John F. Rutledge Jr., CFA®, CFP®

Founder, Phoundational LLC

Although Phoundational provides an alternative approach to personal finance, Johnny developed his skills during the course of a traditional career in the field. He was recruited from Hamilton College to join the investment management firm Scudder, Stevens & Clark in Boston. At Scudder—one of the nation’s pioneering investment counsel firms—Johnny worked on a team of research analysts and portfolio managers. There, he learned first-hand of the investment needs of individual and institutional clients.

Johnny then relocated to the West Coast and joined Salomon Brothers, also in a research capacity. While the fast pace of working for a global investment bank provided incredible experience and opportunity, Johnny’s true interest remained in the actual management of client investments. Salomon had since been acquired and integrated into Citigroup when Johnny transferred to a boutique investment group within Citigroup known as Davis Skaggs Investment Management.

Davis Skaggs was founded the year before the Great Depression; the firm not only survived but also thrived due to its ethos of independence and client care. This spirit endured, as Johnny and the team at Davis Skaggs largely dodged the “dotcom” market implosion, leading to strong outcomes for clients and tremendous growth of the firm. When Citigroup sold its investment management arm to Legg Mason and the culture consequently changed, Johnny stayed briefly but then sought to work more closely with clients again.

Johnny left Legg to join Fairview Capital Investment Management, an SEC-registered investment advisory firm based in Greenbrae, CA. Originally hired as a Portfolio Manager and Director of Research, Johnny also served as the firm’s Chief Operating Officer for several years. During his tenure at Fairview, Johnny created the firm’s diversified wealth management offering to better serve client needs. He had been a Partner at Fairview Capital for more than a decade upon his retirement from the firm in 2018.

Johnny’s desire to help people with their financial goals led him to launch Phoundational the following year. Phoundational seeks to help the underserved population of “nontraditional” clients who have financial circumstances and needs that ordinary industry advisors are reluctant or unable to address. Clients appreciate the breadth and depth of Johnny’s professional experience. These attributes underpin the tailored education and fee transparency offered by Phoundational.

Johnny lives in West Marin with his wife and two children. He’s an avid trail runner, volunteer firefighter, and EMT. He reflects on his life experiences to make sure he doesn’t take himself too seriously. And yes, he enjoys the band Phish from Vermont.


The Chartered Financial Analyst® designation and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ mark reflect rigorous programs of professional development. For additional information and to compare the requirements needed for various designations, please visit the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority:

CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are registered trademarks owned by CFA Institute.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) owns the certification marks CFP® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ in the United States, which it authorizes use of by individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.