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Redtail Technology > Redtail Advisor Hero: Katie Waters
Advisor Hero logo

We need more young, female financial planners. For me, that’s been the entire mission.”

Katie Waters, CFP

Nikki, Katie and Cara (Left to Right)
Stable Waters Financial logo
Katie Waters

Heroes build something greater than themselves.

Katie Waters, CFP, is a prime example, having dedicated both her personal and professional life to leaving behind an enduring legacy.

She started down this path long before founding her own advisory firm, Stable Waters. As far back as high school, Katie was active in several service organizations and joined her first non-profit board at age 21. Her dedication to community involvement continued, even as she worked tirelessly to build her own firm, and in 2019 she was nominated to be the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) Woman of the Year for her fundraising efforts in support of that organization.

In the male-dominated financial planning industry, Katie’s approach to building her business has centered around fostering the success of female advisors. She also provides a unique type of financial planning for her clients, one that’s rooted in cashflow analysis and helps people figure out how to use their money in a way that will “bring them the most happiness.”

Katie Waters, CFP

Founder and CEO, Stable Waters Financial
Athens, Georgia

  • AUM $30M
  • Founded in 2011
  • 9 employees
  • 303 clients
Katie and best friend Stephanie at Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Presents Man & Woman of the Year

Like other heroes, Katie’s journey was not without obstacles

We want clients to spend and enjoy their money.

When she joined an all-male firm right out of college, she struggled to find her footing. “Somebody asked me on my first day who I was making coffee for,” she recalls. “Over time it became increasingly clear I was a square peg in a round hole there, so after five years I decided to start the type of firm I wanted to be a part of.”

Katie says she thinks most successful people aren’t intimidated by a challenge, they’re excited by it. That was certainly true for her. “Starting my business as a young female, I had to work harder and bulldoze through,” she says. Katie also created a haven for like-minded female financial advisors. “We are committed to the development and success of female financial planners. I think that that’s a challenge for our industry, because we need more female financial planners and we need more young financial planners. For me, that’s been the entire mission.”

Katie’s approach to client service also sets her business apart: “We help clients with things that planners aren’t typically compensated for. In addition to saving, we want clients to spend and enjoy their money, which I think is counter-intuitive to some planners who are focused on gobbling up assets. For us, it’s about keeping the emotion out of money decisions so people can make really good choices with their money.” For example, she helped one couple plan through multiple phases of a major transition over several years –including a cross-country move, two home purchases, a career change and acquisition of a winery – all done in a smart, deliberate way that left the couple positioned well for the future.

I can’t hire planners fast enough to service the demand on our business, so I know that we’re doing it the right way.

“I know we’ve really struck a chord because we have a 10-week waitlist for new clients now,” Katie says. “I can’t hire planners fast enough to service the demand on our business, so I know that we’re doing it the right way.”

Katie says her own hero is her younger sister, Emily, who at 28 was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. “It was a very scary time for our family,” Katie says. “Throughout her diagnosis and surgeries, she was a warrior. She did it all with such grace and I’m so proud of her.”

During that same year, Katie was nominated for the LLS Woman of the Year award in Atlanta. “They held a 10-week fundraising challenge and I built the largest team in the country. We raised $130,000 for cancer research,” Katie says. “For every $50,000 you raise, you’re able to direct a grant to a specific research portfolio and name it after someone.” As a result, she was able to dedicate grants in the name of her sister and her best friend, whose family was also touched by a cancer diagnosis. “It was priceless. In a time when I felt helpless, it was something I could do right.”

Do you know an Advisor Hero who uses Redtail?