A Simpler Method: Contribution to Elon Magazine

Katie Jarret
Katie Jarret

A simpler method

A financial planner, Katie Jarret Burke ’03 is focused on advising busy professionals and young families.

By Sarah Collins ’18

Katie Jarret Burke ’03 might be a young financial planner, but she has more experience in personal finance and entrepreneurship than many professionals gain during long careers. That robust experience led her last year to open her own firm, Method Financial Planning.

Burke staked her claim in the financial advising world shortly after graduating from Elon with a degree in finance when she joined a Baltimore-based firm as a mutual fund accountant. When given the chance to work for a Wall Street firm in Philadelphia, she took it and was relocated to San Diego two years later.

“I had never been to California before I got on the plane to move there,” she says, “but you only have a couple times in your life to make that decision to go out and chase something that crazy.” When a few advisers from her company decided in 2009 to open their own firm, she knew this was the next big move for her career and after a few months began a new chapter with Delphi Private Advisors.  She earned her certification as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ during this transition. “Anyone can do financial planning, but the CFP® designation shows a higher level of professionalism and expertise,” she says.

Burke spent more than five years with Delphi. During her last year there, she took on the role of business and operations manager. It was this experience that inspired her to found Method Financial Planning, a firm centered on advising busy professionals and young families. She decided to focus primarily on this demographic after noticing a need for financial planning resources among younger generations. “Now I’m working with clients who are young families and professionals, people more like myself,” she said.

That’s not to say success has come easy. Throughout her career, Burke has experienced the challenges of working in a male-dominated field. “I only ever had men as my bosses, and only worked with a few other women as peers,” she says. “I definitely had some internal self-doubt, hoping that clients would take me seriously as a woman in this field.” It’s not an unfounded fear. According to a 2013 PricewaterhouseCoopers report, based on data from 20 global markets, women comprise nearly 60 percent of employees in the financial services industry, but only 19 percent hold senior level roles.  Luckily for Burke, her transition has been smooth thanks to the overwhelming support she received from her inner circle—much of which traces back to her Elon roots. “I got such a great response from my friends at Elon and my sorority sisters,” she says. “There’s such a sense of community at Elon.”

Outside of Method, Burke is heavily involved in her community. In 2011 she co-founded San Diego Women in Finance, an organization that hosts monthly events for area women who work in finance or are interested in the field. She also mentors students at a local high school. “I always had really good mentors through professors and Career Services at Elon,” Burke says. “No matter where you are in your career, you need mentors.”

She says she has plans to expand her business in the coming years and open additional offices in other parts of the country. “I felt comfortable going out on my own because of my experience on the client side and the business side,” Burke says. “I had the experience to back it up, and that all started with my education at Elon.”

To learn more, visit www.methodfinancialplanning.com.

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