Kathryn Peyton is a certified financial advisor at Abacus Wealth. At an early age, Kathryn was impacted by her parents’ financial habits of care and caution around money. But then, something changed for Kathryn as she began to realize that successful investing is attainable for everyday people. Thus began a lifelong fascination with all things money- and economics- related.
Today, Jonathan and Kathryn talk about the work they both do as advisors in helping to set their clients up for financial success. Kathryn speaks to the joy she received when her clients see their financial future making sense and growing more secure. Kathryn discusses the importance of choosing a financial advisor based on the personality fit and the ability to truly be heard. She talks about two of the most basic, yet important, rules for a successful financial life and some of the financial resources she likes to consume.
Kathryn believes that the system for saving money and building wealth in this country is corrupt, overly complex and impossible to navigate for many folks. My job is to be a translator and a door opener, and to help people reach their dreams in a conscious, purposeful way.
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00:01 – Jonathan introduces today’s guest, Kathryn Peyton, who joins the show to share some of the
early lessons she learned about money growing up
04:51 – Shifting financial dynamics between men and women
07:29 – Kathryn’s journey to becoming a financial advisor
14:21 – Kathryn speaks to her role and how she manages her clients expectations
17:03 – The incredible value that advisors can provide
20:04 – Three critical questions to ask potential advisors
21:46 – Differentiating between what does and doesn’t work
25:48 – Resources that Kathryn reads on a regular basis
31:07 – Something Kathryn changed her mind about recently
32:01 – One thing that Kathryn wishes people knew about her
33:58 – Jonathan thanks Kathryn for joining the show and lets listeners know where to connect with her
“I would say that the most profound money lesson that I got was that money, or lack thereof, can change everything for a family in an instant.” (02:17)
“The reason I really got interested in investing was because my husband has always been the primary breadwinner and I always managed the financial side of life.” (08:49)
“Abacus has a very specific investment philosophy and outlook. And it works for a lot of people really well, but it doesn’t work for everybody.” (15:30)
“The most important question really is not a question at all; it’s a personality fit. You want to make sure that you feel comfortable talking to that person, that they listen to you, and that they hear what you’re saying and they don’t steer you in a specific direction.” (20:18)
“Those are probably the two most important things of a nitty gritty financial life. It’s living below your means and automating everything.” (23:22)
“I’m in this job for a purpose. There’s a reason that I’m here. It’s not just because I’m interested in a topic. It’s because I feel like it’s really hard to do this well. There are so many ways to get lost and to get tracked in the wrong direction. And it’s so hard to figure out what the right thing to do is. And I have seen that impact with my parents, with friends and with clients. I really do have a personal mission about doing this job.” (32:17)
Kathryn’s LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/kathrynpeyton/
Kathryn’s Email – Kathryn@abacuswealth.com
Link to Kiplinger Magazine – https://subscription.kiplinger.com/
Link to AARP Magazine – https://www.aarp.org/?_ga=2.267441230.1351018858.1649989667-1600706723.1649989667
Link to Barry Ritholtz’s Blog – https://ritholtz.com/
Mindful Money Resources
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Jonathan DeYoe: So, welcome back. On this episode of the Mindful Money podcast, I’m chatting with Kathryn Peyton CFP. Kathryn, uh, is an advisor at Abacus Wealth Partners. I don’t remember exactly how we originally met, but I’m pretty sure I tried to hire her back in 2015 or 2016, and I went back to look at some of our LinkedIn conversations from that period. Uh, and after she started working at Abacus, she tried to suggest I hire her son, which I think is a great idea. I love that story. Um, but I wanted her on the podcast for a couple of reasons. One, I know we all have thousands of social media contacts that we wouldn’t really call friends. Um, I have thousands of people on LinkedIn that I’m connected with. I probably have two dozen that I actually have pretty regular conversations with, and Catherine has been one of them since the very beginning. She’s been a great person. Um, advice, introductions, help in the industry. Uh, it goes both ways, and, uh, it’s just been a great conversation and a great relationship. And so I wanted to have her on because of that. And then the second reason is there’s a good story behind how Catherine became an advisor. It starts with a UBS broker, and I want to actually, I hope she’ll share that a little bit with us. So, um, Kathryn, welcome to the Mindful Money podcast.
