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A Niche Built on Trust

Kathy Shultz’s unique practice helps immigrants get the best from their money.

Kate Stalter, 12/01/2011

Kathy Shultz has a special affinity for people who came to America with very little but worked hard and built successful lives here. After all, that describes her. Shultz, who opened Shultz Financial Planning in Beaverton, Ore., in May 2010, arrived in the United States from Hong Kong in the late 1980s. She had a scholarship that covered some of her costs at Concordia University in Portland and $11,000 in cash.

She knew that wouldn’t get her very far, so she set to work, taking jobs ranging from janitor to teaching assistant. She also accelerated her studies to graduate with her B.A. in three years, rather than four.

Today, in her fee-only financial advisory practice, Shultz works primarily with first-generation immigrants and their families. “So many of these people came here with nothing, and they worked so hard to get where they are,” she says.

Sound familiar?

After completing her undergraduate degree in finance and accounting, Shultz got her MBA from Portland State University. Then, she took a job with electronics manufacturer Tektronix in Oregon. She enjoyed it, but after the tech bubble burst in the early 2000s, it was time to find something new. A friend suggested she look into becoming a financial advisor, a field she had never considered. But Shultz saw how it would combine her experience in marketing and finance, and she took a job with Waddell & Reed in 2004.

Looking for a Fit
She learned the ropes of commission-based selling and about the mutual fund industry. Hoping to increase her financial-services knowledge, Shultz moved to UBS in 2005.

“They were good companies, and I did learn, but I didn’t have a lot of good connections among high-net-worth people in Oregon,” she says. “Also, my heart wasn’t into looking for only high-net-worth clients. There’s nothing wrong with that approach, but it’s not my passion.”

But Shultz enjoyed being a financial advisor, so she continued seeking the right fit. One of her husband’s friends had joined Edward Jones as an advisor and recommended it to her. She liked what she heard, and she signed on.

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