- Larry Zagarola, CPA, PFS, MBA
- Bruce Milove, CPA, PFS
- Howard Hook, CPA, CFP®
- Howard S. Milove, CPA, PFS
- Frank Jaffe, CFP®
- Darren L. Zagarola, CFP®, CPA, PFS
- Jamal L. Mahmood, CFP®, CLU, ChFC, CASL
- Michael P. Chomiak, AAMS
- Robert S. Epstein
- Tracy Hagberg
- Debbie Long
- Jessica Snow
- Diane Politano
Larry Zagarola, CPA, PFS, MBA
Larry is the Managing Member of Access Wealth Planning. Previously, he was associated with the accounting and consulting firm, J.H. Cohn, for 40 years, providing clients with auditing, tax planning and consulting services. In addition, Larry held the elected position of Managing Partner for seven years, led the firm's Consulting division, and subsequently became Managing Director of the firm's wealth management business.
Larry is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA) and the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA), and has served on numerous boards and committees of both not-for-profit agencies and governmental agencies. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Seton Hall University, a Master of Business Administration in Taxation from Pace University, and completed the Certified Financial Planner course at Fairleigh Dickinson University.
Mr. Zagarola is not affiliated with Royal Alliance Associates, Inc.
Bruce Milove*, CPA, PFS
Bruce is a Partner with Access Wealth Planning and is responsible for the firm's Strategic Alliance Professional Program, designed for CPA professionals who are developing a financial planning practice. This successful program has taught numerous CPAs how to better understand financial planning and asset portfolio management so they may educate their clients on the importance of these activities. For more than 20 years, Bruce has been providing financial planning, tax planning and investment advisory services to his individual and business clients.
Before joining Access Wealth Planning, Bruce was the Chief Financial Officer for a multi-conglomerate communications company, where he was responsible for Acquisition, Portfolio Management, and Retirement Plan Administration. His business accomplishments have qualified him for membership in the American Association of Entrepreneurs, as well as the Financial Executive Institute. He received the Outstanding Service Education Award from the Foundation of Accounting Education in both 2000 and 2001.
Bruce has appeared as a guest on numerous financial programs on ABC and CBS radio, has published many financial articles for business and financial oriented magazines and newspapers, and is a guest lecturer for the New York State Society of CPAs and for Corporations.
Bruce is a member of the Financial Planners Association (FPA), the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA) and the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA). He is the past chairman of the NYSSCPA's Personal Financial Planning Committee and is presently an active member on the NJSCPA's Personal Financial Planning Committee.
Howard Hook*, CFP®, CPA
Howard Hook knows that the relationship between investments, taxes, and what a client really needs and wants is the most important part of any endeavor. That’s why comprehensive financial planning that requires strategic thinking, creative solutions, and client education is Howard at his best, and his clients can attest to his passion for it.
“People come to me with big questions - ‘Can I retire?’ or ‘I’m getting divorced, what does that mean for me financially?’ or ‘My spouse died and I didn’t handle the finances, what do I do?’ The only way to help is to address these issues from all angles – investments won’t do it alone; tax planning won’t do it alone. It all needs to be incorporated into a plan that has a proven process behind it. It also has to be something the client understands and trusts,” says Howard.
What all of Howard’s clients have in common, regardless of their profession or marital status, is an appreciation for his planning style, process and track record. He believes in and enjoys spending time with clients and learning about their situation and life goals. Only then does he implement a proven process and years of expertise to develop an appropriate plan, and explain it in a way that makes sense.
Howard’s ability to make sense of some of life’s most challenging financial situations has attracted positive attention in the region and the country. He was named one of Medical Economics magazine’s Best Advisers for Doctors
three years in a row, in 2010, 2011 and 20121, has been featured on local business television, and is a regularly published author in local and national magazines and newspapers, as well as online publications, including TimeMagazine.com and CNN.com. Locally, Howard can frequently be found answering questions in two of The Star Ledger'sbusiness columns, "As the Biz Brain" and "Get with the Plan," as well as NJBIZand Times of Trenton. He also provides tips and education in his monthly column "Hook'd on Personal Finance," appearing in The Princeton Packet, as well as the Wayne Patch Local Voices Blog.
As a speaker, Howard has participated in panel discussions locally and at national summits, has been an instructor for Certified Financial Planning (CFP®) candidates studying for the CFP® exam in the course area of taxation, and currently teaches at Princeton Adult School, area universities, and not for profit organizations.