Kathryn Peyton: Thank you so much for having me. And I just want to say thank you also for our wonderful ongoing conversation on LinkedIn. It’s really been a delightful part of my life.
Jonathan DeYoe: It’s been fun. Now, I know you moved around a bit, so where do you call home now, and where are you connecting from?
Kathryn Peyton: Um, the advocate’s offices in Sebastopole, California. And that is about 30 minutes from my actual hometown now, which is Pengrove, California. And we are squarely in the lovely wine country, but also squarely in the path of the recent fires in Sonoma county. And so that has really framed a lot of our work with our clients in the last few years, I’m sure.
Jonathan DeYoe: Where’d you grow up?
Kathryn Peyton: North Carolina. Okay, so a little change, very much a change. I met a young man in college who was from California, and the rest.
Jonathan DeYoe: Is history, as they say, without know the quality of the lessons. What were some of the money lessons you got growing up? I mean, as a kid, uh, growing up?
Kathryn Peyton: Uh, that’s a great question. Um, most profound money lesson that I got was money, um, can just change everything for a family in an instant, or lack thereof. My father lost his job when I was laid into my high school years, and it was a debilitating process for both my father and my mother. They really didn’t know how to handle that because he had been a valued member of the community and a valued member of this company. And then the company was one of those companies that got bought out in the leveraged buyout, um, activity of the, um, they just had the floor, uh, the rug pulled out from under them. And so money became a very large issue in my life at a time when it hadn’t really been up until then. And seeing my parents suffer with that and being ill prepared for such a, uh, drastic change framed both for all of my siblings. I think we carry that to this day. And as my sister and I like to say, we have built moats around our financial life to make sure that if something like that happened to us, that we would be ready.
Jonathan DeYoe: How old were you when that happened?
Kathryn Peyton: Uh, old enough to notice that parents were really upset and upset with each other, and it just created all kinds of dynamics that had never been there before.
Jonathan DeYoe: So as a high school student, what was the experience of that? Did your parents fight about money then, or how did it manifest in your lives?
Kathryn Peyton: My dad went through a really deep depression, um, and my mom had to go to work full time for the first time since she had become a mother, and she really didn’t want to do that, and she really didn’t like it. And so her interactions with the rest of us became much more unpleasant than they had been in the past.
Jonathan DeYoe: Did that at all set up? Um, I’m just thinking about historical gender roles in families and money. Right. Did that set up a difference for you when you started working, when you met that gentleman and moved out to California, and the rest was history. Did that change that at all?
Kathryn Peyton: Well, not so much that. Although very naturally based on both of our personalities, I’ve always handled the finances for my own family. And I guess part of it came from that experience and feeling, noticing that my father and mother had, particularly my dad, who had been kind of in control of everything, seemed all of a sudden not in control, and my mom had to step in. And so I think probably that was somewhat empowering in some ways. But my dad was a really good guy and he had tried to get me interested in things like the stock market and all that sort of thing along the way. So I felt like I had some grounding in that I didn’t just assume that it was a guy thing.
Jonathan DeYoe: And I know in client work it’s often the case where a husband and wife will come in or two partners will come in and one of them will take the lead. Um, and you probably experience the same thing. And I think more today than 20 years ago when I started, it’s now a lot more women taking the lead, which I think is an interesting change, um, in the dynamic of relationships, but also just how money is handled. Do you experience the same thing?
Kathryn Peyton: Absolutely. I see that a lot. I see the women being more involved. I have several clients where the Woman is the chief breadwinner in the family and the husband is the, uh, chief childcare person. And I also have a lot of same sex couples, and so I have many two women couples, and so one of them, of course, naturally usually takes the lead, but, uh, it’s not based on gender.
