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Index Fund Advisors

Mark Hebner

President and Founder

Mark T. Hebner is the founder and president of Index Fund Advisors, Inc., (IFA), author of the highly regarded book Index Funds: The 12-Step Recovery Program for Active Investors, is the creator of and is featured in the award winning documentary film Index Funds: The 12-Step Recovery Program for Active Investors and architect of ifa.com, one of the most comprehensive websites focused on investor education. Mark’s current book and previous editions received praise from financial industry experts and academic luminaries, including John Bogle, David Booth, Burton Malkiel, and Nobel Laureates Harry Markowitz and Paul Samuelson. The book has been nominated as one of the three all-time greatest investment books, along with the writings of John Bogle and Warren Buffett.

This book details the possible perils associated with stock picking, mutual fund manager picking, market timing, and other wealth depleting behaviors. Hebner’s 12-Step Program teaches the differences between active and passive investing, explains the emotional triggers that impact investment decisions, and offers an enlightening education on evidence-based investing that may forever change the way an investor perceives the stock market.

Hebner is a respected speaker, frequent news contributor and authority on investing. His life’s mission is to “change the way the world invests by replacing speculation with education.” Hebner is especially knowledgeable about index funds, portfolio construction and the research indexes designed by Nobel Laureate Eugene Fama and Kenneth French. These indexes provide the building blocks for the prudent evidence-based investment strategies that Hebner implements for his IFA clients.

Mark is a Wealth Advisor (Series 65) and has an MBA from the University of California, Irvine and a Bachelor’s in Nuclear Pharmacy from the University of New Mexico. He was a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization for over 20 years and is currently a member of the World Presidents’ Organization and the Chief Executives Organization.

Prior to founding Index Fund Advisors in 1999, Mark was President, CEO and co-Founder of Syncor International (previously a public company – SCOR) from 1975 to 1985. In Jan. 2003, Cardinal Health acquired Syncor for approximately $850 million. As a division of Cardinal Health, it is the world’s leading provider of nuclear pharmacy services.

 

Wes Long

Executive Vice President,
Director of Advisor Services and Marketing

Wes is a seasoned executive with over 30 years of industry experience. He is responsible for providing leadership and oversight to IFA’s Wealth Advisors, Portfolio Management and Research Department, Marketing Department, Retirement Services Department and IFA Taxes. He works closely with all areas of the organization to implement strategic initiatives designed to provide an exceptional client experience, ongoing investor education and expand new client business.

Wes began his career in the financial services industry as a financial advisor with Smith Barney. His career spans three decades and includes working with retail and institutional investors as well as various management roles. Prior to joining IFA, he was a member of the executive team for one of the largest broker dealers headquartered on the west coast. He has held multiple securities licenses including the General Securities Representative (FINRA Series 7), General Securities Sales Supervisor (FINRA Series 8), General Securities Principal (FINRA Series 24) and Limited-Equity Trader (FINRA Series 55). He is currently registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as an Investment Adviser Representative. He completed the Securities Industry Association (SIA) Branch Management Leadership Institute at The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Wes has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business/Marketing from Portland State University.

 

Anne Page

Director of Client Services

Anne Page is the Director of Client Services, a licensed Investment Advisor (Series 65) and commissioned notary public. She has more than 15 years of experience in the investment services and management industry. Anne has extensive expertise in the areas of investment operations, business technology and development, and is currently pursuing the Investment Foundations Program certificate administered by the CFA Institute.

Anne specializes in implementing operational procedures that are compliant with industry standards but are simple to follow. With her experience, she removes unnecessary complexities, which promote operational efficiencies and in turn provide an overall positive client experience. Aside from managing a team of professional client service specialists, she also works directly with Mark Hebner, President of Index Fund Advisors.

