Money-related matters are highly personal and we take our “inner circle” role very seriously. We were founded as a family business, and think of our clients as family, too.
10 Things About Us and What We Believe
The financial planning industry is cloaked in language that can be obscure, if not downright overwhelming. We see it as our responsibility to translate everything in a way that our clients can understand and use.
We swear by a concierge model of doing business. It frees us up to build a relationship, which is the foundation of our work together. If you have a question or concern, we want you to pick up the phone without worrying about what it’ll cost you.
We’re facilitators – we know exactly who to bring to the table for what, and you can relax knowing you’re in the hands of a trusted team.
Some advisors tell you what you should do; we let the plans do the talking. And because we model everything, you’ll see the impact different choices would have on your day-to-day life and down the road.
Financial planning is dynamic work and our job is ongoing, not “one and done.” Since life is ever-changing, our responsive approach allows us to revisit and revise over time to make sure you not only achieve your financial goals, but gain insights and knowledge along the way.
We are committed to ESG investing, which relates to environmental, social and governance factors – not just because it feels good but because it’s a proven strategy that’s financially sound and sustainable, too.
Each client that comes to us is unique, but whether you’re an individual, a growing family, new or longtime business, or soon to be retired, the care and attention we provide is always the same.
This is a judgement-free zone – really. We will meet you where you are and help you move forward.
We’re all about transparency. We are real people doing the real work of helping you make and manage good financial decisions – we love what we do and want you to feel great about it, too.
Allen Davis, CFP®
Allen feels that his early training in the arts and humanities was excellent preparation for his work as a financial planner, the most fulfilling work he has ever done. He has supplemented his BA (Temple University) and MA (UMass/Amherst) in English and his private study of music with his training as a Certified Financial Planner ™ Professional and gaining the Chartered Financial Consultant designation. Literature and the Arts are all about the connections between things – the seen and unseen, past and present, sound and silence, the head and the heart, appearance and reality — and making and finding connections is what financial planning is all about: the daily facts of life and its overall arc and trajectory, the material details of cash flows and rates of return and the larger purposes and meanings of life, community, and family, what we feel and what we know to be true. A financial plan is an illuminated journey through all of these and gives us the tools for understanding ourselves over time in relation to our money, our hearts, and our minds.
Allen’s early working years in the Valley were spent trying to fuse higher education and social change – cluster college “living and learning” experiments, and “University Without Walls” experiential education for working adults. He helped organize educational programs focused on America’s great contribution to world culture, jazz music, in ways that promoted awareness of the foundations of social discord, and the possibility of harmony and social justice. But his great achievement during these years was his leading a successful class action suit on behalf of 200 Massachusetts State part-time and “temporary” workers in their efforts to earn legitimacy and full employment benefits – his devotion to planning, financial education and retirement planning was born!
Allen moved from education to business, and following several small retail ventures, he created and ran a successful technology-specific Executive Search company for 15 years that led to a venture funded NYC based Internet startup. Along the way he founded Mak’hela, the Jewish chorus of Western Massachusetts, and participated as a Board member of a number of Valley organizations, most recently the UMass Fine Arts Center, where he served as Chair and a cofounder of its Valley Jazz Network. He is an active member of the Jewish Community of Amherst, where for many years he has played a major role in the creation of their musical explorations and presentations. He currently teaches his “Principles of Financial Planning” course at Elms College as part of their MBA curriculum. He continues pursuing his lifelong passion for music, and plays double bass and piano whenever he can.
Allen lives in Amherst with his wife, Dr. Judy Davis, a family therapist and author. They have two sons — Lou, who is a partner of the firm, and Eric, a playwright, composer, and software specialist. His three grandchildren, Asher, Izzy and Margo Lilly, are the best grandchildren in the world, of course!
Financial Planner and Advisor
Lou began his career as a financial planner in 2011 when he joined Allen at the Davis Financial Group. Attracted by the idea of combining his passion for problem solving and his love of people, Lou saw planning as a way of utilizing his diverse skills, education and business experience in the pursuit of helping people achieve their financial and life goals.
Lou came into the business of financial planning after a variety of other business ventures. Early in his career, Lou founded and ran an entertainment management company while working at Power Station recording studio in NYC. Lou’s company, Leeds-Davis Management, focused on developing and managing the careers of musicians, recording engineers and record producers. Leeds-Davis’s client list included a wide variety of artists and producers, including several Grammy winners.
In the late ’90s, Lou (along with Allen and his brother, Eric) launched a web-based start-up, BountySystems.com, that provided a B2B and B2C oriented incentivized viral marketing application. The team was successful in raising $15 million in venture funding, growing the company to over 60 employees in their midtown Manhattan office, and negotiating multi-million-dollar partnerships with some of the top web portals of the day.