Jonathan DeYoe: I think we have a very similar client base, actually. Um, we could probably share those stories another time. So in addition to your dad, uh, losing his job and the effects that, uh, had on you and what you learned, were there any really early money lessons? Like, we’re talking five and six years old. What was your experience of money as a child?
Kathryn Peyton: I don’t remember much from that period. I definitely remember when I started babysitting, which was at a very young age. My sister and I started babysitting for kids in our local neighborhood when I was probably eleven and she was nine. But we would go together and my mother was usually at home in case there really was any kind of issue. And we started doing it during the day and then we worked up into being like professional babysitters. I had so much money in high school because of that. It was great. But I remember we kept everything in, um, cigar box on my dresser. That’s where all my money was. And, uh, we budgeted so that we could go after girl scout meetings, we would go to the local drugstore and spend our dollar on candy because you could buy like a bag full at that age for a dollar. And we wound up spending a lot of our money on Christmas presents. My sister and I would go downtown with all of our babysitting weddings and go crazy buying Christmas presents for everybody. But then we had to realize what that meant, that we didn’t have money for other things. So we learned those lessons pretty young.
Jonathan DeYoe: I love the fact that you spent your money on other people. Like, I was all about candy and, and, you know, the little toys I could get for. No, that’s, uh, that’s.
Kathryn Peyton: No, it was fun. Doing that was, uh, shopping was fun. I grew up in Asheville, which is a really beautiful city in the mountains of North Carolina, and it was a really fun place to go downtown on the bus. And they had a great shopping area at that point, downtown. It was a great event in our year.
Jonathan DeYoe: Now, did you study finance? I mean, how did you get from growing up that way? Babysitting, getting married? How did you get to becoming, um, an advisor out here?
Kathryn Peyton: I’ll tell you two stories. One’s a fun story, one’s a sort of sadder story. The fun story is I was a political science major in college, and my mother, who was the ultimate practical person, said, that’s fine, but you have to learn how to type and take accounting. And so I did. In the summertime, I took accounting at the local junior college. And she was so right in the sense that as soon as I got out of college and started looking for jobs, my political science degree was worth not much, but I got a job right out of school as a bookkeeper for a construction firm because I knew how to do accounting. And that was the first place I ever used a computer for financial purposes. And I really kind of got very interested in all that and really stuck on the business world, and particularly small businesses. And then in terms of becoming an advisor, two things. One, I’m a teacher by nature, and I have been a teacher for about ten years in the middle of my career. And so to me, the advisor job was very, a good combination of my teaching interest and my business and finance interest. So it actually is a great combination of those two things. And then the reason I really got invested or interested in investing was because I was managing. As I said, my husband, uh, I didn’t see this, but my husband has been the primary breadwinner, and I’ve always managed, uh, the financial side of life, paid all the bills, and once we started having a little surplus, investing, that, and our investment advisor was a man at UBS. Who was, uh, chosen by his law firm to manage their various other accounts that we had with them. And I noticed at one point along the way that many of the funds that he had us in were showing up on newsfeeds. This was in the sort of a primitive version of a newsfeed, but Yahoo finance had something like that, were showing up that they were getting lawsuits against them because they were charging their clients too much. So I asked him about that, and basically the whole thing was that their fees were very high, they were out of the market high. And I asked my advisor about that, and he exploded and blew up and said he would never talk to me again and that he would only talk through my husband, even though my husband had told him that I was the one that he should talk to. And it was extremely unpleasant. And it all turned out to be true because we wound up getting money in our account from those funds when they settled those lawsuits. So it was a thing he should have talked to me about instead of behaving like that. And that made me really decide that I was going to learn how to do this for myself because I was so displeased about that interaction.
Jonathan DeYoe: Were you back east when that happened or had you already moved to the Bay area?
