Kate Sumner, CFP®

Financial Advisor
Kate Sumner smiling warmly

My Story

I sat nervously, my nine-year-old feet not reaching the floor, in the back room of a strip mall music shop. My hands held drumsticks for the first time. I wasn’t sure what to make of Marge, my new teacher. After a brief lesson on grip, it was time to play. 

In front of me loomed five tantalizing cylinders. I wanted to catapult onto them and make the kind of noise that would scare off the lunch crowd at the seafood restaurant next door. But I held back. All I could think was: Young ladies don’t behave like wild banshees

I anticipated the scolding. I tapped hesitantly on the drumheads. Marge tried to encourage me, but I couldn’t shake the years of lecturing that being good meant being quiet. For a while we sat trapped in a back-and-forth, Marge getting nowhere with me. Suddenly she asked, “You’re not dainty, are you?” 

With that challenge, I knew I could stop pretending. I could drop my shyness and deference. In that moment, I knew Marge was a different kind of woman; she was like me in ways I couldn’t yet fully name, but “not dainty” was a genuine start. We spent the rest of the lesson being noisy. Technique could come later. 

Fast forward and I bring what I’ve learned to my clients. I probably won’t ask if you’re dainty, but I will push you to think beyond the expectations placed upon you. How will you organize your financial life to make more room for joy and fulfillment, to make an impact where it matters most? 

The answers are unique to you. I’m here to ask the questions so together we can make some noise.

How I’m expanding what’s possible with money

I’m encouraging my community to gain knowledge and empowerment around financial matters. I help clients build confidence, establish plans, and envision bolder futures for themselves and their communities. Personally, I am building financial security for myself, and noticing how implementing structures around money has enabled a sense of ease and expanded my imagination of generosity.

Outside of work, my passions include

Every year, I volunteer for ten days with the Timber Framers Guild to construct a long-lasting, sustainable building for a local government or nonprofit. Most recently, I helped cut and raise an oak frame for the Farmers’ Market Pavilion in Independence, Virginia. While timber framing might at first seem like a far cry from the world of financial planning (admittedly, I get rained on less at Abacus), both allow me to use my passion for collaboration to build solid structures in which people and communities can thrive.

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