After 9/11, Lou returned from NYC to Massachusetts and worked as a sales, marketing and business consultant for several for and not-for profit organizations in the Pioneer Valley. In 2003, Lou became the VP of Sales and Marketing for Market Street Research, a national marketing research firm based in Northampton, MA. In this role, Lou was responsible for consulting with businesses from many industry sectors, helping them to shape research approaches designed to provide them with specific direction for their decision making.
The transition to financial planning was a natural one for Lou, as so much of what he had done in his earlier life is relevant to and directly informs his work today. Lou’s focus is on working with business owners, professionals, educators, retirees and their families, helping them to understand, protect, grow, value and share their assets, and what’s important to them.
Lou lives in Northampton, MA with his wife, Jen, a personal trainer, and their two sons, Asher and Izzy, who attend Northampton public schools. As a life-long musician, Lou plays bass in local bands, including his family band, Family Davis Jr., which is fronted by Jen on guitar and vocals and the kids on drums and keyboard. You can see them play every year in the Northampton Arts Council’s Transperformance concert at the Pines Theater in late August. Lou is also an avid golfer and enjoys fishing and other sports with his sons.
Lou serves on boards and committees of various non-profits, including the Northampton Area Chamber of Commerce, the Jewish Federation of Western Ma, the Estate Planning Council of Hampden County, Congregation B’nai Israel and Cooley Dickinson Health Care. Lou previously served as the President of Lander-Grinspoon Academy, and as a board member of the New England Financial Marketing Association and the New England Society for Healthcare Communications. Lou participates as a mentor and often gives presentations on a range of business topics at Valley Venture Mentors and its Accelerator programs and has served as a judge for a number of its business competitions.
Lou has a diverse educational background having studied at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA, Parsons School of Design and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Lou is a Registered Representative and holds a Series 7, Series 66 and a health, life and disability insurance license.
Financial Services Representative
Joanna S. Ballantine is a financial services representative with the Davis Financial Group. As part of the Davis Financial team, Joanna works to serve clients throughout the Pioneer Valley, Berkshires and beyond. Her role includes helping clients to achieve their goals and understand, protect, grow and share their assets—and their values—during their lives and as part of their legacy. Joanna also helps direct and coordinate with the work of her clients’ other professional advisers.
Prior to joining DFG in 2020, Joanna was an executive in the non-profit sector for 20 years. Her work focused on leading large non-profits through times of growth, outreach, engagement, systems thinking and enterprise development. She served as the Executive Director of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation for over a decade and most recently as Vice President for the Western Region for the nations’ oldest comprehensive conservation and preservation organization, The Trustees of Reservations.
Joanna has an MSW in Community Organizing and Social Administration from the University of Maryland, an MA from Baltimore Hebrew University and a BA from Hampshire College. Joanna serves on the Advisory Board of The Trustees, the Board of Directors of the Kestrel Land Trust, 18 Doors, the Biodynamic Farmland Trust and is an active volunteer in the community. In her recreational time, Joanna is active at the Jewish Community of Amherst, the Pioneer Valley United Way, the Women’s Philanthropy Committee of the Jewish Federation and especially enjoys hiking, yoga and exploring Massachusetts special places.
Joanna lives in Amherst with her husband Clay, their teenage son Caleb and two Bernese Mountain dogs. Her daughter, Hannah, is currently a student at Hampshire College.
Joanna holds a life, health and disability insurance License.
Ellen Montague Carey joined The Davis Financial Group in 2018. She is the Operations Manager and Coordinator of Business Development for the practice. Ellen brings 18 years of experience working in the Financial Services Industry. She is licensed in Massachusetts for health, life and disability insurance.
Ellen is a native of Amherst and has been a member of the Rotary Club of Amherst for over 20 years, where she has served as the Club Secretary for many years.
Ellen lives in Amherst with her husband Mike. Ellen cherishes time with family, especially with her grandchildren Coraline and Elias. She is also an avid knitter & weaver.
All of us at the Davis Financial Group are committed to values of integrity, honesty, objectivity, respect, thoroughness, empowerment, and an open mind. We care deeply about the well-being of our clients, as well as the world we share, and are proud to support many community organizations including:
Davis Financial Group is a member of and participates in the volunteer leadership of numerous professional organizations, including:
Pioneer Valley Estate Planning Council
The Estate Planning Council of Hampden County
The Financial Planning Association – member of its Massachusetts Chapter
The Greater Northampton Area Chamber of Commerce
The Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce
The Jewish Federation of Western Massachusetts
The Rotary Club of Amherst