 

Kai Xiong, CFA®

Senior Portfolio Manager

Kai Xiong joined IFA in 2012. He is the head of the firm’s Portfolio Management and Research Department. Kai is responsible for overseeing a team of portfolio associates and analysts, as well as developing, refining and implementing processes for efficient portfolio execution and management. Kai and his team are responsible for daily trading activities, as well as for establishing policies to maintain target allocations while incurring minimal expenses. As a member of our internal Investment Committee, Kai is responsible for researching, analyzing and reporting on asset class fund alternatives that may be suitable for investment selection and inclusion in our portfolios, in keeping with our fiduciary standard of care of ongoing monitoring and reporting. Kai is a CFA Charterholder: “The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter is an investment credential that, for more than 60 years, has been the global standard for embodying the integrity, dedication, and advanced skills needed to build a stronger, more accountable financial industry. No credential is as widely respected for its focus on current investment expertise and performing in the client’s best interest. None is harder to obtain.” (cfainstitute.org)

Kai earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business Administration from the University of California, Berkeley – Haas School of Business.
Certified Financial Planner ™ (CFP®) is a designation received upon passing the course work and exam administered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board).

 

Shareen Balkey

Director of Retirement Services

Shareen Balkey joined Index Fund Advisors (IFA) in February 2017 as the Director of Retirement Services (Series 65). Shareen’s experience includes over 30 years in the retirement plan marketplace. Before joining IFA Shareen served as a Senior Client Manager for Transamerica Retirement Solutions in Los Angeles where she managed 401(k) plans for medium to large corporations. Prior to this, Shareen worked for John Hancock, ING and The Standard as an external sales associate. Shareen has partnered with hundreds of TPAs, record-keepers and advisors to provide the best retirement plan solutions for plan sponsors and participants. She brings extensive experience to IFA along with the leadership and depth of knowledge that will help to significantly increase IFA’s presence in the retirement plan business.

Shareen earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from San Diego State University.

 

John Dahlin, CPA

Director of Tax

John Dahlin is a certified public accountant (CPA) with over 10 years experience in public accounting doing individual, business, trust and non profit tax returns. John enjoys educating and assisting clients with straightforward solutions to their various accounting and tax situations. John was born and raised in Southern California. He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration from California State University, Fullerton.

 

Becky Vasquez

Senior Vice President, Wealth Advisor, CFP®

Becky Vasquez is a Senior Vice President and Wealth Advisor (Series 65) at Index Fund Advisors, Inc. She has more than 33 years of experience in the financial services industry, is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) and has a Certificate in Personal Financial Planning from University of California, Irvine Extension.

Becky specializes in advising high net worth clients with extensive expertise in personalized asset allocation, retirement planning and tax efficient strategies. She also has many years of experience in advising investment committees for endowments, foundations, and pension plans, as well as working with companies to construct highly diversified, low-cost 401(k) retirement solutions for their employees.

Becky is married to Steve and lives in Huntington Beach, California. She is the proud mother of Britney and Tyler and the grandmother to 3-year old Tucker. She serves and has served in many volunteer capacities for her community and church.

Certified Financial Planner ™ (CFP®) is a designation received upon passing the course work and exam administered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board).

 

 

Denise Delaney

Senior Vice President, Wealth Advisor, CFP®

Denise Delaney is a Senior Vice President and Wealth Advisor (Series 65) at Index Fund Advisors, Inc. She has more than 29 years of experience in the industry as an advisor and is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®).

Denise specializes in advising a range of clients including younger families looking for retirement planning to high net worth individuals with specific requirements and complex financial, estate and long-term care planning needs. She also has many years of experience in advising investment committees for endowments, foundations and pension plans, as well as working with companies to construct highly diversified, low-cost 401(k) retirement solutions for their employees.

Denise understands that not all clients share the same knowledge regarding the investing process. She skillfully identifies clients’ needs and educates them about the benefits associated with a passive investment strategy—creating peace of mind as well as a comprehensible financial solution to assist clients in reaching their financial goals.

Denise earned her undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. She has been a Southern California resident since 1991 and enjoys hiking and a healthy lifestyle with friends and family. Denise was designated a CFP in August of 1992 and looks forward to many years of continued service to her valued clients.

