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Quest for Financial Clarity 
amid emotional turmoil

Founder Story: Elina Cannon, CDFA®, CFA®

With divorce at my doorstep and an infant and a toddler in tow, I initially found myself paralyzed by emotions and all the unknowns of divorce. I was heartbroken and overwhelmed. My mind was flooded with millions of questions that kept me up at night. "What am I entitled to in divorce? Where will my babies and I live? Can I afford to stay in my house? How will I make ends meet? How much will my lifestyle change? Can I keep my employee stock? Do I have to split my retirement? Will divorce completely derail my ability to meet my retirement goals?"

At the time, I was the Director of Asset Liability Strategy at Capital One. In my role, I led teams in conducting financial analysis to support decision making for the Chief Executive Officer in managing the $400B+ balance sheet.

In my divorce, I put on both my financial analyst and Chief Executive Officer thinking caps on to evaluate my financial options through the business lens.

As the financial analyst, I meticulously valued assets, analyzed marital lifestyle, evaluated budget adjustments, calculated support, factored taxes, and modeled the short and long term implications of my settlement options. My financial analysis showed me exactly how I could support myself and my babies post-divorce. Once I saw these numbers, my feelings of fear and anxiety were replaced by understanding and confidence. 

As the Chief Executive Officer, I did my best to step out of the mental fog I was in, tune out the emotional noise in my head, and focus on making the best informed decisions for myself and my babies.

I realized that the power of financial analysis drove my transformation from confused and overwhelmed prisoner-of-divorce to confident and informed Chief Executive Officer of the next better chapter of my life. This transformation inspired me to start Divorce Money Strategies to help others like you do the same.

I am passionate about simplifying the complex financial issues in divorce to support my clients. Through education, analysis, and understanding, I am dedicated to empowering my clients through and beyond divorce.

Though I consider divorce the hardest major transition in my life, it was not the first. I was born in Ukraine in the wake of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion. With my parents, I immigrated to the United States when I was 3 years old to escape radiation and persecution. My experience watching my parents bravery to give up everything (financially, emotionally, and physically) in pursuit of a better life is what drew me to financial education, instilled in me a strong work ethic, and drives my passion for supporting others through transitions. 

I graduated from the University of Virginia (UVA) with a Bachelors degree in Economics. I am a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® and Chartered Financial Analyst®.

I live in Virginia with my two beautiful sons. In my free time, I love playing "the floor is lava" game with my sons, working out with my girlfriends, skiing out West, and exploring wine countries.

Elina was featured as the "Mom of the Month" by DC Area Moms

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