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We Are Personal Finance Enthusiasts on a Mission to Help You Live Smartly, Happily, and Richly

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.

When you think about your financial future, we want you to feel confident. Confident that you can fully achieve your money goals, no matter where you’re starting out.

But here’s the thing. Managing your personal finances can be stressful. Sifting through all the money advice that’s out there (some good, a lot bad) can make navigating money matters unnecessarily complicated.

That’s where we come in.

Here at The Ascent, our objective is to help you cut through the noise so you can take actionable steps towards improving your finances. Whether you’re looking to eliminate your debt, find the best credit card, pick the right stock broker, and more, consider us your guide to conquering your money goals.

Our Mission is to Make the World Smarter, Happier, and Richer

Born out of the financial expertise and trusted advice of The Motley Fool, The Ascent brings the same unbiased analysis to the world of daily personal finance decisions. All backed by the mission of making the world smarter, happier, and richer.

To achieve our goal of helping you find the best offers and products to improve your finances and live more richly, we stand by these core principles:

  • All of our content is made available for free. This includes hundreds of financial product reviews as well as jargon-free advice on how to navigate all of your personal finance decisions.
  • Wherever possible, we rely on first-person reviews of financial products so you can read about the offer’s pros and cons from someone who has experienced it directly.
  • We’re firm believers in the Golden Rule. If we wouldn’t recommend an offer to a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Ascent, either.

How We’re Compensated

Because transparency is so important to us, you should know that, in some instances, we may receive compensation from partners when someone clicks, applies, or registers for a product reviewed on our site.

Our editorial opinions, rankings, and reviews are not influenced by these partners in any way.

For more information on how we make money and our advertising partners, please visit Our Advertisers page. If you have any questions please contact us at [email protected].

Meet the Team

Brendan Byrnes

Managing Director

Brendan is managing director of The Ascent. He focuses primarily on overall strategy, team management, business development, and marketing. Despite being an avid investor for years, Brendan was relatively late to discovering the power of credit cards but now is hooked on maximizing his rewards. Outside of work he enjoys traveling, seeing live music, hiking/snowboarding depending on the season, and pretending to be a good photographer.

Matt Koppenheffer

General Manager

As General Manager of The Ascent, Matt focuses his time on bringing together all parts of team to grow our reach and help as many people as possible. Matt is a 16-year veteran of The Motley Fool and a former advisor and analyst for multiple Motley Fool investing services. Matt's articles and analysis about investing and personal finance have been published around the world and his views have been cited in worldwide publications from the Financial Times and The New York Times to the Toronto Star and Germany's Focus Money. Matt is the co-author of The Astonishing Collapse of MF Global as well as the creator and former co-host of The Motley Fool's Industry Focus podcast. When not at his desk, you're likely to find Matt either trail running or running after his two small children.

Alexi Ueltzen

Social Media Manager & PR Specialist

Alexi is the social media manager for The Ascent and is focused on developing a best-in-class social presence for the brand. She is currently working on paying off a mortgage and learning how to better manage her finances in general (pet insurance is important, turns out). Outside of work, Alexi plays water polo, swims, and spends time getting muddy with her dogs.

Alice Hoekstra

SEO Content Strategist

Alice is an SEO content strategist for The Ascent. She splits her time between developing new evergreen content, optimizing existing content for search, and facilitating communication between the SEO strategy team and writers. Alice’s top financial priorities are funding her world travels and giving her cats the luxurious life they deserve. When she’s not working, traveling, or watching Friends reruns, you’ll find her at the nearest concert or Broadway show.

Ashleigh Cummings

Marketing Operations Specialist

Brady Moe

Technology Manager

I am a technologist at heart and get excited about any and all new technologies. I love exploring how technology impacts our users, and how I can leverage that to make their experience better. I'm a passionate skier, which was a big reason why I moved out to Colorado. I also own a Light Art business that I moonlight at, called "Light Stuff", and we've had some of our art at the popular midwest music festival Electric Forest in 2016 and 2017.

Brian Frey

PR Lead, Growth Expansion

Brian is a PR manager for The Ascent; his Motley motto is "be curious." Faced with nearly $10,000 in credit card debt from college and emergency expenses, he made it his mission to get out of debt fast -- and empower others to do the same.

Bryan Wynkoop

Senior Performance Marketing Manager

Bryan is a marketing manager for The Ascent who leverages partnerships to bring financial education and tools to people who need them. He's a firm believer in making money work for you, and he worries that not enough people realize compound interest should be your best friend, not worst enemy. Outside of work, Bryan spends his time in the mountains or in the garden, with as many dogs as possible.

Brooklyn Welch

SEO Content Strategist

As an SEO Content Strategist for The Ascent, Brooklyn is responsible for developing educational content that leads people to the financial products that best fit their needs. Her financial goals include buying a house and planning as many trips as her budget allows. In her free time, you’ll likely find her reading a mystery book or listening to a pop culture podcast.

Cait Cerra

Direct Response Marketing Copywriter

Cait is a direct response copywriter for The Ascent. Her goal is to use carefully curated words to inspire people to start their journey towards conquering their money goals. In her own journey, Cait is working to find the best course of action for paying off car and student loans while saving for home renovations, while simultaneously enjoying $5 lattes and funding a trip or two. Outside of slinging words, Cait enjoys finding new adventures with her husband, daughter, and dogs.

Daniel Delaney

Senior Performance Marketing Manager

Daniel is a Paid Advertising Manager at The Ascent. He helps reach people across the internet with our highest reviewed financial products on a daily basis, hoping to make people smarter, happier, and richer in the process.