Personally, Howard is very committed to giving back to his community. He is currently serving a two year term as the Treasurer of Shomrei Torah Temple in Wayne, New Jersey, as well as sitting on the executive committee. Howard makes himself available to talk with members in need of financial guidance, and also participates in events such as the Financial Planning Association’s “Philadelphia Financial Planning Day."
A member of the Financial Planning Association, Howard earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Binghamton University, and later received his CFP® designation from the College for Financial Planning in Denver, Colorado.
Mr. Hook is not affiliated with Royal Alliance Associates, Inc.
1Third-party rankings and recognitions are no guarantee of future investment success and do not ensure that a client or prospective client will experience a higher level of performance or results. These ratings should not be construed as an endorsement of the advisor by any client nor are they representative of any one client’s evaluation. Top
Howard S. Milove,* PFS, CPA
Howard Milove’s client base is diverse, and he likes it that way, ranging from small business owners to professionals to retired individuals. To serve them all well, he relies on his ability to adapt financial plans to different situations and think creatively to solve their problems. But no matter who he’s helping, he’s found that there is one way to tell if what he’s doing is working.
“There’s a certain point with every client when you can actually see the look of relief on their face. They grasp the fact that their plan is right for them, it’s doable, and it will help get them where they want to be. They feel like they finally have a direction, and I’m happy to be able to give them that,” says Howard.
Having held positions at a prominent New York City accounting firm, as well as one of the largest financial institutions in the country, Howard has extensive experience in the field of financial planning and asset portfolio management. At Access Wealth Planning, he is able to combine his expertise with his natural hands-on style to deliver personalized plans that work.
Howard is frequently featured in “Ask the Biz Brain,” an expert Q&A column in the business section of The Star-Ledger
and also contributes to the firm’s two newsletters, The Advisor
and Financial Advice for the Baby Boomer
. He has taught “Investment ABCs” at the Princeton Adult School in Princeton, New Jersey, and “Financial Strategies for Successful Retirement” at Farleigh Dickinson University and Bergen Community College. Howard earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Syracuse University, and later obtained his Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) designation, which is only granted to CPAs who meet stringent requirements of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).
He is a member of the AICPA, the State Society of Certified Public Accountants for both New York and New Jersey, and the Financial Planning Association.
Frank Jaffe,* CFP®
Frank Jaffe often meets clients for the first time when they are in the midst of a major life issue. Divorce, the death of a spouse, or the loss of a job are a few of the common reasons people initially seek his help. Frank does not take these circumstances for granted, and integrates a sense of empathy and support into every interaction he has with clients.
“I’m here to solve problems, and these are big problems. Putting together a financial plan is important, of course. But to me that’s a given – my real value is in my appreciation for their situation, my willingness to get to know them, and the delivery of something that is both tangible and intangible – helping them really take a step forward in overcoming these formidable challenges,” says Frank.
This hands-on approach is a natural reflection of Frank’s passion for what he does, and he takes a special interest in the planning needs of the Baby Boomer generation. He hosts The Boomer Financial Radio Network talk show, a bi-monthly radio broadcast where he interviews knowledgeable guests from around the country who service and guide baby boomers. He is also a regular contributor to the firm’s newsletter, Financial Advice for the Baby Boomer, and is frequently published in business and trade magazines and newspapers, locally and nationally.
Frank earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Liberal Studies from Excelsior College, and later obtained his CFP® designation from the College for Financial Planning in Denver, Colorado. He has served as an Adjunct Professor at Wanaque Academic Center (part of Passaic County Community College), and was an Adult Education Instructor at Drew University, Farleigh Dickinson University, and Bergen Community College. His courses, “Financial Strategies for Successful Retirement” and “Lifetime Financial Security” have always been well attended. Frank is equally active in the community, sitting on the Board of Congregation Ahavat Israel in Passaic, NJ and volunteering with the Jewish Federation, helping families in need of financial assistance and guidance.
Darren L. Zagarola, CFP®, PFS, CPA
For Darren L. Zagarola, financial life planning isn’t about simply attaining a number. It’s about securing a feeling of independence.
“Many people stress their financial goals more than their personal goals. But the personal goals have to come first – the money is just a means to get there. So the first meeting I have with my clients sounds more like life planning than financial planning, and that’s the way it should be.”
