While many firms are made up of a collection of individuals, ours works as a team to see to your every need. The sum of our combined experience comes together to create a team that can meet not only the needs of a wide range of clientele, but also the many personal requirements of each individual client. We invite you to click on each associate to learn about our team’s care, contribution and experience.
Keith Fenstad, CFP®
Brian Merrill, CFP®
- Wealth Advisors
Jeff A. Speight, CFP®
Abigail Gunderson, CFP®
Peter Faust, CFP®
- Client Service and Coordinators
Victor Powell, CFP®
- General Office Services
- Client Servicing
- Plan and orchestrate special client events
- Joined Tanglewood Total Wealth Management in November, 2000
- Began financial services career in 1977
- Associate Degree from San Jacinto College North
- Handles administrative aspects of Tanglewood's investment advisory accounts
- Serves as liason between Tanglewood and Charles Schwab
- Addresses account administration questions
- Joined Tanglewood Total Wealth Management in July 2012
- Served in the Army National Guard from 2010 to 2016
- Associate Degree from San Jacinto College-Central
- Investments and Operations
Curtis J. Holden, CFA
- Manages all trading activities
- Preparation of client reports - including quarterly reports and tax reports
- Maintains Tanglewood's portfolio management & CRM systems
- Joined Tanglewood Total Wealth Management in February 2007
- Began Financial Services career in 2000
President, Chief Investment Officer
John was raised in Arlington, Texas, and moved to Houston in 1973. John attended the University of Texas at Arlington and received his Bachelor of Science degree in University Studies with concentrations in economics, government and mathematics. He completed his Certified Financial Planner studies in 1980.
John is a pioneer in wealth management services. After working with a local financial planning firm from 1974 to 1979, he founded Tanglewood as Houston’s first “fee only” (no commissionable products) financial planning and investment management firm in 1979. From the beginning, John believed that there should be no conflicts of interest with clients. John is proud of the fact that he has never raised fees and, in fact, has lowered them four times over his career.
John is a recognized leader in the Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) community. He served on Charles Schwab’s Advisory Board (2007-2008). He has been recognized by both Barrons and Worth magazine as one of the top advisors in the country. He has often appeared on CNBC, Bloomberg TV and the Fox Business channel. He has been quoted in a wide variety of business publications including The Wall Street Journal, Barrons, Investors Business Daily and the Houston Chronicle. John manages over $800 million in client assets.
John has written or co-written five books on portfolio management. The latest, Investing in Uncertain Times (2012), was co-written with his son Brian (who also works at Tanglewood). John also wrote Outperforming the Market, McGraw Hill, (1998) and Beyond Stocks (1997).
John and his wife Diane are very active in the Houston community. John serves as chairman of the Financial Literacy Board, a non-profit endowment at the University of Texas at Arlington. Diane is very involved with the Houston Holocaust Museum. Both John and Diane are avid golfers. They also enjoy traveling and include golf on most trips.
|“There is absolutely nothing more rewarding than helping clients create a plan that meets all of their goals and that balances the tradeoffs between current and future needs. For me, it is all about the client, getting to know them, appreciating their personal needs and formulating a strategy that helps them achieve what matters most to them.”|
Recent Media Appearances/Articles
ETFs Benefitting From Global Upturn January 28, 2018
Stocks Finishing Best Year Since 2013 December 29, 2017
ETFs to Keep An Eye On in 2017 December 30, 2016
Keith Fenstad, CFP®
Partner, Director of Financial Planning, Chief Compliance Officer
Keith was born in 1970 and spent much of his early life in Omaha, Nebraska before his family was relocated to Houston in 1986.
Keith attended Sam Houston State University and received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree majoring in Finance. Keith went on to complete the Personal Financial Planning program at the University of Houston and achieved the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation in early 2000.
Keith has spent his entire career in the Financial Services industry. Prior to joining Tanglewood in March of 2002, he was a Financial Advisor with several large institutions and advisory firms.
As Tanglewood’s Director of Wealth Planning and member of the Wealth Advisory team, Keith’s primary responsibility is to advise clients as they navigate through life’s wealth planning issues. He firmly believes that successful long-term client relationships are built on the pillars of trust, communication and knowledge. Knowledge not only about the many planning areas and issues of today but also a deep understanding of the client’s own unique needs and situations.
