Scott Leonard, CFP®, AIF®

Founding Partner, Financial Navigator

Scott Leonard, CFP®, AIF®

Founding Partner, Financial Navigator

"Our mission is not just to hand you a map and send you on your way, but also to board your boat and help you navigate the journey."
- Scott Leonard

My Background and What Brought Me Here…

I started in the financial services industry right out of college, working for a major brokerage firm and an insurance company. During that time, I earned the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification. I wasn’t happy with the focus on selling products, so I transitioned to working with a large money management firm that was one of the first companies to help bring passive/index investment strategies to the public, working with independent financial advisors. I was the National Education Manager for the company, teaching the investment concepts that I learned while obtaining my Economics degree at UCLA. During this period, I learned about the independent, fee-only side of the industry. It was clear to me that it was the right way to deliver financial advice. So I started the firm in 1996 with the purpose of delivering comprehensive financial advice free of the conflicts found with the banks, brokerage, and insurance companies.

Why I Chose This Profession…

I am a classic entrepreneur. For as long as I can remember, I was starting businesses as a child and constantly thinking of a better mousetrap. All of the financial aspects of planning and running a business have always been interesting to me. While I was a math tutor in college, I realized that I really enjoyed helping and working with people. Becoming a financial planner just seemed like a natural fit; combining my love of working with and helping people, and my fascination with all things financial.

Outside of Work, I’m Most Passionate About…

In a word, Family. Our time together sailing around the world built a strong family bond. I am also fortunate that all three boys have been active with water polo and I have enjoyed helping coach their teams over the years.

Something Unique and Different About Me…

In 2011, my family and I embarked on a three year world sailing adventure, fulfilling one of my childhood dreams and sharing my wife’s and my passion for travel and adventure with our three children. For me, and all of us at Navigoe, just planning for one’s dreams and goals is not the objective. It is the successful execution of your goals that gets us excited.

When Not in the Office, Look for Me…

  • Coaching and playing Water Polo
  • Skiing
  • Traveling with family and friends
  • On a boat in some tropical location – or 80 feet under doing SCUBA

How I’m Advancing My Career Knowledge

At Navigoe, we have been on the leading edge of retail financial services since I launched the firm. It is the entrepreneur in me – always striving to be better, more efficient, and academically sound – that has me consuming academic journals like my kids consume social media. I participate in multiple study groups with some of the other top wealth management firms from across the country.

what do you feel most sets navigoe apart from other firms?

It has to be our boutique size. We can assist our clients in all the same ways as large banks and brokerage firms. However, we are not bogged down by legacy systems, proprietary products, or just the bureaucracy afflicting large companies. Our size allows me to be involved in the planning for all clients. A win-win all the way around.

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Professional Affiliations

NAPFA Regional Board

  • 2006 – 2007 Membership/President Elect
  • 2007 – 2008 President Elect
  • 2008 – 2009 President
  • 2009 – 2010 Chair

NAPFA National Board

  • 2009 – 2010 Board Member

NAPFA University

  • 2005 – 2010 Dean of Investments

Financial Planning Association, Los Angeles Chapter

  • 1998 – 2003 Board Member
  • 2003 – 2004 President of LA Chapter

Education and Certifications

B.A Economics – UCLA



Ranked as one of the top 5 most influential financial advisors by RIA Biz in 2013

In the media

Scott is widely recognized among the business media as an industry expert. His analysis and opinions on advanced wealth management issues are frequently featured in national publications.

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