Our Team

Our Team

Common Cents Planning evolved out of Dunbar and Associates, Inc., which was founded in 1985. The name was changed to reflect how we provide service to our clients.

Frederick J. Dunbar

Chief Executive Officer

Frederick J. Dunbar is chief executive officer of Common Cents Planning, Inc., and Planning Directions, Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser. A graduate of Penn State University, he has been in the financial services industry since 1980 and holds numerous licenses and registrations. 

Fred is also a registered representative of Commonwealth Financial Network®, member FINRA/SIPC. In addition, he is a Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®), a Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®), a Registered Financial Consultant (RFC), and an Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®). He is a member of the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants and was selected as an honored member of "Who's Who in Leading American Executives."

Fred is a past member of the Penn State Brandywine Advisory Board. In addition, he has taught Financial Planning for the Small Business Owner at Penn State Brandywine, Penn State Abington, and Delaware County Community College. This four-week course was offered through the Small Business Administration (SBA). Fred also speaks at seminars and community functions, and his commonsense approach to targeting financial goals is refreshing. He was selected as a Five StarSM Wealth Manager* by Philadelphia Magazine in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Fred writes a column titled "Financially Speaking" for the Seven Mile Times and the Sea Isle Times


Frederick J. Dunbar is proud to have been recognized as a Chairman's Level advisor for 2017—a distinction based on annual production attained by just 3 percent of advisors affiliated with Commonwealth Financial Network.

Each year, Commonwealth, the Registered Investment Adviser–broker/dealer that helps us process investment transactions on your behalf, recognizes Chairman's Level advisors by inviting them to an exclusive gathering of their peers, leading industry experts, and Commonwealth home office staff. Chairman's Level advisors benefit from an intensive learning and networking experience designed to help them hone their expertise, share best practices, and provide ever-higher levels of service, education, and leadership to their clients.

*Based on 10 objective eligibility and evaluation criteria, including a minimum of 5 years as an active credentialed financial professional, favorable regulatory and complaint history, accepts new clients, client retention rates, client assets administered, education, and professional designations. 3022 Philadelphia area wealth managers were considered for the award; 437 (14 percent of candidates) were named 2017 Five Star Wealth Managers. (The criteria provided reflects the most recent year for which advisor received the award. The criteria used, the number of wealth managers considered for the award, and the percentage of those who receive the award, may vary from year to year). These awards are not indicative of the wealth managers' future performance. Your experiences may vary. For more information, please visit www.fivestarprofessional.com.

William F. Muller

Financial Planner

William F. Muller is a financial planner with Planning Directions, Inc., and a Registered Representative with Commonwealth Financial Network®, member FINRA/SIPC. He joined Common Cents Planning in 2005 after 11 years with The Vanguard Group. He graduated in 1992 from LaSalle University with a degree in business administration and graduated from Saint Joseph's University with an MS in financial services in 2006. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional and also holds the Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) and Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) designations. Bill resides in Media, Pennsylvania, with his two children.

Matthew Ellis

Financial Planner

Matthew S. Ellis is a financial planner with Planning Directions, Inc., and a Registered Representative with Commonwealth Financial Network®, member FINRA/SIPC. He joined Common Cents Planning in October 2015 after seven years with The Vanguard Group. He graduated in 2007 from Rollins College with a degree in economics and earned his MBA from Penn State University in 2013. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional and also holds the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA®) and Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) designations. Matt is a member of the Glen Mills Rotary, enjoys running, and resides in Chester County, Pennsylvania, with his dog.

Laureen Smith

Insurance Marketing Consultant/Long-Term Care Specialist

It’s hard to believe I have been with Common Cents Planning since 2004.  I have truly enjoyed all my time here and although I have had many different roles over the years, office manager, trader (which I still do), rollover specialist, billing coordinator etc. I have found my passion on the insurance side.  I really do love helping people figure out the insurance conundrum.  Whether it is life insurance, disability or Long-Term Care I am your go to person.

Over the past 14 years my husband Geoff and I have not only raised three awesome children (which we have lived to tell about), but we have also become responsible for 4 elderly family members, three of whom have some degree of Alzheimer’s/dementia and one who is physically impaired. I have seen and experienced first-hand what Extended Care looks and feels like. I have experienced what it does to families who have planned for these life-changing events and can ease into those years and I have experienced what it is like when families fail to plan for those difficult times. It is such a life altering event for all those involved that I decided to take the next step and get the Certified Long-Term Care designation, the CLTC®.

Let me help you figure out a game plan that is right for you because your family are the last people you want to saddle with that challenge.

On the personal side, my husband and I moved to the borough of West Chester after our kids went off to college and we love being able to walk into town.  When I am not working or caring for a family member I am running at 5:30 am with my running gals or going to the YMCA. I love riding my bike with my husband or volunteering at my church where I Co-Chair the Outreach Committee.  One of my favorite places to be is serving meals in Philadelphia at Broad Street Ministry, a radical hospitality collaborative for those with food insecurity.

Our family loves Philly Sports, especially our Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles and we have “Trusted the Process” thus far with our 76ers. We love to travel and spend our summer weekends boating in Ocean City, New Jersey.

Michele Troutman

Administrative Assistant

Michele Troutman is our office administrative assistant and has been part of Common Cents Planning since November 2009. Michele is responsible for typing and organizing client financial plans and performance reviews. In addition, she oversees our contact management system and assists clients with setting up their online accounts in Investor360°®. She also organizes our advertising and compliance reports. Michele enjoys listening to music and entering contests.

Victoria Provost

Administrative Assistant

Erin E. O'Neill

Administrative Assistant