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 Planner and Advisor
Michael joins Davis Financial Group as a Financial Planner and Advisor following a long career as an educator and school administrator. For more than two decades, Michael cared for children, their families, and teams of educators in school communities. The transition to financial services is a natural one since much of the work translates: building trust and relationships, understanding and explaining complex ideas, and helping people of all ages live into their best and brightest futures. Working closely with the entire team at DFG, Michael serves as resource for clients throughout the planning process.
Michael completed the Financial Planning Certificate course through Boston University, and his B.A is in English and Spanish from Southern Methodist University in Dallas. Michael earned his Ph.D. in English from Indiana University, Bloomington, and his doctoral dissertation explored the emergence of the idea of preserved wilderness in the 19th century and its relationship to early photography across the Americas. He began his educational career working with children with dyslexia before teaching at the university and high school levels. Michael worked with a variety of students on topics as diverse as Guatemalan textiles, American nature writing, Permaculture, and film. He has experience with a wide range of educational environments as well as guiding experiential education adventures across Guatemala with Where There Be Dragons and in Western North Carolina with The Outdoor Academy.
Most recently as Executive Director of Mountain Sun Community School, a Montessori and outdoor school in Brevard, North Carolina, Michael witnessed the daily joys of immersive holistic education. While there, he developed new systems for enrollment and hiring, redesigned the website and all marketing materials, and significantly grew the number of families in the community. As a result, he also transformed the school’s financial picture: creating consistent budget surpluses, resolving all existing debt, and building a significant cash reserve.
This diversity of experience has prepared Michael well for this chapter in his life and career. He has always had a love for making sense of both facts and stories, imagining possible futures, and making the world a little bit better one connection at a time.
Michael lives in Northampton with his family and enjoys good food of all kinds, travel to interesting places, and the outdoors. He is a Series 7 registered representative and a Series 66 registered investment advisor representative.
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.
Financial Services Professional
Margaret joins the Davis Financial Group as a Financial Services Representative to help people navigate their often-emotional financial worlds, maintain peace of mind, and pursue their passions.
Before changing careers, she spent some time in the non-profit museum world and had a longer career as a technical services librarian and project manager. Working with libraries on their metadata, cataloging, and moving projects gave her the opportunity to work with people at all levels of these institutions while building and executing complex workflows.
The focus of her professional life changed when her partner died. She found a path forward, inspired to help those who have experienced a major or sudden disruption in their life plan. Her years of growing up in a non-traditional family structure and many years of living as a Solo inform her approach to a life that does not fit into the emblematic family unit.
Margaret is working toward completing the Financial Planning Certificate Course through Boston University and earned her MSLIS from Simmons College. Joining the Davis Financial Group feels like a homecoming of sorts to the Pioneer Valley since graduating from Amherst College, where she studied art history.
Margaret lives in Newington, CT, and enjoys hiking to get out from behind her desk. And food to give her the inspiration to go hiking. She holds Health, Life and Disability Insurance Licenses and is working toward becoming a Series 7 registered representative.
Mary Young, Research Director, leads Davis Financial Group’s initiative on “Solos”― single adults who navigate their later years without a spouse, partner, or adult children whom they can call upon, when needed. She herself is a Solo.
Her focus on aging and retirement issues for Solos is a natural outgrowth of her earlier interests. Her doctoral dissertation, which focused on the work/life issues of single adults without children, was featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, USA Today, Time, Business Week, and National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition.” Later, as Principal Researcher at The Conference Board, she conducted research on emerging human-resource issues in the workplace―including older workers―and presented the findings to executives in Europe, North America, India and Asia-Pacific.
Since “retiring” in 2019, her research interests have led in new directions—not only to Solos, but also to American folk art, antique postcards, and other curiosities. Her articles appear regularly on Worthpoint, an online platform for collectors and dealers.
Mary lived and worked in the Valley as a journalist for 14 years. She served as Director of Communications at UMass Amherst before moving to Boston University to earn a doctorate in organizational behavior and teaching in the MBA program. She received a B.A. in English from Case Western Reserve University and an M.Ed. in organizational development at UMass.
She is a passionate gardener and plant collector whose other creative interests include textiles, papercrafts, and rescuing treasures from the trash.