Story by Liesel Schmidt | Photography by Lucas Ryan Chambers
Financial planning is a mystifying subject, so much so that many people completely put it to the back of their minds like a boxed confusion of odds and ends shoved to the back of a closet, hoping that if they don’t think about it, it needn’t be a real issue. In all reality, however, it’s an extremely important part of life—especially as you approach your later years and try to build your financial stability to the point of comfortable retirement. It’s never too early to start, but it takes proper guidance to do it correctly, and that’s where having the experience of a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional becomes such a priceless asset.
Getting her start in the industry in 1988, Kathy Ellis, CFP® professional joined Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. in 1999. She started Clarksville-based Ellis & Company to provide the community with every tool they would need for wealth management and to offer her own brand of expertise in a way that would make the entire subject more approachable and uncomplicated. “Our goal with the services we provide is to ease our clients stress and to allow them more time to enjoy life. We help accomplish this by getting to know our clients and building a personalized financial strategy. You are unique, so doesn’t it make sense for your financial plan to be built for you? We do this with estate planning, financial planning, investment strategies, and income planning to build a strategy specifically for the unique needs of the people we work with,” says Kathy, whose title as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional holds her to the highest of all standards for financial advisors.
“Financial planning is complicated. With our expertise and experience, we can take the financial planning off of our clients’ plates and simplify a complex topic. That’s important because if financial planning isn’t done correctly, a person could be paying more in taxes than they should or face unnecessary complications when the time comes to pass assets to the next generation.” Kathy goes on. “Managing risk in one’s investments is critical, and understanding the shift from saving money while you’re working to using the assets you’ve accumulated to provide income is crucial. In addition, determining the order of how assets are used can make all the difference between comfortable living or facing the risk of running out of money.”
Proper planning is Kathy’s forte, as is evidenced by being awarded Raymond James Leaders Council¹ for six consecutive years—a fact which places her in the top 6 percent of financial advisors in the entire country within Raymond James.
“What makes us different as a company is that we invest time in getting to know our clients. We want a true understanding of our clients’ goals, because only then can we create a personalized strategy to fit their needs." - Kathy Ellis
"We genuinely care about our clients and view ourselves as their family’s Chief Financial Officer, and we coordinate closely with their CPA and attorney to ensure that their financial plan is set up exactly as it should be.”
As a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, Kathy has worked on some of the most complex financial planning scenarios; and her knowledge, experience, and expertise include financial planning, retirement strategies, estate planning, portfolio analysis, and charitable giving. She attended Austin Peay State University, College for Financial Planning, and the Investment Training Institute in Atlanta. As the president of Ellis & Company, she knows the importance of building a strong team, and hers is one that clearly shares her level of passion and commitment. Following in his mother’s footsteps, Financial Advisor Eric Ellis graduated from APSU with a concentration in Finance and gained invaluable experience with leading investment companies early in his career. Registered Client Operations Specialist Michele Wieber graduated from Cornell University and has worked in financial services for over eight years, while Registered Principal Walter Keith holds 28 years of experience in the industry. Client Relationship Specialist Patti Smith works on the operations team, and new addition Jessika Appleton, administrative assistant, rounds out Ellis & Company.
Ellis & Company has much to be proud of, to be sure; but it should also hold its head high for the many ways in which it serves the community. Showing support to the military, the firm donates $5,000 annually to the Big Fish Scholarship, which is awarded each year to the child of an active duty soldier from Ft. Campbell. In addition, Ellis & Company supports APSU, APSU athletics, and APSU’s College of Business as well as many other causes throughout the Clarksville community. Now that’s an example of investing in our community at its finest.