As a former stock-trading instructor, Kate Stalter brings a wealth of experience to her role as the founder of Better Money Decisions. The clients of Better Money Decisions are benefiting from the perspective Kate gained while teaching thousands of investors how to trade use fundamental and technical analysis. Kate traveled the country, teaching the Investor’s Business Daily seminars. She also hosted the “Small-Cap Roundup” radio show, heard on stations around the U.S. She continues to be a regular columnist for U.S. News & World Report, Morningstar, Forbes,com, TheStreet.com and other venues.
“Trading stocks is fun and exciting,” she says. “But eventually, I realized that the way most people approached trading had no relationship to their overall financial plan. It’s actually easier to trade than it is to stop and really consider why you are investing. Do you want to fund your retirement? Leave something to your children and grandchildren? When I became a financial planner, instead of a stock trader, I immediately saw a much greater opportunity to help people realize their goals.” Kate finds it most gratifying to help a client make decisions about a 401(k), a brokerage account, an annuity or an inheritance, and to frame those decisions within the client’s overall objective. “It’s like putting together the various pieces of a puzzle, so you can see the bigger picture. This is totally different from picking a stock trade,” she says.
But through her work in the media, Kate understands that the financial Web sites and TV channels continue to favor hot stock picking over sound financial planning. “I meet with a lot of people who are unfamiliar with anything beyond the Dow, or maybe the S&P and some of the bigger Nasdaq stocks. There’s a whole world of investments out there, and it’s crucial to be properly diversified. But the financial media tell you almost nothing beyond what the U.S. markets did today,” Kate says. “And almost always, those market reports create confusion and uncertainty, rather than peace of mind.”