Carmen Grinkis, Leading Lady Making a Difference in Her Community
Carmen Grinkis, Ph.D, CLTC, CLU®, CFP® was recently featured in Providence Monthly, Hey Rhody, and The Bay Magazine’s Leading Ladies 2022 spotlight, which included over 100 inspiring, passionate, determined leaders who are making a difference in their Rhode Island communities. Carmen is a Wealth Advisor and Co-Managing Partner of AAF Wealth Management, a division of AAFCPAs.
Carmen Grinkis is a unique licensed investment adviser. Not only is she a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) professional, but she also has a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology. “I transitioned from psychology after 15 years to financial planning after joining my father’s retirement planning practice,” she explains. “I especially enjoy helping clients focus their resources to support their best lives.”
Her professional background may be a bit unorthodox, but her perspective as a psychologist brings surprising benefits to her financial planning work. “So much of financial planning is life planning. I approach each individual client with the intention of becoming attuned to their unique spirit and goals,” says Carmen. “This is the magic I love so much about personal financial planning.
“At AAF Wealth Management, we serve as a Financial Sherpa for our clients, helping them navigate their financial journey—including managing money, striving to provide them with peace of mind, helping them to achieve goals, and ultimately fulfillment,” she continues. “We believe that the future our clients envision cannot be achieved through investments alone.”
In her role as Financial Sherpa, Carmen is involved in a full range of services that are not typically part of a financial advisor experience. Instead, the focus is on the interplay of all the elements that comprise a client’s financial life, including taxes, business interests, investments, philanthropy, insurance, and estate planning. “We forecast, implement, monitor, and react in ways that keep their financial plan on course and bring long-term goals into clear view,” she explains.
While her approach to financial planning and managing wealth is structured, it is also highly individualized to match each client. “I love the uniqueness and originality of the clients I advise—from the professions they choose to the legacies they are planning to leave. Each of our client’s goals is personal, distinctive, and in progress,” she says. “One commonality of our clients is that they have complex financial needs. It’s incredibly fulfilling to understand their short and long-term goals, and to leverage all the resources available to help integrate and coordinate all the elements of their financial lives.”
Carmen’s creative spark allows her to bring new, unconventional ideas to financial planning, discovering “win-win” solutions that have a long-term positive impact on people. From connecting with clients over Zoom wine tastings to working one-on-one with them to understand their intricate financial needs, Carmen values the close, personal relationships she develops with them through being a boutique Registered Investment Advisor (RIA). “We are approaching $500M in Assets Under Management, and our organic growth is due to client referrals—which is the highest compliment we can get,” she says.
Carmen is proud to call picturesque Tiverton home. She and her wife Kathrine “Kitty” Lovell, a fine artist who paints nature scenes, were the first female couple to get married in the town, within days after it was legalized, holding their wedding in their backyard garden.
She and Kitty are both active supporters of South Coast Artists, Inc. and the Tiverton Land Trust. They are also members of the Tiverton Yacht Club, the University Club of Providence, and the LPGA Amateur Golf Association. When you see her around town, ask about her other passions, which include music, vintage turntables, golf, squash, travel, and outdoor adventure. “Not to brag,” she jokes, “but I’ve been recognized five times for the Four Corner’s Art Center Annual Re-Tree Event.” Her entry in 2021 was an homage to her late parents and their love of golf.
“I am deeply in love with my RI Sakonnet Coastal region. We are surrounded by artists and creative, like-minded people,” she says. “I remain deeply committed to the success of our Rhode Island community.”