Carolyn Meakem, CFP®

Carolyn Meakem, CFP®

Founder, The Meakem Group, Financial Advisor, Raymond James

As the founder of The Meakem Group, I’ve been here since the beginning. I built this business on the belief that every client should know that we don’t just maintain your investments. We keep your long-term goals in mind.

I was doing financial planning before CFP® board even existed, but I didn’t set out to do this. In fact, I started my career as a 1st grade teacher. Perhaps it was teaching that helped me work with clients in a way other brokers weren’t back then. I got my start when a neighbor called me in a panic and asked for help. She was hosting a League of Women Voters event in her home and the speaker had cancelled at the last minute. Could I come over and fill the time? So in the most basic language I knew, I shared with this room full of women that financial planning doesn’t have to be complicated. At the heart, it is about developing habits of patience and living BENEATH your means. My 30-minute talk stretched into the evening as I answered question after question. The next morning my phone rang and it was a broker. His wife had been in that living room and he wanted me to go to work for him giving more workshops. In 1977, I took my first licensing exam and have stuck to my basic message, delivered in plain language, ever since.

When my mother was widowed, I helped her work out a simple program of expected income and expenses. She’d never been in charge of the family finances, until suddenly she was put in the driver’s seat. Empowering her led me to teach those same skills to other widows whose friends would send me more clients. And so my practice grew. My approach has always been to treat everyone just as I did my family. I always guided clients to appreciate that someone had worked for the money, so they were responsible for caring for its future.

Having my daughter, Traci, join me in business was a pleasant surprise. Because she went to law school and launched down that career path, I never expected her to make a switch. When she started working with me, she truly began at the bottom, learning the business and working her way up. Traci has the combination of brains and heart that you need to be a sincere financial planner for all kinds of people. Plus, she has an ease with technology that is becoming so crucial in our field. Having Traci here to take the reins means that I have someone who cares as much as I for the many widows and families who have grown to depend on me for their financial future.

On A Personal Note

When I am not at work, you might find me cutting through the warm, salty sea breeze of Kiawah Island, South Carolina on my bicycle. There’s not much traffic except for the golf carts, so biking is really the way to go. I’m also a voracious (and fast) reader. I plow through everything I can get my hands on – from histories to mysteries. Of course, living so close to the Capitol, I avidly read books on politics too. Growing up in a family of 5 kids, I had a lot of chores and responsibilities. Reading was always the reward I gave myself when all my work was done and, even today, books are a treat.

Check the background of this investment professional on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.

“Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP(R), CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER(tm) and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.”