Michael N. Strauss

Lead Advisor

Mike joined Dowling & Yahnke Wealth Advisors in 2021 and is dedicated to supporting the Firm’s clients. Prior to joining Dowling & Yahnke, he spent eight years in the financial services industry. Mike worked at the Vanguard Group Inc. for six years in their Personal Advisor Services department, leaving as a Senior Financial Advisor to pursue an MBA at the University of Chicago. While pursuing his MBA, he founded his own investment advisory firm.

Mike holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP®) designation. He completed his Master of Business Administration (MBA) at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. During his last quarter at Booth, Mike was placed on the Dean’s Honor List. Mike completed his undergraduate work at Pennsylvania State University, earning his Bachelor of Science in Finance.

Mike was born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He and his family live in Carmel Valley. In his free time, Mike explores hiking trails, skiing, basketball, and watching sports.

Why did you join Dowling & Yahnke Wealth Advisors?

After working at a very large financial institution and having my own firm, I was looking for a firm that had intelligent and talented leaders, a client-focused investment philosophy, and a commitment to the highest quality financial planning in the industry. I joined Dowling & Yahnke because the Firm checks all of these boxes and more.

Why did you become a financial advisor?

I love helping clients solve complex problems. By building strong relationships and trust with clients, I hope to seamlessly build their financial future. My passion for problem solving and relationship building led me to become a financial advisor.

What is your favorite vacation spot? Why?

My favorite vacation spot is Park City, Utah. My family and I have skied there on multiple occasions. There is nothing quite like those beautiful snow-covered mountains.

What is your favorite hobby?  Why?

My favorite hobby is hiking. I’ve hiked in several national parks across the U.S. and find the scenery stunning.

What is your personal motto or mantra? Why?

I have two personal mantra’s that I try to live by. One is from my stepfather and the other is from my mom, both who are no longer with us.

The first mantra is simple: “The harder you work, the luckier you get.”

The second mantra was given to me by my mom, a year before she passed, and hangs on my wall: “Never neglect the little things. Never skimp on that extra effort, that additional few minutes, that soft word or praise or thanks, that delivery of the very best that you can do. It does not matter what others think, it is of prime importance, however, what you think about you. You can never do your best, which should always be your trademark, if you are cutting corners and shirking responsibilities. You are special. Act it. Never neglect the little things.” – Og Mandino

I love helping clients with…

Decluttering their financial lives so that they can achieve their personal and financial goals. In addition, I find it extremely rewarding to help clients through life transitions such as planning for their children’s college fund, thoughtfully assisting with the loss of a loved one, or facilitating charitable giving in the most efficient manner.


  • Pennsylvania State University, BS Finance
  • The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, MBA


  • Financial Planning Association, NexGen Board Member
  • UChicago Alumni Association
  • Penn State Alumni Association - San Diego Chapter
  • National Association of Personal Financial Planning (2019-2021)