Danika Waddell, CFP®, RLP®, CSLP®

Guiding women in tech to forge their own paths

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Xena Financial Planning Danika Waddell, CFP®, RLP®, CSLP® (She/Her)
Seattle, Washington

Serving Clients Nationwide

Guiding women in tech to forge their own paths

Areas of Focus

  • Employee Stock Options
  • Equity Compensation Options
  • Investment Management
  • LGBTQ Couples
  • Women & Wealth

About Me

Hi, I'm Danika Waddell, founder and lead planner at Xena Financial Planning.

From early on, I would sit down with my dad and a stack of bills once per month. I would write out all the checks (he signed them) and then balance his checkbook. I loved being involved in the process and seeing where our family’s money went. Even more, I appreciated my dad’s willingness to “pull back the curtain” and give me a front row seat into how our budget worked. I am a firm believer in removing the stigma we have around money conversations, even with our closest family and friends.

I went on to get a BA in Mathematics but had no idea how I planned to use it. I spent roughly 15 years after college in various accounting roles, slowly working my way up to be a Controller. I loved the order and problem solving, but there was virtually no human interaction and I was increasingly bored with helping the company bottom line.

Finally, in 2012, after much research and consideration, I decided to pursue the CFP® designation and change careers. At long last, in my late 30s, I found my passion; putting together the problem-solving and technical side with client relationships and interpersonal dynamics. I find the work deeply satisfying.

In 2020, I founded Xena Financial Planning. While I enjoyed the role at my prior firm, I felt called to be bold and create something from the ground up. Starting my own practice allows me to be more nimble and innovative, while specializing in a particular niche.

Women are so often left out of the conversation when it comes to their finances and investing. I have many years of experience with equity compensation: going back to my husband’s years of working at Amazon.com in the early 2000s, when I first learned about RSUs and had to figure out what the heck to do with them. Since becoming a CFP®, I’ve worked with clients at many of the big tech companies and know my way around ISOs, NQSOs and ESPP.

While originally from Western New York, I’ve lived in Seattle for 20 years. Along with my husband, our chaotic household includes our two daughters plus two cats and a puppy. We’re huge travelers and are happiest when we’re planning our next overseas adventure. When we’re not traveling, we also love being in the mountains (skiing, running) and throwing a frisbee.

Professional Designations

  • Certified Student Loan Professional (CSLP)
  • Registered Life Planner (RLP)


  • CFP Board
  • Fee Only Network
  • Financial Planning Association
  • Kinder Institute of Life Planning
  • National Association of Personal Financial Advisors
  • XY Planning Network

Primary Location

Seattle, WA 98107


Meeting Options

  • Video Conference
  • In-Person
  • Phone

Compensation Methods

  • Fee Only
  • Flat Fee
  • Percentage of Assets Managed

What to expect in the first meeting

Click the 'Book Intro Call' button above to schedule a free introductory call. We'll get to know each other and I'll listen to understand your unique circumstances so we can determine the best way to proceed. I look forward to speaking with you.

Offers Investment Management


About our Firm

Xena Financial Planning provides comprehensive financial planning and investment management to help women who are in the tech industry and/or receive equity compensation, typically in the early to mid-career stages.


✅ BE HONEST: Xena Financial Planning is a fiduciary, which basically means we put your best interests first. Xena FP is a fee-only advisory firm and we never sell products or receive commissions. We always operate with the utmost integrity and work hard to earn your trust.

✅ BE CURIOUS: We are lifelong learners and always striving to become better at our craft. Danika is currently pursuing a Masters in Advanced Financial Planning while Mariana works towards the CFP® designation. This curiosity extends to our client relationships. In the words of Walt Whitman, our goal is to “Be curious, not judgmental.”

✅ BE KIND: We treat our clients with dignity and respect and, in turn, expect the same from you. We practice deep listening and seek to honor your life experiences. We’re committed to having long-lasting, healthy relationships with all of our clients.

✅ BE YOU: Above all, we encourage clients to be true to themselves. If your inner dream is to quit your job and travel the world (Danika has done just that), Iet’s find a way to make it happen! We want to have real conversations about what you want in life and would never recommend doing something that makes you miserable just for the money.

✅ BE INCLUSIVE: We welcome clients of all backgrounds, and aim to make financial planning more accessible to groups of people who have typically been excluded by the financial planning profession, particularly Black and Brown Americans. We are also strong advocates of the LGBTQ community and work with clients of any gender identity or sexual orientation. Within the industry, we are always seeking ways to amplify the voices of women and people of color, who continue to be systemically excluded in financial services.


Oberlin College, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Major: Mathematics, Minor: Psychology | Golden Gate University, Master of Science - MS, Advanced Financial Planning, Concentration: Life Planning

Volunteer Experience

NAPFA West Region Board 2020-present NAPFA Women's Initiative Committee 2020-2022 FPA of Puget Sound Board (Programs Committee, President, Chair) 2017-2019

Awards and Honors

  • Investopedia Top 100 Financial Advisors in 2022 and 2023

Hobbies and Interests

  • Camping
  • Family
  • Hiking
  • Running
  • Skiing
  • Traveling

Who We Serve

  • Corporate Executives
  • Couples
  • Dual Income Family
  • Gen X
  • Gen Y / Millennials
  • Parents
  • Single Women
  • Technology Professionals
  • Travel Lovers
  • Women Professionals
  • Women’s Finance
  • Young Families

To make Wealthtender free for readers, we earn a nominal monthly fee from financial advisors and firms in exchange for providing access to the benefits described here (including being featured on this profile page), subject to these terms. This compensation creates a natural conflict of interest when we favor their promotion over others. Wealthtender is not a client of these advisors or firms. Testimonials may not be representative of other clients’ experiences and do not guarantee future performance or success.