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Intentional, tailored wealth planning that triggers clarity and inspires confidence.


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Your Personal CFO

CogentBlue provides integrated wealth advisory solutions to families and individuals who desire more than traditional investment management. Our process considers a broad range of variables across multiple areas in order to systematically address and manage your personal and financial goals and aspirations.

Unconflicted Advice

The most important characteristic of what we do is a core commitment to the fiduciary standard. That means we put your interests first - always. We don’t earn investment commissions. We don’t charge hidden fees. And, we represent no one but you. Period.

One of a Kind Experience

At the foundation of every client relationship is the development of a comprehensive and dynamic financial plan that is as unique as you are, designed to cover all the important details of your financial life, enabling clarity and confidence for the future.

Pairing world-class service with down-to-earth conversations.

Wes Brown, CFP®, EA Photo

Wes Brown, CFP®, EA

Founder & Principal
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Wes founded CogentBlue Wealth Advisors to provide objective, multidimensional financial advice to clients looking for help with their wealth management needs.

Wes spent nearly six years in personal tax before pursuing comprehensive wealth management in 2007. Wes holds a Bachelors degree in Business and Psychology with a Minor in Music, and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and Enrolled Agent with the IRS. Wes has been featured numerous times in various local and national media outlets, and has written extensively on topics centered around the intersection of money and life.

Wes' personal interests include spending time with his wife and three kids in the mountains of Tennessee or on the coast of Maine.

Eric Stein, CFA Photo

Eric Stein, CFA

Co-Chief Investment Counsel
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Eric Stein serves as Co-Chief Investment Counsel for CogentBlue.  His past experience includes serving as a Vice President at Goldman Sachs Asset Management and Chief Investment Officer for RSM U.S. Wealth Management. 

Eric is a proud graduate of Indiana University where he earned a B.S. in Finance. Eric also earned the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation in 2001 and continues to stay involved in the local society. Eric has been quoted several times in the Wall Street Journal and has written extensively on topics covering asset allocation, manager due diligence as well as having covered many different economic events.

Eric assists CogentBlue with portfolio oversight, investment due diligence, and the development of the firm's investment models. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling with his wife, Laura, and their two sons, Scott and Jack.  Eric is an avid cyclist and includes finishing a Half-Ironman as one of his greatest athletic accomplishments. He is based in Charlotte, NC.

Mario Nardone, CFA Photo

Mario Nardone, CFA

Co-Chief Investment Counsel
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Mario Nardone serves as Co-Chief Investment Counsel for CogentBlue. Mario began his investment career in 1999 with Vanguard where he consulted institutions and financial advisors on investment policy, portfolio construction, and Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs). He also contributed to the research and publication of the firm's world-renowned investment philosophy and served as a municipal bond fund specialist, among other roles during his tenure. 

Previously, Mario served as Chief Investment Officer and Chief Compliance Officer for a respected financial planning and advisory firm in Mount Pleasant, SC. He is Past President of CFA Society South Carolina, current Chairman of the College of Charleston Finance Department Advisory Board, and a member of the CFA Institute and the Financial Planning Association.  His approach to investments and the industry has been featured in Investment News, NAPFA Advisor Magazine, Charleston Regional Business Journal, The Post & Courier, and The Northeast Pennsylvania Business Journal.

Mario is active in recreational sports and the Charleston community.  He is an avid traveler and SCUBA diver, enjoys spending time with his wife, Piper, and their “energetic” lab/shepherd mix, Cady. 

Tonia Brownlee Photo

Tonia Brownlee

Client Service Specialist
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Tonia joined CogentBlue in 2019 to provide administrative and operational support. Also known as the “Coordinator of Awesome”, she works tirelessly to ensure the delivery of exceptional client care. 

Previously, Tonia had a long career in education, most recently as adjunct faculty for a local Knoxville college. Originally from Virginia, Tonia holds a B.A. in English and a M.A. in Education from the University of Tennessee. 

Tonia is the mom to three extraordinary, horse-loving girls and two crazy, adorable puppies. Outside of the office, Tonia tries to spend as much time as she can in the sun and on the water with family and friends.


You and CogentBlue

CogentBlue employs a values-based approach to planning and investing. That involves developing and implementing a unique plan that meets each new client's expectations and goals. Each plan includes monthly reporting, regular reviews, and ongoing, disciplined cross-checks to ensure that we are holding true to clients' interests and preferences, and meeting their goals and needs.

CogentBlue is committed to providing a client experience that is nothing short of exceptional. We fulfill that commitment by communicating proactively, delivering thought leadership, and providing access to coordinated resources and personnel whenever it's needed.

Developing an understanding of what matters most to our clients begins with a discussion that covers topics such as the following:

  • Family members and important relationships
  • Family and individual goals, personally, professionally, and financially
  • Level of understanding and education on financial concepts
  • Family financial history
  • Summary of financial landscape
  • Family values

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Our Investment Philosophy

  • Invest in things you understand; know what you own and why it fits in your portfolio. Don’t fall for fancy sales pitches, media hype or market hysteria.
  • Invest while keeping costs low (e.g. transaction costs, taxes, etc.). Costs will only drag down returns over time.
  • Invest broadly and globally. There is no singular “market.”  Invest across asset classes, market capitalizations and styles.  Proper diversification is key.
  • Invest for the long-term. The long-term is more than a 1- or 3-year outlook.  Daily or weekly market fluctuations should not affect your decisions, behavior, or outlook.
  • Invest where the risk you are taking is compensated by the return you are receiving.
  • Invest with your total portfolio in mind. Focus on the success of the overall portfolio, not on specific investments.
  • Invest for the future. Don’t base today’s investment decision on past performance.
  • Invest with a plan. Hope is not an investment strategy.

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Our Clients

We serve individuals and families who have more than enough to meet their needs, and are looking for a personal CFO to help them carefully and successfully manage their financial affairs. Our clients have often worked in the following professional fields:

  • current and retired corporate executives
  • medical professionals
  • academics
  • entrepreneurs

Regardless of career field, we met nearly all of our clients during some kind of life transition, such as divorce, the loss of their spouse, an inheritance, a job change, or retirement. We understand that transitions are emotional, involve complexity, and require coordination on numerous fronts to navigate successfully. As such, our solutions have been crafted to specifically to meet those needs.

Our clients typically have the following goals:

  • Continue growing their wealth
  • Minimize income and estate taxes
  • Protect their assets from being unjustly taken from them
  • Maximize the impact of their wealth on their family and/or the causes they care about
  • Ensure they’re making the right decisions in all aspects of their finances

Our clients grew their wealth through a lifetime of hard work, delayed gratification, and prudently taking risk. As such, they generally value responsible stewardship of their assets over excessive consumption or speculation. Above all, they want to ensure the fruits of their life's work go toward meaningful ends.

Since your goals are closely tied to your values, it’s important for us to get to know you on a deep level so we can best serve you. Before we enter into a new relationship, we take the time to ensure there is a mutual fit in terms of approach, process and philosophy. This allows us to ensure we work only with those for whom we can provide significant value. If we discover we aren’t a good match, we’ll kindly take the time to help you locate a better fit.

We invite you to learn more about our background to determine if we might be the right advisors for you.  

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