciary capacity.
Although I enjoyed the work of helping individuals and their families, I struggled to reconcile that the focus in the industry was primarily on particular audiences of considerable wealth, and at the expense of people early in their careers and from diverse backgrounds. As a result, I’ve made accessibility and inclusivity in the financial services industry my mission — after all, money is an essential tool in our society. At Xena Financial Planning, I am excited to realize my dream of working with young professionals seeking more than stock tips, but financial advice that is tailored to their specific income and lifestyle.
I recently made the big move from Philadelphia to New York City (cue Frank Sinatra) with my partner. While we do miss our favorite breweries and hiking spots, we are having the time of our lives exploring a new place. If you have any recommendations, or happen to be visiting the city, let me know! Meanwhile, you might find me gawking at dogs in Prospect Park, or eating tacos and sipping horchata.
Professional women are busy. Believe us, we get it. The last thing anyone has time to do is research estate planning or evaluate their company’s 401(k) options. We’re here to help you sift through the details, develop actions items and then hold you accountable to them. It’s easy to get overwhelmed, so we focus on one item at a time.
In addition to helping you manage any ongoing challenges, our goal is to make all this financial stuff more accessible. No idea what whole life insurance is vs. term life insurance? Wondering what the heck an index fund is? We will break it down in
“plain English”. We don’t think there are ANY stupid questions.