Kathryn Peyton: I came to the Bay area, and then we moved back for a while, and then we came were, I believe we were living in Virginia at that point.
Jonathan DeYoe: And so what was the path from? Okay, this guy is a get. I got. How did you get from there to Abacus?
Kathryn Peyton: Okay, so I just started really getting interested in finance and paying attention to investments and learned about John Bogle and Vanguard investing and low fee investing and all those things. Luckily, because it’s really hard to learn all that stuff. There’s so much information out there, and so much of it is bad. Fortunately, I got on a right path with that. And then in terms of coming to Abacus, I was still teaching once we had moved back to California, and I taught a class at the school with a man named Spencer Sherman, who was a founder of Abacus. And we were teaching the stock market game to my students. We were co teaching that class together. His son was a student at the school, and Spencer knew that I had all these interests and that I had this background, and he also knew that I was interested in getting out of teaching at that point. And when a, uh, position came open, he just invited me to apply. So the rest is history. I mean, I had looked for several years for a way to enter this profession because it’s not easy. If you don’t come from a conventional background. It is pretty hard to break down the doors. And I just really lucked into having this wonderful entree. And now I’m Spencer’s financial planner.
Jonathan DeYoe: It’s interesting you say it’s difficult to break down the doors. I think that’s true. But our industry is vast, right. And um, I think that the UBS broker, that portion of the industry is pretty easy to get into. It’s very difficult to stay because you have to meet sales quotas and things. But in terms of getting in, becoming an advisor, an actual advisor, not a broker at an RIA that’s well respected, that does financial planning. Um, I think back in the day that was hard. I think today it’s actually much easier.
Kathryn Peyton: We are begging for people. We have so many openings. Always we’re growing very fast. There’s so much demand. But literally, I didn’t even know what an IRA was until I came to work for. Uh, not the way the industry is broken into brokerages and registered investment advisors and all kinds of other different financial therapists and financial counselors. There’s so many ways into this market and I just didn’t know the right path. I had talked to a couple of companies. I really was interested in helping companies manage 401 ks because I had had such colored experiences with those accounts over the years and I really wanted to. That’s sort of my mission in life, is to make those accounts work for employees. And so I was trying to go in through that direction. I was having a hard time finding something that would offer me full time, but with also geographic flexibility and things like that.
Jonathan DeYoe: You landed at a great firm. I mean, it’s really neat. Uh, it’s kind of lucky, but also, it’s just where you were at the time, right?
Kathryn Peyton: It’s lucky, but I feel like I put it out there to the know I really was trying. And so it all fell into place when Spencer came into that classroom. And the funny thing was, I didn’t even want to teach that class with him because usually in the past when I’d had parents want to co teach an, uh, investment class or an economics class, they tended to have some kind of conspiracy theory, kinds of ideas about those things that they would try to impart on students. And so I was a little wary about that. But of course, working with Spencer was amazing. And we had such a wonderful time together doing that.
Jonathan DeYoe: That’s the luck piece. The first contact with another teacher was, that was Spencer. So that’s great. Now that you’ve been a financial advisor for a number of years. You’ve probably noted that we are expected to do a lot of different things. In your experience, when clients, uh, are coming in, do they ever expect you to do things that aren’t possible? Are they asking you to do things that you can’t do? Um. And then on the flip side of that is, what are the things that is really within the circle of competence of an advisor?
Kathryn Peyton: Well, I can only comment on my specific firm and my specific experience, but I, um, don’t often have clients ask me to do something that’s impossible. I do often have clients who are thinking about becoming abacus clients, but aren’t a good fit because abacus has a very simple and, um, disciplined investment philosophy, and we don’t invest in individual stocks ever. We manage those investments for clients who bring them to us to make sure we don’t create taxable gains when we sell them. But that’s not part of our investment portfolio, and that is not a good fit for a lot of people. So that is more of a challenge in my world, is making sure abacus has a very specific investment philosophy and outlook, and it works for a lot of people really well, but it doesn’t work for everybody.
