Curtis Financial Planning is an independent, fee-only financial planning and investment advisory firm located in Oakland, California. Cathy specializes in the finances of women and their families. Curtis Financial Plannings's goal is to form a confidential fiduciary relationship with you – one that is bound by trust and an obligation to act in your best interest at all times.
A Woman Who Walks Her Talk
Passion. Success. Transparency. Service. These four qualities define how financial planner and investment adviser Cathy Curtis lives her life and runs her business.
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."
After high school Cathy enrolled at San Francisco State University, paying her own way with a job in the accounting office of an insurance company. She then transferred to Cal and put herself through her Bachelors degree in public policy—working, on campus, as an assistant to the accountant in the School of Public Health.
Cathy spent some years climbing the corporate ladder. She made it to a top tier position in her company 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. It's one of the main reasons she gets a kick 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. By the time she was 30, she had bought herself a condo, and was making way more than her dad, who spent 45 years working as a middle manager.
It wasn't a great leap for her to start seriously studying financial planning and launch her own business.
Cathy decided to work as an independent fee-only investment advisor and financial planner-not through any bank, brokerage or insurance company-because she wanted to do business on her own terms.
"I don't work for a bank that wants me to sell annuities, or a brokerage or insurance company that is hungry for commission income. This way, I can do what is best for my clients—without being influenced by what product pays me the most. I could not work that way."
For financial planning services, she charges a fee based on the complexity of the client's situation.
In her role of investment advisor, she manages clients' portfolios and has expertise in building high return, low volatility portfolios using a mix of actively managed no-load mutual funds, index funds and exchange-traded funds. In this capacity, she charges a percentage based on assets under management.
She works in one role for some clients; both for others. Whatever she does is transparent and agreed upon in discussion with the client. And, in both areas, her goal is to build a long term advisor relationship with clients. Financial planning is not a one-time event, it should last a lifetime. She wants to be the one there to ensure that her clients meet their goals.
Cathy has clients from across the financial spectrum—young people starting out; retired people who want peace of mind. She is motivated by personal passion and satisfaction and specializes in helping women to work through their unique financial issues, including:
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