Darren finds that when clients realize the relationship between their life goals and their financial goals they feel empowered to trust the process, understanding that numbers are merely a part of the plan. He also advocates socially responsible, values-driven investing, educating clients that they can indeed build an investment strategy that is in line with their morals.
Selected as a 2011 FIVE STAR Wealth Manager for the work he has conducted and the value he provides, Darren is also actively engaged in his community. He teaches “Investment ABCs” and “Retirement Planning in Turbulent Times” at the Princeton Adult School, educates seniors at the Princeton Senior Resource Center on Senior Day, and frequently volunteers his time to talk about different financial topics to community and resource centers, non-profit groups, and businesses.
"People need to know that there are financial planners out there who are dedicated to meeting their clients’ needs, not just selling products. There’s also a process to all of this; steps we take and factors we consider to ensure that we are building the most appropriate plan for an individual. This is the work I’ve always wanted to do, and I want to reach as many people as I can with it.”
Prior to joining EKS Associates, a division of Access Wealth Planning, Darren gained valuable financial and client service experience as the Director of Internal Audit of a multinational manufacturing firm, and as an Audit Manager at Ernst & Young. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from King’s College, and later obtained his CFP® designation from the College for Financial Planning in Denver, Colorado, in addition to completing the Financial Planning program at Fairleigh Dickinson University. This combined training has made him a more successful and knowledgeable advisor. He is a member of the Financial Planning Association, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Pennsylvania Society of Public Accountants.
Mr. Zagarola is not affiliated with Royal Alliance Associates, Inc.
Presented to 7% of wealth managers with at least five years experience in the financial services industry. The final list identifies the wealth managers, of those evaluated, in the local market that score highest in client satisfaction. Each wealth manager was reviewed for regulatory actions, civil judicial actions and customer complaints. Wealth Managers do not pay a fee to be included in the research. Details of the award can be viewed at http://www.fivestarprofessional.com. Third-party rankings and recognitions are no guarantee of future investment success and do not ensure that a client or prospective client will experience a higher level of performance or results. These ratings should not be construed as an endorsement of the advisor by any client nor are they representative of any one client’s evaluation
Jamal L. Mahmood*, CFP®, CLU, ChFC, CASL
Jamal is a highly skilled Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC). He founded Mahmood Financial Consulting, LLC, in 2009, and consolidated his back office operations with Access Wealth Planning, LLC in 2010. Jamal is a welcome addition to the Access Wealth Planning advisor team as he shares the same level of dedication and commitment to his clients.
Prior to joining Access Wealth Planning, Jamal worked for several years as a wealth management advisor with Northwestern Mutual Financial Network and as an equities trader for Triton Global Securities, LLC, a private capital management firm.
In addition to holding his CFP® and ChFc designations, Jamal is a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), specializing in advanced life insurance planning in estate and business matters; and is also a Chartered Advisor for Senior Living (CASL), which allows him to work with older clients who are grappling with retirement and estate planning questions. Jamal received his Bachelors degree from the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond.
Michael P. Chomiak, AAMS
Michael is a dedicated and trusted asset to Access Wealth Planning, serving as the co-chair of the Investment Committee and performing much of the research and implementation of the firm's investment policies. He holds the Accredited Asset Management Specialist (AAMS) degree sponsored by the College for Financial Planning in Denver, Colorado. Prior to this certification, Michael also earned a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from the William Paterson University in New Jersey.
Mr. Chomiak is not affiliated with Royal Alliance Associates, Inc.
Robert S. Epstein
Robert brings a solid business background to the clients he serves at Access Wealth Planning. He is a valuable internal asset, working in conjunction with each planner to put together tailored and comprehensive financial plans so that they are easy for clients to review and understand. Prior to joining the firm in 2007, he held a variety of corporate positions that provided him with the expertise he shares with clients and Access Wealth Planning today. Robert has served as Director of Information Systems and then Director of Production for a large corporation, followed by owning his own manufacturing business, which he ran for five years before deciding that the financial services industry was where he could make the most difference in people's businesses and lives. Robert holds a Bachelor's degree in History from the City College of New York.
Mr. Epstein is not affiliated with Royal Alliance Associates, Inc.
Office Manager and
Chief Compliance Officer
Ms. Hagberg, Ms. Long, Ms. Snow and Ms. Politano are not affiliated with Royal Alliance Associates, Inc.
*Securities offered through Royal Alliance Associates, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Investment advisory services offered through Access Wealth Planning and is not affiliated with Royal Alliance Associates, Inc.