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Peter J. McKenna, CFP®, MBA

Senior Financial Advisor

Peter J. McKenna CFP®
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Peter’s main responsibilities include helping clients develop their financial plans, implementing wealth management strategies and managing client investment portfolios.

Professional Designations

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, Master of Business Administration


Baruch College of the City University of New York, M.B.A.

State University of New York, College at Oswego, B.S., Accounting

Read more about Pete

What sparked your interest in financial planning? What fuels you every day in your work?

When I began my career in financial services I noticed there were very few people in the office over the age of 60.  Those folks that were in that age group appeared to fall into two camps, workaholics or people who had not planned well for their future.  I didn’t want to be in either of those camps, so my wife and I set out to live below our means and prepare for an uncertain future. While we made some good and bad decisions along the way we were in a reasonably good position when my employer of 20 years, Lehman Brothers, went bankrupt in 2008. While that was a devastating blow to the plan we had in mind, it presented an opportunity to leave that career path and embark on this one. I love helping people make better-informed, decisions so that they can live their best possible lives. 

What’s a particularly rewarding example of how you helped to create impact for a client?

I worked with a couple who were about to experience incremental career success. They had positioned themselves well, but were not sure if they were okay. We created a plan to assist with college funding, diversify a concentrated stock position, and plan for retirement.  With college expenses and the stock exposure under control, we were able to take advantage of some generous corporate benefits without putting them unduly at risk.

What do you enjoy most about working at Modera?

I love the depth of thought that goes into our client advice at Modera.  The firm is staffed with passionate people from many different disciplines.  For example when I have a tax or estate planning question there are a number of qualified individuals that can and do freely share their perspectives and expertise so that I can bring our best thinking to the client. 

When you retire you’re going to…?

In my previous career I was shooting for a mid 50’s exit from the rat race into some form of semi-retirement. Having found this calling and transitioning into this career over the past ten years I don’t see myself fully retiring. I feel invested in the plans I’m creating with clients and selfishly, I want to see them come to fruition. I want to see the lives that our work together has helped to create for them and their families. 

Pete’s Insights

Market Downturns: How Safe is Your Deferred Compensation Plan?

Your employer’s traditional 401(k) plan and deferred comp plan may look similar. They may be visible from the same website and they may appear to have the same investments, but they are different in one very critical way. The deferred comp plan is not protected if your employer goes bankrupt, while the 401(k) plan is protected. With the recent downturn in the markets and volatility likely to continue, it’s important that you understand the differences between the two types of employer plans and review if any adjustments need to be made to your participation or allocation strategy.

COVID 19 Planning Topic – School Refunds and Student Loan Relief

With so much information being shared at this time, we wanted to make sure you did not miss two very important issues related to educational funding that apply to anyone who 1) paid tuition for the spring 2020 semester out of a 529 account or 2) has student loan debt. Feel free to forward this to others in your life whom it may apply to.

Getting the Most Value from College

The price of a college education has risen dramatically over the last few decades – in many cases far beyond the rate of inflation. For example, a $3,000-per-year tuition in the early ‘70s translates to just over $18,000 in today’s dollars. But when I researched a well-known college that cost $3,000 a year back then, I found it now charges between $31,864 and $35,086 a year. And that’s far from the most expensive one.