Cathy Curtis, Certified Financial Planner™ Passion. Success. Transparency. Service. These four qualities define how financial planner and investment adviser Cathy Curtis lives her life and runs her business. She is fueled by passion for what she does and her business is rooted in personal success. She opted for transparency as a business model—no hidden costs or behind-the-scene incentives—which reinforces the satisfaction she gets from being of service.
In Cathy’s case, being of service means doing something she loves and excels at for the benefit of others who: 1) don’t know how, 2) are intimidated or fearful, or 3) who have no interest or time to do for themselves what a trained and trusted expert can do better. Ask anyone in her family and they will tell you that Cathy was born with a brain for business. Her favorite game, as a child, was something she made up called “Important Papers.” She would collect old bills and invoices that her dad was ready to discard and tell her siblings they were “playing business”.
Early in her career, Cathy recognized a need that was neglected by most advisors and set out to help savvy women make wise decisions about money. Cathy spent some years climbing the various corporate ladders. She would strive for positions where she could be successful, entrepreneurial and independent. But along the way, she noted discrimination and inequality. “Often I saw women doing the grunt work and men making the money.” And she learned that the glass ceiling and wage discrepancies were facts of life for many women. This motivated her to focus on women in her own business and it’s one of the main reasons she gets great satisfaction helping women become financially independent and secure around money.
In her 20’s, Cathy discovered the joys of reading business journals and company reports. She also learned that if she liked what a company was doing, she could buy a piece of it by investing in stocks. She found she had a knack for choosing the right companies and investing well and quickly discovered the advantages of creating and maintaining a second income stream through wise investment in stocks and property. As she watched her money grow, she saw that having this passive income liberated her from being limited by her salary.
It wasn’t a great leap for her to start seriously studying financial planning and launch her own business in financial planning. Now with over 13 years of experience working with clients to deliver sound financial advice, she provides a fresh perspective to the prescribed way of thinking about money. Her driving motivation is to empower women to achieve their life goals and see money as a source of choice and liberation.
Being a Fiduciary
Cathy decided to work as an independent fee-only investment advisor and financial planner because she wanted to do business on her own terms. She felt in this way she could always do what was best for her clients. As a fiduciary, Cathy is legally bound by a code of ethics requiring the highest obligation of care, good faith and trust to always act in her clients’ best interest. Cathy is independent of proprietary products, sales quotas or other conflicts of interest that could influence our advice.
Cathy’s clients are individuals who admit they need help and want to work with someone they can trust; who are savvy about money but who “know what they don’t know”; and who could do it themselves, but don’t have the time or the interest. Cathy loves working with women who are in charge of the finances for themselves or for their families. She works with many savvy women who are smart and capable but who want to work with an expert on their financial planning and investment management. She is motivated by personal passion and satisfaction and specializes in helping women to work through their unique financial issues, including:
- Divorce and its consequences
- Managing sudden wealth
- Taking on the care of elderly parents
- Buying a first home or refinancing a mortgage
- Developing a sustainable saving and investing process
- Managing executive compensation, such as stock options and deferred compensation
- Becoming financially independent after the death of a spouse
Getting where she is now took a great amount of effort, she says. “It was hard and challenging being an independent financial advisor and at the same time, a small businessperson. But it was worth it – I love what I do!”
Schedule Cathy for a Speaking Engagement
Cathy Curtis, CFP® has extensive experience speaking publicly for organizations such as the Commonwealth Club of California, Berkeley Women in Business, and Hult International Business School. She covers a wide range of topics ranging from The Happiness Spreadsheet: How to Create a Life Aligned with your Values, Beliefs and Ideals to Socially Responsible Investing.
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