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CEO and founder, TAN Wealth Management

Financial literacy can be an immense challenge for many immigrants who urgently need culturally sensitive advice and advisers. Tan Pham is helping to address that need. Speaking casually with his college finance professor, Pham, who came to the U.S. from Vietnam as a child, mentioned that his mother was stashing money under the mattress and he wondered what to do about it. The professor recommended that Pham become a financial adviser to help his mother and others. He took that advice and, today, he is the founder of TAN Wealth Management, an independent RIA.

In addition to serving his regular planning and investment clients, Pham spends a lot of time doing pro bono work for his immigrant community. Among other things, he helps people avoid inappropriate financial products with high fees, and counsels them to build up emergency funds.

Pham would like to see more pro bono events geared toward immigrants, with information delivered in their native languages. He stresses the need for empathy. “They are sacrificing themselves for their kids,” he said. “They were comfortable in Vietnam, but they come here and work day and night. You have to have a passion to help them.”

Deborah Nason