James R. Waters, MBA, CFP®

James R. Waters, MBA, CFP®

Phone: 713.964.4028


I founded PARTNERSINWEALTH in January 2000 after 16 years of studying those who are financially successful and the keys to financial peace of mind. The PARTNERSINWEALTH approach was created to provide straightforward, unbiased advice to financially successful households – bringing them peace of mind, security and control in their financial future.


As my clients’ PERSONALCFO, I provide them with a forward-looking plan that gives them confidence, serve as a sounding board for any financial issues, oversee their holdings and coordinate the efforts of their various financial advisors. We have significant expertise in many financial areas, such as investment management, tax reduction, insurance and estate planning just to name a few.


I have more than 29 years of experience in the financial services industry. My career as a financial advisor has spanned across the tax shelter years, numerous changes to the tax code, stock market euphoria and stock market busts. My career also spans a wide variety of people with varied financial challenges, from young couples just starting out to those with established, affluent finances. Of the more than 260 financial plans I have created during that time, some of my clients have been with me since my first six months in the industry.


Before PARTNERSINWEALTH, I was an engineer at Bechtel Corporation, the largest privately-owned engineering-construction company in the world. While pursuing my MBA, I realized that financial planning was my calling and would grow to become my lifelong passion. After graduation, I began working at Associates in Financial Planning, where I rose from Associate to Senior Associate within only two years. In November 1992, I established "James R. Waters, CFP® - A Fee-For-Service Financial Advisor."


It’s important to me to be constantly learning. I have a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from Clarkson University and an MBA from the University of Houston – Clear Lake. In addition, I have earned the Certified Financial Planner® designation and have attended more than 200 seminars, conferences and workshops on advanced tax reduction strategies, portfolio management and investment performance, cash flow management techniques, multi-generational estate planning and more.




I founded PARTNERSINWEALTH because I believe high net worth individuals have many blessings – intelligence, ambition, an influential network and of course, financial resources – that puts them in a position to make a significant, positive impact on their communities and beyond. Unfortunately, many are not as confident moving forward as they could be because they are held back by personal financial management concerns.


Clients want to be sure that their families are financially secure given all contingencies and that they are making the right decisions with their money. PARTNERSINWEALTH services meet the unique needs of financially successful households. The PERSONALCFO serves as a trustworthy, single point of contact that financially successful households can count on.




I fervently believe that financial advice should be given free of all conflicts of interest. When I began my financial advisory firm in the early 1990s, the firm would only accept compensation from clients. No commissions, participation fees or back office support were accepted. This practice continues today.


I make sure we are consistently true to our mission of providing our clients with an enduring financial peace of mind. It’s important to determine strategic priorities, inspire and motivate our team, mentor employees and make sure our services always exceed client expectations.




I have been a featured speaker at several national conferences, including the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and the National Association of Buy Here-Pay Here Dealers (NABD). I have also been invited to speak on various financial management subjects for numerous Houston-area organizations, including appearing on the Houston NBC affiliate KTRK-TV in a segment about money matters.


I was ranked one of the 150 Best Financial Advisors for Doctors in 2006 by Medical Economics magazine and one of the Top 250 Wealth Advisors by Worth Magazine in 2008. Most recently, Texas Monthly named me a Houston Five-Star Professional Wealth Manager for 2011, 2012 and 2013.




I was born to be outdoors. Raised in rural upstate New York, I was always playing, working or building something outdoors. Being outside is still important to me today and I fulfill this need mostly through physical fitness activities.


My wife, Susan, and I live in Houston with our two children, Ashley and Andrew. Susan is a native Houstonian and retired Registered Nurse. Ashley is in the Teach for America program and teaches underprivileged 2nd graders at a KIPP school. Andrew attends Trinity University in San Antonio.


I am passionate about protecting youth from predators. I lead a group of concerned parents that rallied the Texas Legislature to pass significant pieces of legislation that protect thousands of young people from predators at summer camps and college campuses.  


For many years, I’ve managed the Giving Tree at my church, which provides thousands of needy children with gifts during the holiday season. I have been a member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) since 1987 and the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), the nation's largest fee-only professional organization, since 1994. I also have been a member of the Greater Houston Partnership since 2001. I sit on the finance committee for The Christian Community Service Center.  Their mission is to serve the poor, hungry, disabled, and otherwise needy in our community.