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NAPFA Nation Episode #10: “Career Change Success: How a Tech, Consulting, and Academics Pro Became a Fiduciary Financial Advisor” with Irfan Bhabhrawala

Date: October 2023

In Episode #10 of NAPFA Nation, Irfan Bhabhrawala,  Owner and Lead Financial Planner at Arbor Financial, talks with podcast host Marie Swift about his career transitions – from a university setting, to technology and consulting roles, plus real estate investments, to ultimately becoming the owner of a Fee-Only financial planning firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Bhabhrawala is proud to be part of the fiduciary movement in financial planning, which prioritizes giving honest advice with minimal conflicts of interest. He shares:

  • Why he decided to leave lucrative career endeavors in other fields to become a commission-free, retainer-based, tax-focused, comprehensive financial advisor
  • How he used his transferable skills in his now chosen field of holistic financial planning and investment management
  • How he became the owner of the financial planning business versus just staying on with a financial planning firm in a more traditional, salaried role

In a nutshell: Bhabhrawala has been involved in financial planning for more than 20 years and is passionate about understanding each client's unique situation. He joined Arbor Financial in 2014 and purchased the business in 2015. Prior to that, he had experience in mechanical engineering, real estate investment, management consulting, and university administration. The seed for his interest in financial planning was planted when he helped his parents with their finances and struggled to find a professional who aligned with his values of Fee-Only advice without commissions. He became interested in financial planning as a hobby and eventually took over Arbor Financial. Bhabhrawala uses the ACP model for client compensation, focusing on factors like income and complexity. He prefers a flat rate annual fee and believes in being fair with fees. Real estate investments are discussed, with Bhabhrawala cautioning against too much risk, which could jeopardize an otherwise solid financial plan.

Podcast Guest
Irfan Bhabhrawala, CFP® 

Irfan Bhabhrawala joined Arbor Financial in early 2014 and purchased the business in November 2015. He is involved in all major business operations and is the Lead Financial Planner. Before joining the industry as a full-time professional in 2014, he had been involved in financial planning for more than 20 years, assisting numerous colleagues, family members, and friends with estate planning, investments, and taxes. Irfan also has real estate investment and management experience. Bhabhrawala and his wife own and manage multiple real estate properties in Ann Arbor, MI.

A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and a Registered Tax Preparer, he is an active member of the Michigan chapter of the Financial Planning Association (FPA), the Association of Comprehensive Planners (ACP), and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA). He has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan.

Prior to joining Arbor Financial, Bhabhrawala worked at the University of Michigan as an Associate Registrar, with management responsibilities in Business Intelligence/Reporting, Athletic Certification, Teaching Evaluations, Placement Examinations, and Information Technology and Security. He also founded and ran Active Technology Solutions, a consulting company focused on enterprise software implementations. Prior to that, he worked in consulting roles for PeopleSoft (now Oracle) and Andersen Consulting (now Accenture).
Availability: On-Demand
Cost: FREE
Credit Offered:
No Credit Offered
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