Keith is also Tanglewood’s Chief Compliance Officer with responsibilities for overseeing and managing Tanglewood’s compliance program and filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Keith and his wife Dawn were married in 1994 and have two children, Grace and Grant. They are very active with their church and community - actively volunteering with several ministries and outreach projects. In his personal time, he plays tennis regularly and can often be found spending late nights out in the garage restoring his vintage Mustang.
|“My work isn’t a job for me, it’s a passion. I serve as a personal Financial Coach through my church and lead groups through financial planning workshops, continually looking for ways to help people improve their lives through wealth management. I especially enjoy helping people who come in with questions and uncertainty by communicating complex strategies and planning concepts in a way that’s straight forward, understandable and relatable. Providing the peace of mind that comes with knowing they have a plan in place that meets their needs.”|
Why You Should Do a Digital Inventory of Your Assets U.S. New and World Report, February 8th, 2016
How to Discuss Aging Issues With Your Kids U.S. News and World Report, April 3, 2015
Keeping Good Debt Can Net You More Money MainStreet.com July 14, 2014
Lottery Winning 101: First Get a Lawyer and Tax Expert NBC News, September 19, 2013
What to Do When You Win the Lottery CNBC, August 8, 2013
How do you fight back if student-loan interest rates double? (Video) Houston Business Journal, June 5, 2013
What to Do With Your 401k When You Leave Your Job DepositAccounts.com, April 15 2013
Brian Merrill, CFP®
Partner, Director of Marketing, Investment Committee
Brian was born and raised in Houston, graduating from Memorial High School in 1997. He proceeded to Southern Methodist University where he earned a BBA in Finance and Marketing (double major) in 2001.
Brian interned at Enron Corp. and then accepted a full time offer upon graduation. Two months after the infamous Enron collapse, Brian left to join his father at Tanglewood.
For his first three years at the firm, Brian served as an investment analyst doing research and assisting with portfolio management. In 2004 he started the “All Seasons Retirement Portfolios” program at Tanglewood, now named “Tanglewood Portfolios”.
In 2014, Brian purchased a 10% stake in Tanglewood and joined the firm as the third equity partner. With this change, Brian’s role transitioned to greater leadership, including his current role as Director of Marketing and serving as a key member of the firm’s Investment Committee. Brian continues to serve as Wealth Manager for firm clients.
Brian has co-written two books with his father, The Sure Road to Investment Success (2007) and Investing in Uncertain Times (2012). Beginning in 2009, he served a two-year term as a member of Charles Schwab & Company’s Technology, Operations and Service (TOS) Advisory Board, where he was the representative for the South Central region of the United States.
Over the years Brian has taken leadership positions for several nonprofit groups in the Houston area. In 2014, he married the love of his life, Nikki. In 2016, their son Brendan was born. They have two rescue dogs “Lucky” and “Little Guy” and the five of them live near Memorial Park in Houston.
|“I’m fortunate to work with such a high quality firm, and to do work that I love with people I respect. Personally, I most enjoy working with successful professionals under 50 who are committed to their long term goals. These highly motivated, high earners are still working toward their goals, understand the value of savings, and value an Advisor they can partner with to plan, protect and preserve their accumulating wealth so that they can focus on other priorities during this time in their life.”|
The Financial Planner's Guide to Giving-3 Tips for the Holidays Houston Business Journal, November 20, 2015
Oil prices up as report says companies re-evaluating $1.5 trillion in projects Houston Chronicle, Septemver 21, 2015
Advisors Go Paperless for Efficiency and Growth Financial Advisor IQ, July 29,2015
Outsourcing Inspires Strong Feelings in FAs: Study Financial Advisor IQ, April 27, 2015
60 is the new 30: Here’s how that has revolutionized Houston’s retirement industry Houston Business Journal, August 29, 2014
Have too much money in your retirement account? See this guy Houston Business Journal, June 12, 2014
Smooth Transitions Morningstar Advisor, April 14, 2014
Tech cuts costs, lower clients fees for Houston financial advice firm Houston Business Journal, July 3, 2013
Jeff A. Speight, CFP®
Jeff was born in Kankakee, Illinois in 1965 and grew up in a retirement community in the Ozarks. He attended the University of Tulsa from 1983 to 1988 and received a B.S.B.A. degree in Finance with a minor in Management Information Systems. Jeff went on to earn his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation in 2001.
Jeff has worked in the financial services and investments industry since 1987, including over ten years with Schwab Advisor Services. In Orlando, he worked as a supervisor of various Schwab service teams.
For almost 6 years, Jeff was a successful Business Development Officer for Schwab in Houston, helping Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) move their practices to Schwab. His expertise was helping successful advisors start their own RIAs. While at Schwab, Jeff received recognition in both the Service and Business Development areas, including: Excellence in Service and President’s/Chairman’s Club awards.
He joined Tanglewood in September 2012 as a Wealth Advisor and member of the Wealth Advisory team. His other duties include developing business opportunities with professionals and small business owners.
In January 2015, Jeff was ordained a Permanent Deacon in the Catholic Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston, a lifetime commitment. While in formation, Jeff earned a Masters of Arts in Pastoral Studies in 2014 at the University of St. Thomas. When not serving our Tanglewood clients, Jeff is a clergy member at Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church.
Jeff also volunteers his time to community organizations, including serving as House Chaplain for a faith-based transitional housing program.