Jonathan DeYoe: Right. I guess, uh, one of the things, and maybe this will stimulate a little bit more, one of the things I hear often is, hey, Jonathan, I’m interviewing two or three different firms. Can you tell me about your performance? And I think that many times people use that as a decision point, even if we try to coach them, you know, past performance is no guarantee of future results. But do you get that question, or do you not even get that question?
Kathryn Peyton: Oh, I always get that question. Or almost always, we’re pretty open about our performance, and we’re pretty open about our philosophy and how that has been both good and bad in recent years. Uh, for instance, uh, some of our funds are tilted towards small and value stocks, and those have been out of favor in the recent past, but over the long term, they’ve had a huge impact on performance. So we stick to our knitting, and, um, you either like that or you don’t as a client. And I think we’re very open about that, which is a good thing. We’re very transparent about that. Yeah.
Jonathan DeYoe: And I think that’s the question, because so much of the media talks about that, and because if you’re on social media for 45 seconds, they talk about bitcoin going up 45,000%, and that gets stuck in people’s minds. And, oh, the percentage is the thing that becomes really important. And so that causes them to ask the question when they come and interview advisors. And I’ve never thought that’s where the advisor’s value lies. But rather than me talk about it, where do you think, what is the incredible value that an advisor can provide?
Kathryn Peyton: There’s so many things that we provide our clients. I think, uh, one is that we provide stability and reassurance and education for our clients when they want to know things. I think we’re very good at explaining things to our clients and making sure they understand why we do the things we do. Um, obviously, we’re helping them with. As an Ria, we do a lot of planning besides just investing. I mean, investing is only one small part of everybody’s financial life, or it should be. And we’re talking about all of those things. We’re talking about college, and we’re talking about, what do you want to leave your grandchildren. We’re talking about which nonprofit do you want to add as a beneficiary to your iro? We’re talking about whether you’re around here. We’re talking about is your property and casualty insurance good enough to cover you if your house burns down? We’re talking about all those kinds of things. And I think that is what provides value, immeasurable value. I think to our clients, it’s not just about the investments, whereas with a lot of firms that they might be looking at, that’s all they do. The advisor is just an investment advisor, and a lot of times they have unfortunate incentives around how they manage that. So I think that’s the great thing about Rias, is that we’re fiduciaries. We’re going to take care of you, and we’re going to do it in the context of your whole financial life, not just what’s in your portfolio.
Jonathan DeYoe: How much time do you spend? It’s surprising to me, people looking, uh, for an advisor may have some basic understanding of their goals, but how much time do you spend helping people develop life vision? It’s almost as if, yeah, I’d like this and this and this. But I’ve never really thought about all the possibilities. Do you walk them through, well, what would you like to have happen in your life? And I asked because I had, um, a previous guest, uh, who is basically life planning, and he talks about freedom, and he talks about what is the life you dream of? And it’s interesting that not. I mean, most people don’t ever really sit back and think about the possibilities.
Kathryn Peyton: Well, we spend a lot of time talking about all those things. Of course, the idea of building a financial plan for a client is all about their goals. Now, I probably don’t talk as much about some of their non financial goals as your former guest. We’re talking about things like, what do you want your life to feel like in retirement? What’s going to give you ease and openness in your life when you get to that point, and how are we going to get you there? Um, we’re talking about, do you want to have a second home? Do you want to make sure you have lots of money to travel for the first ten years after you retire? So we’re talking about those kinds of goals a lot and planning around them. We do lots of different scenarios for our clients. What happens if you buy this house as opposed to this house? What if you get a mortgage, or what if you don’t get a mortgage? All the ramifications of all those things we talk about all the time now.
Jonathan DeYoe: Uh, this is kind of an off the wall, and that’s not really off the wall question, but maybe, uh, after half a dozen people have asked you questions and you realize they’re not asking the right questions, uh, what are the three most important questions that people should ask when they’re coming in and talking to an advisor or when they’re interviewing three or four advisors?
