Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 86

Investors Passion to Help Cathy Curtis became a financial planner to help women and their families achieve financial success. USER PROFILE Roger Wohlner Oakland, Calif.-based financial planner Cathy Curtis is well-known in the industry as a financial planner who focuses on female clients. But it wasn't always that way. When she started her planning business 15 years ago, she, like many other advisors, went after any client who needed her help. But after taking a series of marketing and branding workshops, she soon realized the importance of finding a niche for her practice. "It was difficult to compete in a traditional way with other financial advisors, and I found the staid and corporate look of most financial advisor websites uninspiring," she says. "I also discovered that women make great clients. They are committed to the financial planning process from the start, it's easier to gain their trust, and they tend to have less ego-involvement when it comes to investing than men do." Once she made the decision to focus on female clients, her practice took off. She found that marketing and prospecting came easier to her. "Women control the household budget and generally are the ones that take a longer-term view of the family's finances," she says. Today, she runs a practice that currently serves 60 ongoing clients for which she provides both investment management and financial planning services on an AUM basis. She also manages a robust financial planning-only 86 Morningstar October/November 2016 group of clients who are on retainer. Eighty-five percent of her clients are women who are either single or who are clients with their partner or spouse. my friends and family for business or leads," she says. Curtis soon discovered the NAPFA fee-only model, and a light bulb went off in her head. She says that the fee-only model hit all of the factors that were important to her, including being able to help people without having to sell them financial products; following her passion for investments and investing; and the ability to build a long-term relationship with her clients based on trust and free from the conflicts of interest inherent in other compensation models. She took the plunge and launched her feeonly planning practice, Curtis Financial Planning, in January 2001. A Career Move to Financial Planning Building Her Practice Curtis grew up in San Francisco and attended the University of California, Berkeley, majoring in political science with an emphasis in environmental policy. "My goal was to head to law school but in the end, I decided to go right to work upon graduation. I wanted to be able to earn enough to support myself," she says. Curtis was an early adopter of social media. Platforms such as Facebook help her tailor her message and to interact with women who might be good clients for her practice. Her Facebook page has been successful in driving prospects who are friends of friends to her. Curtis began a 20-year career in the food packaged-goods industry with companies such as General Mills, Borden, Potlatch, and large food brokers. She began in customer service and then moved into sales and marketing, fields that Curtis credits to giving her the skills to successfully market herself as a financial planner later on. Curtis had been an investor since her teen years, and she had a love of business since childhood. As she began to think about making a career change, financial planning seemed like a natural transition. "I knew that I wanted to be self-employed but was afraid to make the leap. I took some extra time to ensure that I had enough in cash reserves to withstand the loss of income when starting out," Curtis says. She interviewed with a number of traditional brokerage firms. "But I decided that I didn't like the idea of cold-calling prospects or soliciting She also uses Twitter and LinkedIn extensively to network with other financial professionals and connect with prospective clients. Curtis estimates that about 15% of her clients have come directly or indirectly via social media. She also has begun experimenting with Instagram and Pinterest as marketing platforms. Curtis finds that prospective clients often seek her out when a "triggering event" occurs in their lives. These events include inheriting money, divorce, the death of a spouse, and retirement. She says that many clients are experiencing a midlife career crisis and want help figuring out if they can afford to take a more fulfilling but potentially lower-paying job or retire. "Clients appreciate my in-depth knowledge of their situation at their first meeting," she says. "I spend several hours going through the information they have shared with me so that from the first meeting, clients know that I will deliver sound recommendations and that all meetings will be productive."

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016

Contents
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - Cover1
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - Cover2
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 1
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 2
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - Contents
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 4
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 5
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 6
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 7
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 8
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 9
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 10
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 11
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 12
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 13
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 14
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 15
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 16
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 17
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 18
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 19
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 20
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 21
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 22
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 23
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 24
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 25
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 26
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 27
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 28
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 29
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 30
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 31
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 32
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 33
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 34
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 35
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 36
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 37
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 38
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 39
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 40
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 41
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 42
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 43
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 44
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 45
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 46
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 47
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 48
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 49
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 50
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 51
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 52
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 53
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 54
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 55
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 56
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 57
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 58
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 59
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 60
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 61
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 62
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 63
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 64
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 65
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 66
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 67
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 68
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 69
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 70
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 71
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 72
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 73
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 74
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 75
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 76
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 77
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 78
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 79
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 80
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 81
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 82
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 83
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 84
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 85
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 86
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 87
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 88
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 89
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 90
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 91
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 92
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 93
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 94
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 95
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - 96
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - Cover3
Morningstar Magazine - October/November 2016 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_2020q3
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_2020q2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_2020q1
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_2019winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_2019fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_2019summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_2019spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20191201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20181011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20180809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20180607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20180405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20180203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20181201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20171011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20170809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20170607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20170405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20170203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20171201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20161011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20160809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20160607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20160405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20160203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20161201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20151011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20150809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20150607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20150405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20150203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20151201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20141011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20140809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20140607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20140405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/magazine_20140203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20141201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20131011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20130809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20130607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20130405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20130203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20131201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20121011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20120809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20120607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20120405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/investorconference2012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20120203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20121201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20111011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20110809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20110607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20110405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20110203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20111201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20101011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20100809_lincoln
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20100809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20100607_lincoln
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20100607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20100405_lincoln
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20100405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20100203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20101201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20091011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20090809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20090607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20090405
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_20090203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_2008fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_2008summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_2007spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_2007fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_2007summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_2008spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_2008catalog
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/morningstar/advisor_2008winter
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com