Who We Are
First Step Cash Management™
First Step Cash Management™ was originally created by Marty Kurtz, CFP®. Like many
financial planners, Marty started his career in the insurance and brokerage industry.
In those days, Marty was 100% commission-based and experienced large swings in his
income. As a result, Marty designed First Step as a way to manage his own cash flow
and to financially support his young family.
In 1998, Marty founded his own independent, fee-only financial planning firm, The
Planning Center. Over the years, Marty shared his simple First Step Cash Management
system with clients who were having trouble reaching their financial goals. To this
day, some 25 plus years later, many of these same clients still use First Step as
a tool for making financial decisions and maintaining their sense of financial well-being.
As Marty's client base grew, he eventually hired Eric Kies, CFP® and Matt Sivertsen,
CFP®. As young professionals, Matt and Eric first applied First Step to their own
personal finances and were astonished at the sense of control, clarity, and vision
that resulted within a few short months. Inspired by their own experiences, the
team at The Planning Center began to develop a web-based version of this unique
and powerful financial planning tool.
Money Quotient (M.Q.) is a non-profit organization that develops Financial Life
Planning tools and training for professionals who want to make a difference in the
lives of their clients. This organization is led by Carol Anderson and Amy Mullen,
a mother-daughter team, who are dedicated to researching concepts, models, and programs
that will enhance the success and satisfaction clients experience while engaged
in the CFP® financial planning process.
Carol and Amy were very pleased with the effectiveness of their values clarification
and goal setting tools, but also felt something was missing. Their tools helped
clients to define "what" they wanted in life and "why" it was important to them,
but did not answer the question of “how” to align their finances in support of their
goals. Thus began a multi-year review of various money management methods and programs
in pursuit of a methodology that would complement Money Quotient tools and philosophy
and was also easy to learn and maintain.
In April of 2007, Marty Kurtz invited Carol and Amy to The Planning Center to conduct
a Money Quotient training for his team. During a break, he suggested that they take
a look at some of the other tools they used in their client meetings. When Marty
shared his First Step Cash Management planning tool, Carol and Amy immediately recognized
that it was exactly what they had been looking for! Soon, they began a discussion
about how they could make First Step available to other financial planners and a
partnership developed. Money Quotient now distributes the First Step online planning
tool to financial planners via licensing arrangements and also provides training