Kathryn Peyton: The most important question is, really, it’s not so much a question. It’s a personality fit. You want to make sure that you feel comfortable talking to that person, that they listen to you and that they hear what you’re saying, and they don’t steer you in a specific direction. So that’s the most important thing to me, I think, is that kind of personality fit. And then in terms of questions, what does the engagement look like? What’s the roadmap of the first year that you’re working with them? What are you going to cover and when are you going to cover those things, and how much work is going to be involved on both sides and see if that’s what you want. Listen to them and what they say and understand is that what you’re looking for. Fees also are important. Of course, uh, you should know if they’re a fiduciary or not. I think that’s a really important question. And by a fiduciary, that means somebody that has to work in your best interest, not just in a way that is suitable for you, but that’s actually in your best interest. And I think that’s a really important question to ask other than that, who’s going to be working on my account? How many people, who will I be talking to? Who’s going to be emailing me? How many times am I going to meet? Are we going to meet by Zoom, or am I going to come to your office, or are you going to come meet me at a coffee shop? Or just sort of the logistics of the relationship and then understanding their philosophy overall in terms of how they see clients and what they’re working with their clients to do.
Jonathan DeYoe: Uh, all great questions for sure. Now, let’s pretend for a second that someone’s not looking for an advisor, doesn’t want an advisor. Um, that’s what mindful money comes out of. Um, this thing I was trying to build with my brother a while ago, and we had always wanted to help people out that don’t have access to advice or don’t have access to good advice. So what are some of those behaviors that people should engage in? What are the things that really move the needle that maybe no one talks about so much? And then what are some of the things that don’t work that people talk about all the time? I think there’s a popular narrative around how people manage money, and there’s things that we know work in the industry. Right. Um, and there’s things that we know don’t work, but there’s a lot of attention paid to some of those things. So could you differentiate some of that?
Kathryn Peyton: Well, what doesn’t work is listening to CNBC and then going and buying everything that they talk about that day and selling when they tell you to sell, and churning accounts all the time. I actually tried that when I was a youngster and I tried doing what I thought were good buys. And I read financial magazines and it was a disaster. So that doesn’t work, that’s for sure. What works is automating your savings so that you don’t have to think about it. Doing things like if you’re joining life with a partner from the beginning of the time you’re together, try to live on one salary, or at least one and a half or something like that, so that you are always not getting your lifestyle ahead of your finances, which is really hard to do in the Bay area where we live. And those are probably the two most important things. If you sort of nitty gritty financial life is living below your means and automating everything.
Jonathan DeYoe: I love it. And making it just that simple. And I often tell people, hey, if you just save more and invest on some kind of automatic program, you can get to the point where you’ll need really deep financial advice. That’s where it begins. That’s the iron wire. Do that first. You won’t need me until you get this done. That is everything. What are some of the things that people try to do? And this is the popular media. You mentioned CNBC. Turn off CNBC. Rule number one, turn off CNBC and anything like that. Right. But what are the things that they talk about that don’t work?
Kathryn Peyton: Trying to think you’re smarter than the market, I guess, is the answer. Uh, what I believe after having done this for so many years, is that with few exceptions, there was a guy named Peter lynch who definitely did this, did not apply to, but with few exceptions, the rest of us get the market return or less over time, no matter what you do, no matter how you invest over the long term, you’re going to get, uh, basically the same return that the market provides. And so the only way to get ahead of that is to keep your fees low. So that’s my philosophy in a nutshell as far as investing goes. So that’s what I talk to talk, especially to my younger clients, it’s all about consistent saving from as soon as they can possibly get started with it. Even if it’s $20 a month, you start with that, you automate it, and then the next month you make it 25, and then the next month you make it 30, and you just have this consistent, disciplined approach is what is going to work.