Certified Financial Planner ™ (CFP®) is a designation received upon passing the course work and exam administered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board).

 

 

Mary Brunson

Vice President, AIF®
Index Fund Advisors & Investing for Catholics

Mary Brunson is a Vice President and Wealth Advisor (Series 65) at Index Fund Advisors, Inc. as well as Investing for Catholics, a division of Index Fund Advisors, Inc. She is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary (AIF), co-creator of Investing for Catholics, and considered a respected speaker, author and authority on developing sound investment policy for prudent investing.

Mary has a particular expertise in faith-consistent investing rooted in financial science, providing fiduciary advice and institutional wealth services to religious orders including Archdioceses, dioceses, endowments and foundations. In addition, Mary works with non-religious public trusts, pension plans and individuals.

Mary is the co-author of Tending the Flock: Shepherding Catholic Retirement Plans, and author of numerous articles and papers, including papers co-authored with IFA President Mark Hebner and Nobel Prize Winner in Economics, Harry Markowitz, titled “Can You Do Well While Doing Good?” and “Does Portfolio Theory Work During Financial Crises?”

Mary is a board member for the Magis Institute, spearheaded by Father Robert J. Spitzer, S.J. She is also the former National Chair of the Spirituality Commission for the National Council of Catholic Women (NCCW), as well as a member of the Board of Trustees for Catholic Charities of Orange County, and a member of its finance and investment committee. Mary is a graduate of University of California, Irvine.

*Accredited Investment Fiduciary™ (AIF®) certification is a designation received upon passing course work and exam administered by the Center for Fiduciary Studies, LLC (a Fiduciary 360 company.) The designation signifies the recipient has specialized knowledge of fiduciary standards of care and their application to the investment management process.

 

Venkat Yarlagadda

Vice President, Wealth Advisor, AIF®
Northeast Regional Representative

Venkat Yarlagadda is a Vice President and Wealth Advisor (Series 65) with Index Fund Advisors, Inc. He is a seasoned financial professional committed to providing personalized investment advice based on financial science.

Venkat specializes in advising a range of clients including high net worth individuals, investment committees for endowments, foundations and pension plans, as well as working with companies to construct highly diversified, low-cost 401(k) retirement solutions for their employees.

Venkat believes successful investing requires education, discipline and a fiduciary advisor. His clients benefit from his unwavering commitment to strategies that incorporate financial innovations (or dimensions of expected returns) that are sensible, persistent through time, pervasive across markets and cost-effective to capture a well-diversified portfolio.
*Accredited Investment Fiduciary™ (AIF®) certification is a designation received upon passing course work and exam administered by the Center for Fiduciary Studies, LLC (a Fiduciary 360 company.) The designation signifies the recipient has specialized knowledge of fiduciary standards of care and their application to the investment management process.

 

Derick Kann

Senior Vice President, Wealth Advisor, CFP®

Derick Kann is a Senior Vice President and Wealth Advisor (Series 65) at Index Fund Advisors, Inc. He has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry and is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU), Chartered Advisor for Senior Living® (CASL™), Chartered Mutual Fund CounselorSM (CMFC®), Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM (CRPC®) and Accredited Asset Management SpecialistSM (AAMS®).

Derick specializes in long-term investment and retirement planning for a range of clients including high net worth individuals and families, investment committees for endowments, foundations and pension plans, as well as working with companies to construct highly diversified, low-cost 401(k) retirement solutions for their employees.

Derick understands that not all clients share the same knowledge regarding the investing process. He skillfully identifies clients’ needs and educates them about the benefits associated with a passive investment strategy—creating peace of mind as well as a comprehendible financial solution to assist clients in reaching their financial goals.

Derick earned his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of Texas at San Antonio and his masters degree in Business Administration from the University of the Incarnate Word. He is a member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and a lifetime member of Delta Mu Delta Honor Society. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with family, travel, and volunteer work.

