Meet finance entrepreneur Katie MacDonald with Bachelor of Science degree from Bridgewater State University and financial certificates from Boston University. She started her financial career in 2000 and has held many different positions in financial firms. Katie left corporate finance after many years of belittlement from her male counterparts. She felt her talents were not appreciated and she was often overlooked. Katie took this drive and created her own registered investment advisory firm called MacDonald Wealth Management. Katie is a thought leader, influencer, visionary, and successful entrepreneur. Katie provides the leadership and energy that has inspired the creation of the firm. Not only is Katie a female entrepreneur, she created a successful financial firm from her bare hands. There were no handouts, just pure determination. Katie has a female led firm, giving other women the opportunity to break out of the corporate finance industry, predominantly run by males. Katie has been a phenomenal mentor for a lot of women.
For those unfamiliar with Wealth Management, Wealth management is an investment advisory service that combines other financial services to address the needs of affluent clients. A wealth management advisor is a high-level professional who manages an affluent client’s wealthholistically, typically for one set fee.
What do you find are people’s top financial concerns and what advice do you give?
In my practice I have found that financial concerns change over time. Prior to the pandemic, the most common financial concern was around retirement. People often wondered what age they could retire or if they had enough money to retire. My advice for retirement concerns is to start early. The sooner the better, thanks to the power of compounding. Also, set up systematics. What I mean by this is have your retirement fund automatically drawn from either your paycheck or bank account. Systematics takes away the pressure from you, sit back and watch your retirement fund grow. In addition, you want to make sure you are taking advantage of employer retirement plans. Yes, even if your employer does not match. This is a simple and effective way to build a retirement plan with no hassle.
The pandemic however has shifted people’s financial concerns. After the pandemic people grew to be concerned about their emergency reserves and investments. When it comes to your personal emergency reserves, I recommend having a minimum of 3 months of living expenses saved. Once you hit this goal, you should aim to save for 6 months of your living expenses and continue to add in additional layers of savings. To effectively save I highly recommend setting up systematic savings into an outside savings account like a Capital One 360 or Ally Bank online savings account. It will be out of sight and out of mind. Now, when it comes to investments, a lot of people were concerned if their investments were secure. Most importantly, you want to know your risk tolerance and time frame when it comes to your investments. This will help gauge your investments. Also, never sell in a down market.
How can people introduce financial stability into their lives for the long-term?
Financial stability is something everyone can achieve! I believe in the phrase “pay yourself first”. You work hard for your money, but what you do with that money is vital. It is important to ensure a portion of your pay is used to pay yourself. Now you can do this by establishing systematic savings. You can ask your employer to take a percentage of your paycheck and distribute it to your savings account. In addition, you can have systematic contributions set up for your retirement plan. Both initiatives allow you to mindlessly pay for your future. If there is one thing you take away from this let it be this, I cannot stress it enough!
Tell us something about MacDonald Wealth Management who’s it for and what is it about?
MacDonald Wealth Management is a fee only registered investment advisory firm located in Massachusetts. Our business is run by a group of hardworking female entrepreneurs. Specifically, my passion stems from financial planning. When I meet with financial planning clients my approach is very goal based. No matter the goal, I help individuals effectively save for their specific goal. Maintaining good relationships is key to this business. I truly love helping my clients work through different goals and life stages. I have the honor of cheering them on!
Please tell us the one thing that separates your business from the competition.
With confidence I can say MacDonald Wealth Management’s goals are very different than competitors. In my many years of experience and positions at different firms, I have built MacDonald Wealth Management around the client’s needs. Many firms will seek individuals who have money to invest, solely to make a profit. At my company, our focus is understanding client foundations. Our first task is making sure our clients obtain a strong financial foundation. We give them the tools and knowledge to do so. From there our next task is making sure our clients understand their own cash flow. To succeed you must know what is going in and out. We spend a lot of time reviewing cash flow during financial planning meetings. It is my goal to help individuals make small and practical changes in their everyday life to successfully reach their financial goals.
For our readers just starting to build a company, what advice can you give entrepreneurs just beginning with a new venture?
You may have heard this before, maybe not, regardless do not be afraid to fail! Failure leads to even more opportunities. How amazing that you get to pick yourself back up and start over with a new perspective. I have been doubted by others but was able to use that as fuel for my success. Along my journey I have faced failure many times and each time I learned failure is just redirection. Keep pushing forward and you will find your path. Chasing your passion, rather than the paycheck, will lead you on a successful path. Reminder that success isn’t always measured by money either.
For entrepreneurs seeking to build a business as successful as yours, what one big piece of advice can you give them when times get a little challenging?
When things become challenging, keep pushing, you cannot give up on your dream. At the end of the day, you must advocate for your success. In your push to success practice being flexible. What I mean is be flexible in your approaches, try your business idea in a variety of ways. As a financial advisor I highly recommend being cautious of your budget, so you always have a sturdy financial foundation to lean on. This foundation will pay for your projects, so make sure they are practical.
What is your “Why”? In one sentence, why do you get up in the morning?
The feeling of gratitude I experience when I help clients reach their goals, whether that be retiring, sending their kids to college, buying their first home, I truly love being a resource to people.
Describe how you handle rejection and setbacks?
Over the years I have learned that rejection and setbacks are just apart of the journey of owning a business. Train yourself to have thick skin and learn to not take it personally. To maintain a clear focus for myself I set aside time each week to write down my goals. When it comes to my goals, I remain flexible knowing that things do not always go as planned. Control what you can and let go of what you can’t.
What are the easiest habits you can build to become wealthier?
To become wealthier, you must create a financial plan. Set aside time to review your financial goals and needs. We schedule appointments during the week, why not schedule a money management date for yourself? In your plan set up systematic savings, review your employer contribution annually, review your cash flow and budget monthly, and lastly cut costs where you can. These little steps will help you achieve wealth.
What are your hobbies and how do you de-stress?
I grew up playing sports and in undergrad majored in exercise science. So, I guess you can say I have always had a love for fitness. I love using exercise as a way to destress in a healthy way. Working out is my time and I take full advantage of it. Currently, I am a huge spin fan, definitely recommend trying it out if you have not!
I will say that I am very lucky to work for myself because I allocate time to de-stress and prioritize my health. I could never go back to working for someone else. So, if you are thinking about starting your own business to better yourself, do it.