An Integrated Advisor Network firm

Meet Guerdon T. Ely



“Carolyn was a rural mail carrier and her husband a teacher.

She inherited pasture land with her sister and wanted to develop it into an almond orchard. Her sister did not want to and she could not afford to buy her out, so she was told to sell the property and invest with me. I would have made a lot of money on that investment.

Instead, I took her to an attorney who set up an agreement between them that allowed Carolyn to develop the land and pay her sister pasture land rent.

When her sister died, she would sell her half to Carolyn or her family at pasture land prices. We borrowed from her husband’s retirement to develop the land and then got agriculture loans.

I did not make any money for 15 years but now they have an orchard that is all paid for, and I have a client who has millions to invest. And I have developed a great friendship.”

This is just one of many moments that define a forty-year career in high-end financial planning. If you want to know about my certifications and experience, you can scroll down to the bottom of this page, but what I really want you to know is my passion for my clients and for my work.

I care deeply about my clients and helping them succeed. Sometimes that means long hours researching a specific tax rule. Other times, it means meeting with top estate planning attorneys to get to the bottom of an issue. And still others, it just means listening.

Your finances are to be cherished, and you deserve a professional who can guide you with knowledge and integrity. Ely Prudent Portfolios was established to provide you with exactly that.

I invite you to get to know us. We’re just a call away.

Guerdon's Accolades and Certifications

Career Summary

I’ve been in the financial services industry for over 40 years and a fee-only advisor for 25. I’m an acknowledged expert on required minimum distribution and fiduciary issues, but I am best known for my entertaining financial writings—good investment advice needs to be exciting!

Academic Contributions

  • Create educational materials for the American Law Institute-American Bar Association programs, the Notre Dame Tax Institute, and the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning.
  • Taught continuing education courses for the California Continuing Education of the Bar and other professional organizations.
  • Appointed to the Board of Directors for the Center for Board Certified Fiduciaries


MRD-Determinator and Pre-Determinator, programs on required minimum distribution and pre-59 ½ rules. They were reviewed by MorningstarAdvisor.Com, Investment Advisor, Accounting Today, and WebCPA.


  • Contributed to articles appearing in Newsweek, Forbes, Bloomberg, Trusts and Estates, Retirement Weekly, Dow Jones, and The Wall Street Journal.
  • Reviewed Natalie Choate’s revisions of her book, Life and Death Planning for Retirement Benefits, since the 1990s.
  • Acknowledged by W. Scott Simon for my contributions to his book, The Prudent Investor Act: A Guide to Understanding.


  • Uncertainty is a Certainty: Fables for Fiduciaries is my book on prudent investing that uses humorous stories to explain fiduciary duties.
  • Lower Your Financial Handicap: Advice from the Financial Caddie uses stories from my experiences as a Senior PGA Tour caddie and as a golf telecast crew member to explain the basic principles of investing.
  • Financial Fables is my entertaining and educational quarterly investment newsletter.


  • Bachelor of Economics – UC Santa Barbara - 1971
  • Master of Business Administration - California State University, Chico - 1981
  • Certified Financial Planner™ - College for Financial Planning
  • Chartered Financial Consultant® - The American College of Financial Services
  • Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst® - Fi360