About Us

Independently owned and operated to always
serve our clients best interests.

The Guide Star Financial Philosophy

It is our role to understand your financial concerns and objectives to provide clear and actionable financial plans to fit your personal goals, beliefs, and lifestyle. Our mission is to act as a guiding star for our long-standing clients who aim to make informed decisions regarding their investments, income, retirement, taxes, and estate planning.

Jay chose to work with Commonwealth Financial Network® because our firm remains independent and free to act in your best interest, without any pressure to promote proprietary products or strategies. We partner with Commonwealth because their support and ingenuity go hand-in-hand with my objectives. Together, we make a very strong team and we can provide the value you need to experience. It’s a model that differs from that of some other, larger financial firms whose financial representatives are accountable not just to their clients, but also to the parent company that employs them.

Our Partnership with
Commonwealth Financial

Scale and Stability

We are proud to partner with Commonwealth Financial Network®, a Registered Investment Adviser–broker/dealer that helps independent planners like us serve their clients.

Through Commonwealth’s teams of specialists, we have access to robust independent market research, financial planning expertise, and a wide universe of investment options.

Learn More

Meet Our Team

Jay W. Stenzel

Financial Planner, CFP®, ChFC®

Jay was born and raised on a ranch in Geyser, Montana. After attending the University of Montana, he received his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® certification from the College for Financial Planning. Today, Jay has his Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) from The American College, and his FINRA Series 7 and 66 securities registrations through Commonwealth Financial Network®, as well as numerous life and health insurance licenses.

He started his financial planning career in 1985 with another firm. He became the managing principal of the Northern Montana offices for over 23 years, overseeing recruitment, hiring, training, and product development. Jay grew the office from $40 million to $750 million in assets during his tenure.

In 2016, Jay left the firm to start his own company, Guide Star Financial, Inc. He has more than 35 years of financial and estate planning experience. Jay focuses his time working directly with our Guide Star Financial clients and with his wife Lisa and four children, and 7 grandchildren.

Blake W. Stenzel

Financial Planner, CFP®, CPWA®

As the son of our firm’s founder, Blake has been immersed in the financial planning process for much of his life. Blake too earned his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification from the College for Financial Planning. He supports the team with a breadth of knowledge and strategy in the areas of individual and entity tax planning.

His knowledge and experience in planning for high net worth individuals and business owners is backed by his Certified Private Wealth Advisor (CPWA®) certification from Yale School of Management. Blake holds FINRA Series 7 Series 66 and numerous state insurance licenses. He began serving clients in the wealth management capacity in 2018 as an equity trader for Charles Schwab. Prior to finance, Blake initiated his professional career as an engineer in the energy industry. In the Spring of 2020, Blake returned to Great Falls and is poised to serve his hometown community.

Brianna Johnson

Office Manager

Brianna eagerly joined the Guide Star Financial team to support the Guide Star team and create a positive experience for our clients. Brianna graduated with an Associate of Applied Science Degree from MSU-GF. She spent the last few years as a Dental Assistant and Insurance Administrator in a cutting-edge office. She is excited to join an amazing team to grow and learn in this new to her industry.

Brianna is a Montana native, born and raised in Great Falls. Outside of her career she loves being a wife and mother to two beautiful daughters. She enjoys exploring our Big Sky Country, golfing, camping, and hunting.

Nancy Fulton

Administrative Assistant

Nancy is enjoying her part time administrative duties at Guide Star Financial. Working with co-workers and meeting the Guide Star Financial clients are highlights of her day. Nancy has over 40 years of work experience in agriculture lending and working with Montana farm producers participating in the USDA Farm Service Agency programs. Nancy creates a welcoming environment and handles inquiries professionally and confidentially ensuring our clients receive the utmost care and attention.

When Nancy isn’t assisting our valued clients, she is usually in her garden, at the gym or traveling and making memories with her husband of 45 years, two adult children and four grandchildren.