Our History

In January 1970, James Helba, Jr. made a career decision in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to become a financial advisor. He subsequently studied, took the appropriate exams to become licensed in securities and insurance and began offering products, services and advice to individuals and business owners. Simply as a coincidence of timing, a month earlier, in December 1969, the late Loren Denton convened a gathering of 13 financial services industry leaders in a Chicago hotel. As a result of this meeting, the financial planning industry was born, the Certified Financial Planner™ marks were created and the subsequent formation of the CFP Board of Standards and the Financial Planning Association occurred. Thus, Mr. Helba has had the privilege of being both a participant in and a witness to the birth of the new profession of financial planning since its actual historical beginning. In May 1978 Mr. Helba was the first individual in western Pennsylvania to receive the right to use the Certified Financial Planner™ or CFP® marks from the College for Financial Planning based in Denver, Colorado.

In 1983, Pittsburgh Financial Planners, Inc. (PFP) was incorporated by Charlene P. Helba, Mr. Helba's wife. She served as Board Chairman, President and Financial & Operations Principal until 2016. The firm was founded for the purpose of providing independent financial planning advice and services as well as investment related guidance to individuals and closely-held business owners.  In 2016, Steve Bierker, CFA® and Brian Yates, CFP® joined PFP as principals and expanded the professional capacities of the firm. The firm currently has on staff three credentialed advisors and three experienced administrative personnel.