Julie Bucaro, CFP®, CTFA

Owner, Wealth Manager, & Director of Client Experience

What is the one thing you wish every person knew when making financial decisions?

There are very few financial decisions that can be made in isolation. There are many different areas to consider, including cash flow and tax and legal implications.

What does “Helping people make sound decisions to enjoy a full life” mean to you?

It is crucial to understand what a full life means to each individual and family. We listen and ask good questions and continue to do this as life evolves. This allows us to help think through and make sound decisions that are completely customized and appropriate for each person. This philosophy has served me well not only with clients but also family, friends and fellow BDF teammates.

Where can we find you when you’re not working?

I love spending quality time with my husband Kyle and my children Emily, Luke, and Matt as well as with my extended family. We spend a lot of time at the pool watching my kids swim competitively. We root for the Chicago Bears and Cubs and enjoy having cookouts and parties with family and friends.

Who in your life has influenced your career choices? Who are your role models?

My mom and stepdad have thoughtfully helped guide my career choices over the years. When I started at Washington University in St. Louis in the Engineering school and was not fulfilled by mid-sophomore year, they were there to help me understand it was not the right path for me. They were also instrumental in helping me make the decision to seek out a firm like BDF which has completely changed my life. I have always admired my mom’s strength, focus on family, and the ability to adapt and live a full life with a positive attitude.

Full Bio

Julie Bucaro, CFP®, CTFA, is an Owner, Wealth Manager and Director of Client Experience at BDF. She is responsible for managing client relationships, providing financial and investment advice, and acts as the client’s personal Chief Financial Officer (CFO).

In addition to her role as Wealth Manager, Julie is the Director of Client Experience. Julie dedicates a large portion of her time ensuring the firm is providing an exceptional client experience and engaging and developing our professionals in order to provide that outstanding service.

She is especially passionate about giving recently widowed women peace of mind about their financial security at a time when they are most fragile. “By helping them understand how their assets line up with their lifestyle, I can give them confidence that they are going to be okay or help create a plan so they will be okay. Then I help them simplify their life by creating a more streamlined investment strategy while coordinating their estate planning wishes and being mindful of taxes.”

Julie earned the Certified Trust & Financial Advisor (CTFA) designation, giving her a strong foundation in estate planning and trusts that she uses to help families interpret estate documents and create a plan to reduce their taxable estate. She is also mindful of how advanced estate planning techniques can add complexity and when they are and are not appropriate depending on the family and the situation.

Estate planning and trusts also are crucial for families with special needs individuals, many of whom will require financial support for their entire lives. Drawing on her background working with these types of families as a financial planner with Ehlert Financial Group, Julie reviews special needs trusts and helps families with strategies to fund them appropriately.

As a mother of three, Julie understands her clients’ desire to provide for all of the families’ needs, including education. She advises clients on choosing a savings and investment plan that will accomplish their goals, while also demonstrating the effect of that educational investment on the client’s own retirement plans.

Julie first entered the financial planning world working with high-net-worth active traders, and she quickly realized that investments are a small part of true financial planning. “When someone asked an investment question, it was difficult to give good advice without knowing their full situation.” She joined BDF because the firm offers the opportunity to provide comprehensive, financial planning that is free from conflicts of interest.

Julie is an active and well-respected member of the financial planning community. Chicago Magazine has named her for several years among its Five Star Wealth Managers, and CCH’s Journal of Tax Practice Management published her article, “Smart Financial Decisions While Grieving,” in 2009. A Certified Financial Planner™ professional, a Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA), and member of the Financial Planning Association, she regularly attends continuing education programs on estate planning, special needs planning, and other wealth management topics. Julie is a member of the Chicago Estate Planning Council and holds a BA in Economics and Biology from Washington University in St. Louis.

If you’re looking for a financial advisor to guide you through the important events in your family’s life, call Julie.