Jeff and his wife, Terri, have been married 28 years. Jeff and Terri have three sons, one in high school, another in college and one recent college grad. All three were involved in Scouting, with their oldest becoming an Eagle Scout.
In his free time, Jeff enjoys family fun in the pool, reading a good book, and playing guitar.
|“As both a Wealth Advisor and as an ordained permanent deacon I spend a lot of time talking to people about details of their personal and financial lives. People often tell me that I am one of only a couple people with whom they’ve ever felt comfortable sharing this information. Knowing that I have developed this type of trust with many clients is something I do not take lightly, and a privilege I enjoy immensely as it is central to my ability to help people enjoy fuller lives through their finances.”|
Sometimes the Most Precise Answer is "It Depends" Financial Advisor IQ, December 18, 2015
With Clients, Partway is Better Than No Way at All Financial Advisor IQ, May 28,2015
Advice for Researching Your Financial Adviser Houston Chronicle, January 5, 2015
Houston a draw for those in the finance industry Houston Chronicle, September 8, 2014
Tips for Investing Your Tax Refund Mainstreet.com, April 9, 2014
Abigail Gunderson, CFP®
Abigail was born in 1969 and raised in the Philippines. Having a father that worked as an airline executive expatriate for years, Abigail had the opportunity to study and live in Bangkok, Hong Kong, Manila and California before moving to Houston in 1992.
Abigail attended the Ateneo de Manila University from 1987 to 1991 and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering.
Abigail began her career working in the aerospace industry. She worked closely with astronauts, cosmonauts and scientists at NASA and Star City, Russia in the development of experimental procedures utilized on the Space Station MIR.
Since finance was a field that increasingly interested her, Abigail decided to make a career transition. She completed the Personal Financial Planning program at the University of Houston and obtained the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation in 2006.
Abigail has been in the financial field for since 2003. During this time, she worked for one of the largest national accounting firms in their Private Client group and gained valuable tax experience. She also worked for two local Registered Investment Advisors where she developed collaborative relationships with executives, professionals, and business owners, and designed many comprehensive financial and estate plans. She is committed to building beneficial relationships with clients and helping them successfully implement financial plans tailored to meet their unique needs and goals.
Abigail joined Tanglewood in April 2013 as a Wealth Advisor. Her other duties also include developing business opportunities. She serves as a member of the Houston Business & Estate Planning Council and the Financial Planning Association.
Abigail and her husband, Bruce, a native Texan, were married in 1992 and have a son, Richard Austin. In her free time, Abigail enjoys traveling with family and friends, the performing arts, watching movies and reading a wide variety of books and publications. She actively volunteers for the Christians in Action and Hospitality ministries in her local church.
Helping Clients Pare Company Stock Wall Street Journal, March 27, 2018
Why Every Woman Needs an Emergency Fund USA Today, July 4, 2015
"Saying 'Yes' to a Couple's Dream Home" Wall Street Journal, May 1, 2015
Peter Faust, CFP®
Peter, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, joined Tanglewood in May 2016 as a Wealth Advisor. In this role, he works with the next generation of wealth management clients.
His diverse experience includes financial planning, investment management, and managing client relationships. Peter has worked for a local wealth-management firm, a national multi-family office, and a Michigan-based financial advisory firm.
Peter holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from the Haworth College of Business at Western Michigan University. He graduated magna cum laude.
Originally from Detroit, Michigan, and previously a resident of Florida and Arizona, Peter jokes that he got to Texas as fast as he could. He moved to Houston, Texas, in 2013.
Peter and his wife Alexis, a native Texan and Houstonian, live in Kingwood with their daughter Alexandra. In his free time, Peter enjoys spending time with family, reading, and traveling.
|“I love what I do because I can make a significant impact on my clients' lives. My role is all about helping people by really listening to their concerns, finding out what is important to them, and then coming up with the right strategies to help them achieve their goals. I am honored to serve as my clients’ advocate and provide independent advice that serves their best interest.”|
The Latest College Scene Financial Advisor, March 1, 2018
Why Rich Millennials Aren't Investing U.S. News and World Report, February 2, 2018
Victor Powell, CFP®
Client Relationship Coordinator
Victor, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, joined Tanglewood in October of 2014 as a Client Relationship Coordinator. In this role, he works with the Wealth Advisors and clients of the firm during all phases of the wealth management process. Victor also coordinates the efforts of the Wealth Advisors with the Client Services team.
Victor has spent his entire career in the financial services industry. Before joining Tanglewood, he worked at another Houston area financial services firm in both wealth management and tax preparation roles. He is skilled in lifetime tax planning and retirement planning.
Victor was born in Houston, Texas in 1989 and grew up in the Cypress area. He received his B.B.A. in Finance with a concentration in personal financial planning from Stephen F. Austin State University in 2011. Victor went on to earn his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation in 2017.
