Debra Clayton, CFP®
Co-Founder and President
Debra comes from a family of financial professionals, so it may seem surprising that she started her working career as an English teacher. After six years in the classroom, however, she understood that it wasn’t her natural habitat and decided to follow the family tradition. She didn’t leave her previous career entirely behind, though. After earning her CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation and co-founding our firm, she soon found herself drawing on her teaching experience to help counsel clients through the uncertainties of investments.
As founding partner, Debra helped build one of the first fee-only advisory firms in the region. And from the start, she focused on the tried-and-tested principles of sound investment management, such as diversifying portfolio holdings and maintaining a long-term focus. But it was during volatile times such as the collapse of the dot-com bubble in 2000 and the bear market of 2007–09 that Debra learned that there was something more important than simply showing clients a chart of the historical performance of the stock market: There was empathy. By counseling clients out of emotional decision-making sparked by fear, she was able to help them navigate through some of the most tumultuous economic periods in recent history.
Today, Debra’s focus is on mentoring the firm’s younger shareholders and maintaining the firm’s presence in the community. Her professional acumen and community involvement have been well noted, earning her honors such as the Women of Distinction recognition for entrepreneurship. A Topeka resident, she finds her extensive volunteer work gratifying. She also enjoys traveling and has visited every one of the continents, with her favorite trips being on safari in Africa.
Education and Designations
Bachelor of Arts, English, Pittsburg State University
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional, CFP Board of Standards
Memberships and Community Activities
Member, Financial Planning Association (FPA)
Board Member and Chair of the Strategy & Finance Committee, Stormont-Vail Health Care
Member, United Way Community Impact Committee
Board Member, Jayhawk Area Council of Boy Scouts
Board Member, Topeka Symphony League