Jonathan DeYoe: I love it. Uh, I think we basically say the same things to people that aren’t going to be clients if we’re in a public sphere and people ask questions, hey, what should I do? It’s save more automate. Save more automate. Keep it cheap, keep it cheap, keep it cheap. Yeah.
Kathryn Peyton: I had, uh, an old boss that contacted me recently, and he was telling me about all these financial things, investments he was making, and he asked me, and so what do you do? And I say, I just put all of my money in index funds and keep my cost low. And that’s what worked for me because I started doing that after years of trying to do all the other things. I finally started doing that about 20 years ago, and that has made all the difference.
Jonathan DeYoe: Maybe it’s a bit of an aside, um, but are there any resources that you read on a regular basis that reinforce this? Because I know that I have the same belief you have. Um, but I read a lot of stuff, and so I do get occasionally attracted to, and I got to tell you, I’m not investing in it, but I’m attracted to it. I feel the pull of considering, uh, uh, crypto or bitcoin or. I feel the pull. It seems exciting. People are making lots of money. It seems like I should be engaged in that. And if I didn’t have a regular process of reading the literature, reading the statistics, reading the history of markets, I could totally get pulled into doing those kinds of things and get excited by those. So is there anything you read or resource that keeps you calm and keeps you based in reality? Or is it you’re just past it?
Kathryn Peyton: Part of it? I’m just old and cocky. I think I’ve got this figured out by now. But I love Kiplinger magazine. I think that they provide of all the sort of mainstream things that people might see. I really like that one. And also the AARP magazine, if you’re over 50, really good advice in there. There’s a man named Barry Ritholtz who runs a very interesting blog, and he has a lot of employees who also blog, and I love all of their blogs. So I would say I’m blanking on the name of his right now. But if you just Google Barry Ritholtz and his family of blogs, I think it’s probably if you really want to get involved in investing and get way down into the details and really understand this, I think they are providing outstanding advice.
Jonathan DeYoe: Totally. All their podcasts, all their blogs. Yeah, it’s great stuff.
Kathryn Peyton: Family of resources that in one place you just have so much at your fingertips.
Jonathan DeYoe: I’ve tuned in, listened and read their stuff for years and years and years. My only concern in recommending them is they do get into the nitty gritty of, uh, stock selection, and they do get into the nitty gritty of a lot of the analytical stuff that I don’t know. I don’t make a change in my portfolio design because I expect inflation. I don’t make a change because. Right. So I worry that that leads people a little bit towards, and you almost have to do it to be in the media because the media draws eyes based on current what’s happening and all that kind of stuff. So I understand the motivation. It’s great to develop understanding, but I don’t think it should sort of determine your portfolio design. Right, that’s true.
Kathryn Peyton: You’re right. They probably get a little far out there sometimes. But I think in general, for most of their clients, it sounds to me that they’re mostly investing in mutual funds and running the same kind of portfolio that we do at advocates. And I’m sure for some of their large clients, they are doing more adventurous things. I have the thought that there’s a level and a difference for everybody, um, of how much you should keep in a solid, disciplined portfolio. And once you get to that level, if you want to take 5% of your portfolio and put it in crypto or put it in biotech stocks or whatever, you think, as long as it’s only 5%, you should do that because it’s fun and it’s interesting and you’ll learn some things. So why not?
Jonathan DeYoe: So how do you invest that 5% for you?
Kathryn Peyton: For me, I try to buy low, uh, when the market drops. I do myself buy individual stocks, like right now when the markets are down, but I look for blue chip stocks that pay high dividends. I’m still being pretty conservative about everything. My son is very boring, very boring. My son is really trying to get me to invest in bitcoin. So I have started reading a lot more about crypto. I write an internal planning newsletter, uh, for our firm about planning issues that come up along the way. And so we did a, uh, newsletter in November about crypto, and we really dug into it a little bit and found out stuff because we don’t do it. We’re not going to tell our clients to invest in crypto. We’re not going to buy that on their behalf. Maybe in the future, but certainly not for the next five years. But that was the most well read newsletter that we ever, every advisor in the firm downloaded and read that one. So it’s an interesting topic, and people want to know about it. It’s fun to read about. I was going to say, and, like everything, it’s all vocabulary. It’s so hard to read when you first start because the words seem so arcane, which is the same thing with investing. Right. I mean, you have to get over that vocabulary problem.