Victor and his wife Chelsea, live in Houston with their two dogs. In his free time, Victor enjoys all things music and guitar, as well as traveling and the outdoors.
Senior Client Services Associate
Curtis J. Holden, CFA
Senior Investment Officer
Curtis is a native Houstonian and a sixth-generation Texan. He grew up in the Pearland area where he graduated from Pearland High School in 1993. Curtis holds a BBA in Finance from The University of Houston, Bauer College of Business (1997) and a Master of Science in Finance from
The University of Houston, Bauer College of Business (2001). He is a CFA charter holder and member of the Houston Society of Financial Analysts.
Curtis brings a unique mix of analytic and interpersonal skills. He started his professional career in valuation where he was charged with evaluating interest in family partnerships and closely-held businesses. Curtis then worked in banking where he served as an institutional trustee and relationship manager. He entered wealth management in 2005 and worked for a local, independent wealth manager for 8 years. Curtis joined the Tanglewood team in November 2013.
As a Senior Investment Officer, his responsibilities include investment research, fund due diligence, asset allocation and economic research. Curtis also serves as the primary relationship manager for clients enrolled in Tanglewood Portfolios.
Curtis makes frequent appearances in online and print media as a guest commentator on the financial markets. He has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, CNBC.com, The Washington Post and The Houston Chronicle, among others.
Curtis is an Eagle Scout and has served as an adult volunteer for the Boy Scouts of America. He is also active in the local community and serves as the Treasurer for his church and missionary fund. Curtis and his wife, Rachael, make their home in Pearland. They have four school age children. Their oldest three children participate in a magnet program in the Pearland ISD.
|“I have a deep knowledge of investments from years spent working in institutional banking. I was blessed to discover my passion helping investors achieve their personal goals. I have always been inspired by the story of my grandfather who grew up in an impoverished background with only a junior high school level education, but became financially successful through hard work and studying investing. I believe wise investing is about more than academic training, and is also cultivated by experience, perseverance and humility.”|
Volatility Falls to 2016 Low CNBC, March 3rd, 2016
Time to go global? CNBC, March 3rd, 2016
Once Hot, Master Limited Partnerships Reel From Sharp Selloff Wall Street Journal, October 18, 2015
Stocks Gain While Bonds, Emerging Assets Sink After Fed Comments Bloomberg.com, September 22, 2015
10 Reasons New Investors Should Enter the Market U.S. News, September 14, 2015
Bad News: Even After Panic, Stocks Aren’t Cheap CNBC.com, August 21, 2015
As China's economy grows, don't forget that it's a communist country Houston Chronicle, July 22, 2015
Why This May Be a Golden Opportunity to Buy Bank Stocks CNBC.com, July 13, 2015
Sinking Feeling Hits S&P 500 as Buy the Dip Stops Paying Out Bloomberg.com, July 13, 2015
Venezuela Index Skyrockets CNBC.com, July 10, 2015
Next Move For Chinese Stocks CNBC.com, July 10, 2015
Stocks With Soaring Valuations CNBC.com, June 26, 2015
Which Way Will the S&P Break? CNBC.com, June 26, 2015
Since 1979, This Has Signaled a Breakout in Stocks CNBC.com, June 26, 2015
3 Economic Trends That Matter to Investors in the Year's Second Half U.S. News and World Report, June 23, 2015
It's over! Stocks and Oil May Finally Break Up CNBC.com, February 8, 2015
Sticker Shock—Stock Valuations at 10-Year High CNBC.com, January 26, 2015
Houston Investment Officer Finds Fulfillment In Helping Others CBS Houston, January 12, 2015
Oil to Put Chill on U.S. Earnings Season Wall Street Journal, January 11, 2015
Dow’s Charge Turns the Year Positive Wall Street Journal, January 9, 2015
Made in the USA! Investors Bet 2014's Big Trend Will Continue CNBC.com, December 7, 2014
With Stocks No Longer Cheap, Investors Reassess CNBC.com, November 12, 2014
Investors face unexpected taxes in Kinder Morgan deal Houston Chronicle, October 10, 2014
Wall Street Calms Down Ahead of the Jobs Report Washington Post, October 2, 2014
Asian Morning Briefing: Dow Closes at Record Wall Street Journal, September 17, 2014
Real Estate's Rise Calls for Inspection Wall Street Journal, June 25, 2014
Concentrated Mutual Funds Pullling in Assets, Not Returns Reuters, May 22, 2014
Japan Stock Futures Gain as S&P 500 Advances on Economy Bloomberg.com, March 25, 2014
Most Irrational Investing Missteps Mainstreet.com, January 30,2014
Know the MLP Pitfalls Before Putting Money In FuelFix.com, January 5, 2014
Curtis Holden Recognition Plaque Houston Business Journal, December 13, 2013
Director of Operations