I was reluctant to engage a financial planner because I was afraid that it would show that I had really screwed up -- I didn’t need anyone blaming me for my mistakes, I do a good job of that myself! But working with the Davis Financial Group has been nothing like that – they are compassionate and patient, and thanks to them I’ve learned so much (I didn’t know a stock from a bond, and now I even know what an ETF is!). Now that I better understand the reality of my situation, I’m not more stressed out – to the contrary, I am able to relax and enjoy life more than ever. And even buy that coat I’ve been eyeing for months because I know it won’t do irreparable harm to my future!
Testimonials From Our Clients
I am so grateful for the Davis Financial Group’s expertise, and most importantly their compassion. I was reluctant to engage a financial planner because I was afraid it would stress me out to see all the ways I assumed I’d been screwing up. But to the contrary, it has actually helped me relax and enjoy life more than ever because now I have a handle on my situation.
I am grateful my husband brought me and all our “stuff” to a financial planner; he had always done everything himself, and I knew nothing. After he died, not only was everything in place, but I had the knowledge and confidence to assume responsibility for things like managing the budget and paying bills, and I continued to work with my planner in areas of investing, taxes, and planning for our children’s future after I’m gone. Having the Davis Financial Group “in my corner” helped me feel so much less alone.
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.
As the Office Manager and Financial Assistant to the advisors of The Davis Financial Group, Carol assists advisors in helping clients achieve and sustain their financial goals. The most important aspect of her role is to facilitate, protect and preserve the wealth and well-being of all clients investment accounts.
Carol began her career in the financial services industry over 20 years ago as a Client Relationship Manager at Florence Bank. Prior to her career in Financial Services, Carol was Assistant Branch Manager in the Hadley office at Florence Bank. Carol earned both her Series 6 and 63 Security Licenses as well as Life and Heath License in Massachusetts.
When she’s not providing advisors and clients with service, Carol enjoys spending time with her husband David. She enjoys time outdoors biking, hiking and gardening. She resides in Easthampton, Massachusetts.
Client Relationship Manager
Ellen Montague Carey joined The Davis Financial Group in 2018. She is the Client Relationship 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