We are a financial planning firm that, for forty years, has provided custom-made pathways for individuals, families and businesses to turn their aspirations into actual plans. Our focus has always been to make a difference in the lives of our clients and our community.

Our Leadership

Decades of experience helping families and individuals turn aspirations into actual plans and outcomes.

Steve Ciepiela

Founder, CFP®, CRC®, AIF™, NSSA®

Meet Steve

Steve founded Charles Stephen in 1983 with the late Charles Severino. Their shared goal was to help clients manage their finances with the goal of helping them live their lives the way they wanted. Together Chuck and Steve grew the firm into one of the leading financial planning firms in the Southwest. 

Steve has been a financial planner for 50 years, one of the very first in the United States to be licensed as a Certified Financial Planner (license no. 70). His depth of experience in financial and income planning, retirement planning, investment strategies, risk management, and business succession planning make him uniquely suited to create unique paths to security for any professional and personal circumstance.

In the wake of Charles Severino’s sudden and untimely passing in 2004, Steve wrote “When a Partner Dies”, using his own experience as a framework for other business owners with transition and succession planning. Steve’s story and expertise have been featured in the New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s and other business publications.

Born and raised in Chicago, Steve came West in the 1970s and played football at the United States Air Force Academy and the University of New Mexico, where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration. He and his wife, Marian, have been deeply involved in the Albuquerque community, where they raised their three children.

In 2021, Steve turned over day-to-day management of Charles Stephen to his son, Adam Ciepiela, and Kelly Famiglietta, while remaining as a guiding force in the firm’s growth and advising a select group of clients.


  • Certified Financial Planner®
  • Certified Retirement Counselor®
  • Accredited Investment Fiduciary™ (AIF)
  • Series 7
  • Series 66
  • National Social Security Advisor® (NSSA)
  • Investment Advisor Representative, the AmeriFlex Group


  • Top 200 financial planners, Money Magazine
  • Top wealth manager, Wealth Manager Magazine
  • Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce Harry E. Kinney Good Neighbor Award
  • Erna S. Fergusson Award, University of New Mexico


  • Ambassador and Instructor, Junior Achievement New Mexico
  • Vice Chairman, Lobo Development Corporation
  • Former Board Chairman, Roadrunner Food Bank
  • Former President, UNM Alumni Association

Adam Ciepiela

Partner, CRC®, AIF™, NSSA®

Meet Adam

Adam heads the wealth management practice at Charles Stephen, working with individuals and families to create the strategies and structures required for preserving and growing wealth. He also directs the firm’s business operations and relationships with third-party asset managers and other vendors.

Adam has a special interest in advising younger people to start planning early and takes every opportunity to speak to groups about financial wellness and security.


  • Certified Retirement Counselor®
  • Accredited Investment Fiduciary™ (AIF)
  • Series 7
  • Series 66
  • National Social Security Advisor® (NSSA)
  • Investment Advisor Representative, the AmeriFlex Group


  • 40 Under 40, Albuquerque Business First
  • AssetMark Community Inspiration Award


  • Board Chairman, Junior Achievement New Mexico
  • Board of Directors, Albuquerque Museum Foundation
Kelly Famiglietta headshot photo

Kelly Famiglietta

Partner, CFP®, AIF™, NSSA®

Meet Kelly

Kelly is a partner and head of qualified group retirement plans at Charles Stephen. As a fiduciary, Kelly’s sole duty is to act in the interests of her clients and their employees.

She joined the firm in 1997 and today monitors investments, manages relationships, and educates group plan participants about achieving financial wellness and independence.

Kelly serves on the National Association of Plan Advisors D.C. Fly-In Forum, a group that confers with Congress on legislative and regulatory interests and concerns of the financial planning industry. Kelly earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of New Mexico. 


  • Kelly was one of the first 200 people in the United States to earn the Certified 401(k) Professional® designation.
  • Series 7 General Securities Registered Representative
  • Series 63 Uniform Securities Agent
  • Series 66 Uniform Combined State Law License
  • Investment Advisor Representative with The AmeriFlex Group
  • Accredited Pension Administrator
  • Accredited Investment Fiduciary
  • National Social Security Advisor
  • Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor
  • Certified CFP® Professional


  • Top Defined Contribution Advisor (2012) in the United States by 401k Wire
  • Top Retirement Advisors (2019, 2020) by Financial Times
  • Top Women Advisors (2016, 2019, and 2020) by the National Association of Plan Advisors
  • Women of Influence (2017) by Albuquerque Business First
  • AssetMark Community Inspiration Award (2018)


  • Board of Directors, Albuquerque chapter of Campfire USA
  • Board of Directors, Central New Mexico Community College (CNM)
  • Board of Directors, Cloud Dancers Therapeutic Horsemanship
  • Community Council, National Dance Institute of New Mexico

Our Perspectives

We aren’t just investment advisors. We follow and interpret events and cycles that impact your life every week in our newsletter. And on our seasonal podcast, we discuss the financial rites of passage that you can be better prepared for.

Our Seasonal Podcast

Our Weekly Newsletter

First Thing from Charles Stephen Logo Enews

Your Life

Planning and advice come only after getting to know you and the life stages ahead of you.

Growing Wealth →

It’s not about stock tips or getting you into what’s “hot” at the moment. It’s about connecting you to trusted, proven asset managers who keep sharp eyes on the future.

Marriage & Divorce →

Like it or not, finances play a huge role in building a life together or dismantling it when things don’t work out. We can help you look beyond emotions to sensible outcomes.

Children's Education →

Before they’re old enough to make their own decisions, you can make the road smoother, even if they choose a different route.

Family Business →

We understand that there are few businesses that create more financial or emotional rewards  — and complications — than those owned and operated by families. We can help with exit and succession planning.

Aging Parents & Chronic Illness →

Living with a physical decline or disease shouldn’t mean sacrificing dignity and comfort. We can help you look ahead for yourself and your loved ones.

Estate Planning & Inheritance →

Generational wealth is a precious thing. It can also be complicated and costly without proper planning. We can help transfer it or receive it as a gift, not a burden.

Social Security & Medicare →

These two mighty programs aren’t one-size-fits-all. Nor do they land in our lives without options that require planning and action. We can help you decide the versions that make sense for you.

Retirement Planning

For individuals and groups, from people at work to money at work. In our view, retirement doesn’t simply mean the end of a career. It means the beginning of what could be the most enjoyable time of your life.

Individual Retirement Plans

How much money will you need when you stop working? If you’re a sole proprietor, in a partnership, or working as a freelancer, we can sit down with you and chart a course that’s realistic for your individual circumstance and lifestyle.

Group Retirement Plans

Many states now mandate that businesses of certain sizes provide these plans for their employees. We can help you get started or, at your request, offer fresh perspectives and advice on your existing plan.

Business Resources

As business owners ourselves, we understand the distinct opportunities, responsibilities, and challenges that confront entrepreneurs and inheritors of established companies every day.  

Business Insurance

 We can offer a variety of policies and strategies to protect not just you and your company but your employees as well.

Business Succession Planning

When you arrive at that point where you have to consider moving on from your life’s work, we have the experience and expertise to help you through that process.