Ethan Mellin

Senior Performance Marketing Manager

Ethan is a performance marketing manager at The Ascent, where he leverages paid media to share personal finance education and tools with the masses. Even before joining The Ascent, budgets, cash back rewards, and high-yield savings accounts were some of his best friends. When not at work, you'll find Ethan cooking, reading about cooking, thinking about cooking… basically anything connected to cooking. His favorite way to save? Skip takeout, and get in the kitchen!

Haley Gardner

Digital PR & Outreach Specialist

As a Digital PR & Outreach Specialist at The Ascent, Haley is passionate about helping journalists tell stories and provide resources that make the world smarter, happier, and richer. Haley has a degree in Journalism from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In her free time, Haley loves to read, paint, and attend barre classes.

Jack Caporal

Lead Research Analyst

Jack is the lead financial research analyst for The Motley Fool and The Ascent. He focuses on uncovering and analyzing trends that shape personal financial decisions, and product affinity shifts, across the United States. In doing so, he hopes to better understand how to help people become smarter, happier, and richer. His research has been featured across television networks, in the New York Times, Bloomberg, CNBC, and cited in Government testimony. When he's not in a spreadsheet, Jack enjoys spending time in the mountains and cheering for his hometown Boston sports teams. Check out Jack's research

Jake Fitzgerald

Editorial Strategist

Jake is an Editorial Strategist for The Ascent. He focuses on our content production, distribution channels, and product ratings. He didn't get his first credit card until he started working at The Ascent and has now gone on multiple trips using only credit card rewards points. He has the ability to spend an entire day tailgating, the inability to take himself too seriously, and lives with a putter he's not currently speaking to. When not at work, you might find Jake golfing, cooking, or at the barn with his wife, two boxers, and his mini horse, Mango.

James McClenathen

Managing Editor

James is managing editor of The Ascent, overseeing the production and quality of our content. He was previously the editor of The Motley Fool's personal finance bureau, and he also did a brief stint as a reporter. His financial goals include buying a home and retiring early. In his free time, he enjoys cooking, reading, exploring Colorado, and a friendly game of pool.

Kathryn Mallari

SEO Content Strategist

Kathryn is an SEO Content Strategist, responsible for developing and managing content for The Ascent. With an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a Master’s degree in Strategic Marketing, Kathryn is obsessed with understanding how to leverage the obvious crossover between the two fields. Since joining the team, she’s finally figured out how to get control of her money with a budget that really works! Outside of work, she volunteers for a nonprofit organization for API (Asian Pacific Islander) leaders and runs involuntarily after her toddler son.

Kim Tyms

Conversion Rate Optimization

Lara Carson

Director, SEO & PR Strategy

Lara leads & develops holistic SEO & PR strategy for The Ascent. Alongside a team of highly skilled, Foolishly delightful, innovators, Lara is focused on ensuring you can find actionable, expert-led steps, in your financial journey to Smarter, Happier, and Richer! Outside of work, you may find her staking Nikola Tesla coil-inspired rods into her fruit and veggie plants to help them grow to heights and yields beyond their wildest plant dreams. Keep growing!

Liz Wilson


Liz is a developer for The Ascent where she builds and maintains features that keep the website running smoothly for everyone. As a career switcher coming to software development more recently, she is passionate about making up for lost time with her savings and loves working on projects that help others take control of their finances, too. When not making things for The Ascent with code, Liz is making things by hand with yarn, fabric, and thread, or playing video games and tabletop RPGs with her husband, family, and friends.

Malia Havlicek


Malia is a developer for The Ascent’s website, building custom tools and features to give users and administrators an excellent site experience. She’s a nerd at heart with a Master’s degree in Environmental Engineering from CU Boulder and loves to program things she’s never programmed before. Malia spends the majority of her “free time” chasing her four boys across the globe, currently in 4 different countries, but she hopes to get back into cycling and hiking  as she transitions to an empty nest.

Matt Ellis

VP, Business Development

Meghan Hall

Editorial Strategist

Nathan Alderman

Compliance Lead

Nathan scours the site for accuracy from his home in bucolic central Virginia.

Rachel Zinanti

Marketing Lead

Rachel leads the marketing team at The Ascent and strives to communicate how a product or service will help enrich someone’s life. When she’s not working on The Ascent, or being a mom to her two kids, Rachel spends time on her side hustle: family photography.

Rich Deede

GM, New Verticals & Editorial Lead

Rich oversees the efforts into new content verticals for The Ascent but began his career as a front-end developer building countless amounts of pharma websites. He then transitioned to SEO full time, which evolved to content strategy and eventually holistic digital marketing. Richard led agency search teams and in-house holistic marketing teams before joining The Motley Fool. In his free time, Richard enjoys keeping manual transmission cars from going the way of the Dodo, perfecting his guacamole, and going to as many Tool concerts as humanly possible.

Rick Hoberg

Sr. SEO Strategist

Taylor Giovan

Conversion Rate Optimization Lead

Taylor is a conversion rate optimization specialist for The Ascent, focused on supporting the team in their quest to deliver a highly engaging and user-friendly experience. Outside of work, you can find her bragging about paying off her NYU degree 5 years earlier than the 20-year national average (and giving advice to shop around before committing to a private school), cooking a new dish that she is likely burning, and adding gym classes to her calendar that she rarely attends.

Will Jay

Full Stack Engineer

Will is a developer for The Ascent that loves creating easy-to-use tools to help people on their personal finance journey. Will's Motley motto is Maximum Effort; if you're going to do something, give 100% effort or don't do it. When he's not at work, Will is playing computer games, cooking, improving his fitness, or hanging out with his one-year-old.

Tim White

Director of Technology

Tim White is the head of technology for the Ascent, and leads strategic tech initiatives.