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Welcome to WolfBridge Wealth

Where the Heart and Science of Financial Planning Meet

WolfBridge Wealth Is a Research-Based Financial Planning Firm

Serving the Research Triangle Park and Beyond

Your life is evolving, your financial plan should as well. To support our clients in reaching their goals and responding to new circumstances, WolfBridge Wealth provides personalized solutions brought to you by an experienced professional with a doctorate in financial planning.

Backed by empirical research, our approach leverages an understanding of varying financial situations and behavioral patterns to  develop individualized strategies.

We Provide Dynamic, Client-Centered Support by Leveraging:

Evidence-Based Strategies

Equipped with knowledge from extant peer-reviewed research, as well as our own empirical research, we go beyond intuition to offer our clients data-driven, evidence-based strategies.

The Ceaseless
Pursuit of Insight

By participating in and contributing to the body of empirical research, we not only are able to provide our clients with cutting-edge practices, we are also working to share those practices with others in the industry.

Dedicated, Empathetic Advocacy

We are committed to enhancing your financial well-being. We meet you where you are and work collaboratively towards your goals.

Ready to Learn More?

Meet Mike

Meet Michael Kothakota, Ph.D. 

Michael KothakotaMichael Kothakota, Ph. D.

Financial Planner

As a practitioner and researcher, Michael is a dedicated financial planner who uses evidence-based approaches. Michael’s approach is guided by a core belief that financial planning professionals’ efforts on behalf of clients should be driven by data and a deep understanding of the field.

Michael is committed to applying the science of financial planning to help his clients accomplish their goals.

Prior to WolfBridge Wealth, Michael worked for a large national financial services firm. He was the inaugural Head of Research at the Certified Financial Planning Board of Standards. His extensive experience and education have enabled him to provide exceptional financial planning services.  In addition, he has provided support and planning to hundreds of individuals and families. Michael teaches Foundations of Wealth Management at Columbia University and is also a Professor at New York University, where he teaches Retirement Strategies, Research in Financial Planning and Behavioral Finance. Previously he has taught doctoral level statistics and statistical programming at Kansas State University.

Outside of the office, Mike enjoys reading, exercising, playing with the family dog and baking (bread, in particular).


  • Ph.D. in Financial Planning from Kansas State University
  • M.S. in Predictive Analytics from Northwestern University 
  • Certificate in Financial Planning from NC State University
  • Certificate in Financial Therapy from Kansas State University
  • Certificate in Behavioral Economics from Duke University
  • Certificate in Advanced Analytics from Northwestern University


  • Financial Planning Association
  • American Statistical Association
  • Society of Personal Finance (London)

Providing Research-Driven Planning For Individuals & Families

Financial Planning for Individuals & Families

Offering Enlightened Guidance
To Align Your Wealth with Your Life

From supporting your family to ensuring a ideal retirement, having a financial plan is key to reaching your goals. With a foundation of enduring financial security, you and your loved ones can rest assured that your financial future is accounted for. As you move through life, we’re here to readjust your plan in accordance with newfound pursuits and life’s happenings.

Our Approach Is:

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Addressing your concerns and identifying your goals is key to developing a plan that mirrors your needs and aspirations, creating a secure foundation and a greater sense of stability.

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We do not follow a prescribed process nor utilize blanket solutions. Your distinct life and what sets you apart define the strategies that will be fit for you.

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Your financial plan is designed to meet your needs, anticipate possible challenges and set you up for your envisioned future. Our strategy is all-encompassing, addressing every aspect of your financial picture.

Our Comprehensive Financial Planning Services Include:

Investment Planning

Creating a tailored portfolio in accordance with your goals and desired risk capacity

Tax Planning

Identifying proactive strategies to minimize taxes across all areas of your wealth

Estate Planning

Developing an estate plan in order for you to leave the legacy you desire

Retirement Planning

Coordinating an income and Social Security strategy to ensure a comfortable retirement

College Planning

Building a plan to support the educational pursuits of you, your children or grandchildren

Business Succession Planning

Offering hands-on assistance to successfully pass on your business

Do Our Services Meet Your Needs?

Let's Talk

Divorce Financial Planning

Taking an Advanced Approach
To Navigate The Financial Implications of Divorce

Confronting a divorce can evoke a range of emotions — from stress and discomfort to fear and confusion. With many moving pieces to orchestrate as you prepare for a new chapter, it can feel difficult to know where to start. We are here to serve as both an ally and financial advisor, providing hands-on support and research-informed guidance.

Expert Guidance Informed by Empirical Research & Experience

Having participated in over 200 divorce cases and conducted peer-reviewed empirical research on the topic of divorce, we’re able to understand the emotional intricacies and have a strategic edge surrounding divorce financial planning. With this, we are well equipped to help you successfully prepare for your future and move forward in confidence.

We Offer Support That Is:


Armed with a Ph.D. in financial planning, masters degrees in business and predictive analytics, and having conducted research on divorce financial planning, our approach and advice is grounded in research and backed by experience.


We collaborate with you by understanding your needs through frequent communication. Additionally, we will work with other parties when appropriate, including your spouse, attorney, mental health professional and anyone else relevant to your situation.


We begin with developing specific goals. Throughout our process together, we take an active approach, using highly specific strategies catered to your unique situation to help you arrive at a financial strategy that will work for you.

We Specialize In:


Collaborative Divorce


Working closely with you, your spouse, both attorneys, and related professionals through an interest-based negotiation, joint problem-solving approach to find solutions that best meet the needs of all parties


Litigious Divorce


Serving as a work product expert or expert witness to assist you in obtaining a financially sound, fair settlement when litigated conflict is required




Reviewing and double-checking solutions proposed by other advisors to ensure knowledge equalization and a financial plan that is fair and advantageous for you


Financial Planning


Providing general financial planning for divorcees to manage new financial situations and create a goal-oriented plan


Equitable Distribution Analysis


Helping to value and determine an equitable division of assets for both divorcing parties


Separation Agreement Review


Reviewing a separation agreement for financial fairness, and to correct any financial mistakes before signing


Cash Flow Analysis


Understanding your short- and long-term cash flow and how this interacts with your divorce settlement and financial future


Pension Valuations


Analysis of retirement plan in order to optimally divide a pension

Are You Looking for Divorce Financial Assistance?
We Are Here to Help

Schedule a Conversation


How Individuals and Wealth Interact

Studies Conducted by Michael Kothakota, Ph.D.

As a contributing researcher in the fields of financial planning and divorce planning, Michael has conducted studies directly applicable to his work with clients.

Explore Studies by Topic:

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Risk Incongruency

The Research

Risk Literacy, Data Visualization and Financial Advisors

The Research

Do Financial Advisors Actually Measure Risk Tolerance?

The Research

Risk Tolerance and Political Affiliation

The Research

glasses iconFinancial Literacy

Visualization and Financial Literacy

The Research

people with line between iconDivorce & Finances

Alimony Estimation from Court Results

The Research

Perceptions of Alimony Fairness

The Research

The Effect of Alimony on Savings

The Research

Divorce and Emergency Savings

The Research

Retirement Savings and Divorce

The Research

Risky Asset Share

The Research

Interested in Learning More?

Explore Our Blog

WolfBridge Wealth

Combining Scientific Diligence with Compassionate Advocacy

Contact Us

If you’re ready to begin or you’d like to see if WolfBridge Wealth is right for you, schedule a call, contact us directly or fill out the form below.

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