Ed Vargo, CFP®, CLU®, CDFA®, ChFC®, AIF®, founder of Burning River Advisory Group, grew up in inner-city Cleveland. During the Vietnam War, Ed’s father served as a sergeant military policeman in South Korea where he met and married Ed’s mother. Once back in the States, Ed’s mother faced the challenges of a being a first-generation immigrant who couldn’t read or write English or drive a car.
Above all, Ed saw his mother struggle as she was not educated in financial matters. A strong-willed and capable woman, she was nevertheless stuck in an unhealthy relationship, unable to control her own well-being. She was financially dependent and had few options for finding a better life. Eventually, she was able to find the power and resources to end the marriage but her struggles left a lasting imprint on Ed and the values he holds dear as a husband, father, and advisor.
Ed’s father, a steelworker, did what he could as a single dad of four young children. Growing up in Cleveland’s Slavic Village neighborhood — a proud, hard-working community (but one not known for its college acceptance rates) — Ed worked hard in school eventually attending Case Western Reserve University. There he earned a BS degree in Management and met his college sweetheart and future wife, Wendy.
Ed and Wendy are now the proud parents of five—yes, five—charismatic daughters. Ed knows how much financial strength matters to the health, safety, and opportunity of a woman’s life, and he’s determined to raise his girls to be as strong, independent, and powerful as possible. He firmly believes that without financial equality, women will never achieve full equality. He wants this for his girls and for all women.
This deeply personal commitment to women’s empowerment is the powerful undercurrent running through Burning River. Ed also believes deeply that a woman’s hard work — as an individual, a professional, an artist, a mother, or anywhere in between — deserves to be recognized and supported. Through customized, compassionate, and devoted financial planning, he is committed to helping women achieve financial independence.
Ed is a 20+ year veteran of the financial services industry. While growing up in the inner city gave Ed a proper education in the school of hard knocks, he is also a strong proponent of a formal education. Ed holds numerous distinguished industry designations including being a CFP®, AIF® and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst, amongst others.
Ed is a frequent guest speaker at companies, organizations, and conferences, as well as a regular contributor to various media outlets including the Associated Press, Money, CNBC, and Forbes. Ed and his firm, Burning River Advisory Group, have been awarded the Women’s Choice Award for Financial Advisors/Firms every year since its inauguration. They are honored in being recognized as one of the first 100 companies in the country to receive this prestigious award.