Jonathan DeYoe: I think back to every bubble. Anytime you have something that, and I’m not calling it a bubble, I have no idea. Like, I’m not making a judgment of it, but anytime you have something that moves so quickly and gets so much attention so fast, you can’t not talk about it. You have to talk about as advisors, because people are hearing about it and they want to hear about it. Right. It’s something we have to cover.
Kathryn Peyton: Well, that is absolutely right. We may not invest in it, but we darn well need to know about it, because our clients are going to have some and they’re going to be asking about it, and we need to be able to answer them responsibly.
Jonathan DeYoe: So we’re getting pretty close here to, uh, we’ll call the culmination of the interview, but I have a couple of closing questions, um, that are more maybe personal. So first, what was the last thing you changed your mind about crypto?
Kathryn Peyton: And I wouldn’t say I’ve dramatically changed my mind, but I thought it was just a, uh, fad. And because I’ve read a lot more about it, I have come to see that actually the cryptocurrency is not the real thing that I think is that interesting. It’s now the blockchain and how financial transactions are going to change because of this. So things will change because of this movement, I think. And so that’s probably the last thing that I’ve changed.
Jonathan DeYoe: I think you and every advisor on the planet, we all came out originally saying, this is stupid, and then we’re like, wait a second, let’s look under the hood.
Kathryn Peyton: Wait a second. Something here that might be.
Jonathan DeYoe: Stay tuned. We have to research and figure it out. So is there anything that people don’t know about you that you really wish they’d know, or is there something that you’ve told them a bunch of times and they just don’t seem to remember? What is it about you that you really want people to know.
Kathryn Peyton: And they probably will figure this out? I’m in this job for a purpose. There’s a reason that I’m here. It’s not just because I’m interested in the topic or anything like that. It’s because I feel like it’s, uh, really hard to do this. Well, there are so many ways to get lost and to get tracked in the wrong direction, and it’s so hard to figure out what the right thing to do is. And I have seen that impact with my parents, I’ve seen that impact with friends, and I’ve seen that impact with clients who come to me after years of doing what turned out to not to be very favorable things for them and trying to kind of help them recoup from that. So I really do have a personal mission about doing this job. And, uh, it’s important to me to go to work every day thinking that I’m going to do something that’s going to make something better for somebody, and I’m also going to do it in a way that I don’t have feelings, that it’s compromising my ethics. I have not always felt that in jobs that I’ve had in the past. And after I became a teacher, I decided never again, would I do a job where I didn’t have those two feelings every day? Because it’s so great to go to work knowing those two things? And so I think that’s important to me, and I think that’s something that people should know about.
Jonathan DeYoe: Yeah. And I would never have somebody on the podcast that I thought otherwise, uh, of. I didn’t put it in those words in the introduction, but that’s how I feel about our interactions. You have always been above board. How do I help? And you’ve helped me. Um, and technically, I’m a competitor, but I love that. I love the stance. I just want to say thank you for coming on. So, finally, can you tell people how to connect with you? And we’ll put this in the show notes as well, but, uh, let’s give them it verbally. How do they connect with you?
Kathryn Peyton: Best way is by email. Catherine@abacuswealth.com. Okay, Catherine with a k. Catherine with.
Jonathan DeYoe: A k. It’ll be in the show notes, so the spelling will be accurate in the print. Um, so thank you very much for coming on. I’ve enjoyed the conversation, as I always have. Uh, and I appreciate you.
Kathryn Peyton: Thanks. I enjoy it, too. This is really fun.