The Firm

Dedicated Staff – An Experienced, Effective Family Office

“No one can whistle a symphony; it takes written music and an orchestra to play it”

James F. Thomas, Jr.
Chief Planning Officer
Kelly Nilsson, CFP, ChFC
Planning Officer
Andrew Ferrette
Implementation Officer
Liz Thomas
Operations Officer
A leader, published author, and frequent national speaker on trends in the financial services industry, Buddy is recognized nationally in the top tier of individuals as a financial planner, estate planner, registered representative, life insurance agent and surviving spouse transition pioneer.

His extensive knowledge regarding spouse transition can be found in his books, The Coming Widow Boom – What You and Your Loved Ones Can Do To Prepare For the Unthinkable, and The Widow’s Bridge – A Surviving Spouse’s Guide To Emotional and Financial Well-Being.

Buddy earned a B.A. in Psychology with a minor in Economics at Baldwin Wallace College, his CFP certification from The College for Financial Planning, and CLU and ChFC designations from The American College. He holds various state insurance licenses and is a Registered Representative and a Registered Principal.

In addition to his professional accomplishments, Buddy is actively involved in the community as a member or chair of various boards and committees, including his church, Rotary, the Boy Scouts, and other charitable and business organizations. Buddy and his wife, Liz, live in Scripps Ranch with their two sons. They enjoy snow skiing, water sports, golf, camping, and other family activities, including the boys’ lacrosse.






With over 17 years of experience in financial services, Kelly’s passion for the profession is exemplified by her attention to the details in each family’s situation and her follow through on every aspect of the issues at hand.

Kelly’s primary responsibilities include tracking the quality, performance and availability of various investment and insurance alternatives, as well as keeping the office in compliance. Kelly is also instrumental in researching the opportunities, risks and strengths of the various planning strategies and tactics in search of the best alternative to meet the needs of the families she serves.

In addition to her Certified Financial Planner and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designations, Kelly is a Registered Representative and a Registered Principal (Compliance Supervisor).

Prior to joining Superior Planning, Inc., Kelly worked for industry leaders MetLife, John Hancock and Manulife Financial. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College with a B.A. in International Relations.

When she is not working with the families engaged with Superior Planning, Kelly is active with a number of organizations that focus on the educational and economic empowerment of women and girls.

Kelly lives in San Diego with her husband, Martin, and son, Sebastian.

With over 7 years in the financial services industry, Andrew has a background in client service and communication with an emphasis on enhancing the client experience. He brings a high level of industry knowledge, attention to detail and financial planning implementation to the team to make the planning process efficient and thorough. Andrew supports our professional service team members, manages the office systems and ensures the initiation and completion of all family office service issues.

Prior to joining Superior Planning, Inc., Andrew worked for Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. and TD Ameritrade Institutional.

Andrew holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics degree from Sonoma State University and is currently working on his CFP designation from SDSU. Andrew played four years of lacrosse at Sonoma State University and also served as team captain and president. He has excelled in client focused roles and brings a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm to his position.

When not working or studying, Andrew enjoys spending time with his family, cooking, gardening and all things sports!









Liz creates the human resources, operational and administrative systems that enable the office to respond to the multiple families it serves, while maintaining the intimacy and responsiveness they desire.

Her attention to detail, grace, sense of style and true compassion for all affiliated family members and the staff create an environment that is business like and efficient, and also warm and comfortable.

Liz joined the firm in 1987 after 8 years in the banking industry. Her financial, organizational and managerial skills and experience helped establish the office in California.

She holds a B.A. in Education and an M.A. in Educational Technology.

Liz and Buddy have been married since 1985.