Certified Financial Planner ™ (CFP®) is a designation received upon passing the course work and exam administered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board).

 

Gordon Shuler

Vice President, Wealth Advisor

Gordon Shuler is a Vice President and Wealth Advisor (Series 65) at Index Fund Advisors, Inc. He has over 20 years of experience in the industry and has been with IFA for over 10 of them.

Gordon specializes in advising a range of clients with his deep knowledge of index fund investing including high net worth individuals, investment committees for endowments, foundations and pension plans, as well as working with companies to construct highly diversified, low-cost 401(k) retirement solutions for their employees.

Gordon enjoys educating clients through simplified explanations of complex investment concepts. He has presented on a variety of investment topics to hundreds of seminar attendees and has periodically provided commentary and interviews on local radio stations.

Gordon has a B.S. Degree in Production Management from California State University, Long Beach, with a specialization in Operations Research & Statistics. He was previously employed for over 20 years at large, high technology firms including General Electric Co. and Hewlett-Packard, as well as several small start-up firms in the high technology area of computer engineering.

 

Neal Rutter

Vice President, Wealth Advisor

Neal Rutter is a Vice President and Wealth Advisor (Series 65) at Index Fund Advisors, Inc. He began his career in the investment industry with a top independent broker-dealer, but soon learned the inherent conflicts associated with commission-based fee structures. It was this realization that motivated him to shift his career to focus on delivering fee-only advice and providing a fiduciary standard of care to his clients.

Neal specializes in advising a range of clients including high net worth individuals, investment committees for endowments, foundations and pension plans, as well as working with companies to construct highly diversified, low-cost 401(k) retirement solutions for their employees.

Neal focuses on educating his clients about the true source of stock market returns, why every investor has the right to expect a return, and the odds of achieving their desired outcome. Neal is fully committed to assisting his clients with maximizing their investment experiences by sharing with them the important data that is the hallmark of prudent investing.

Neal and his wife Deanna live in Tustin, California with their two young daughters. Prior to having children Neal enjoyed travel, wine, and sports. Now, his time outside of work is often spent playing Legos and singing “princess songs”.

 

Brad von Grote

Wealth Advisor

Brad von Grote is a Wealth Advisor (Series 65) at Index Fund Advisors, Inc. He began his career in the investment industry in 1999 as a stockbroker, but soon learned the inherent conflicts associated with commission-based fee structures. It was this realization that motivated him to shift his career to focus on delivering fee-only advice and acting as a true fiduciary to his clients.

Brad specializes in advising a range of clients including high net worth individuals, investment committees for endowments, foundations and pension plans, as well as working with companies to construct highly diversified, low-cost 401(k) retirement solutions for their employees.

Brad focuses on educating his clients about the true source of stock market returns, why every investor has the right to expect a return, and the odds of achieving their desired outcome. Brad is fully committed to assisting his clients toward maximizing their investment experiences by sharing with them the important data that is the hallmark of prudent investing.

Married with two sons, Brad enjoys kite boarding, motorcycles and contributing his spare time to charity work for his church.

 

Daniel Chong

Wealth Advisor, CFP®

Daniel Chong is a Wealth Advisor (Series 65) at Index Fund Advisors, Inc. as well as Investing for Catholics. He has more than eleven years of experience in the industry as an advisor and is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®).

Daniel specializes in advising a range of clients including high net worth individuals, investment committees for endowments, foundations and pension plans, as well as working with companies to construct highly diversified, low-cost 401(k) retirement solutions for their employees.

Daniel understands that not all clients share the same knowledge regarding the investing process. He skillfully identifies clients’ needs and educates them about the benefits associated with a passive investment strategy—creating peace of mind as well as a comprehendible financial solution to assist clients in reaching their financial goals.

Daniel earned his undergraduate degree in Psychology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Certified Financial Planner ™ (CFP®) is a designation received upon passing the course work and exam administered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board).