BY JILL NAGY
CHS Wealth Management promises a
“wholistic approach” to wealth management,
according to company president Katherine
By that she means a “universal approach to
money,” looking at interrelated issues so that
nothing falls through the cracks.
For example, when advising a client on investment
issues, the company will also examine
the tax implications of those decisions in order
to avoid unpleasant surprises when income tax
day comes along.
Harris, a CPA with an MBA and a master’s
degree in accounting, spent a dozen years on
Wall Street, much of it as a vice president with
Bank of America’s securities division, advising
major corporations on investment strategies.
She realized that, with a little modification,
the same strategies could work with smaller
“There is no reason they should be left out
of the party,” she said.
She found that the heads of small companies
feared that developing things like retirement
savings plans for their employees were too
complicated for them to undertake.
“We can show them how to navigate the
path,” she said. For example, she can guide them
in choosing a company to provide a 401(k)
retirement plan for the business.
Often, she said, the owners of small businesses
are “not great at handling the innards
of their businesses.” That’s where CHS can
help with anything from advice on particular
issues such as retirement plans to “attest work”
reviewing a company’s books to a continuing
relationship as a part-time chief financial
The company also advises individuals on investment
issues, estate planning, tax planning,
savings for college, and other financial issues.
Come spring, Harris beefs up her staff with
additional CPA’s and accountants to prepare
income tax returns. During that time of year,
the staff grows to about 15 people, from the
year-round eight or nine.
Harris is a native Saratogian, a graduate of
Saratoga High School, as well as SUNY Albany
(B.S. in finance and master’s in accounting) and
Union College (MBA). In 2011, she decided to
give up life on Wall Street and began looking
to come back north.
She found that CPA firms “didn’t know what
to do with me” because of her advanced degrees
and extensive experience. “No one was going
to hire me, so I bought a firm,” she reported.
That company was CHS Wealth Management
and CPAs with offices in Westminster and
Springfield, Vt. The Saratoga Springs branch is
at 63 Putnam St.
In Vermont, much of her work is done
face-to-face but she also makes use of Go to
Meetings, Skype and other Internet services.
“I have a lot of clients I never actually sit
down across the table from,” she said. In addition,
several of her employees work remotely,
often from out of state. In hiring, “proximity is
not our concern, talent is.”
Employees include CPAs, financial planners
and tax experts. There are no attorneys
on staff, but Harris has several with whom
she can consult and refer clieints. Clients also
come from far and near, including more than
40 states, including Alaska.
At the same time, the company’s website
promises “novel solutions to each person’s
complex suite” of issues, and no “cookie cutter”
The website for CHSWealth Management
is www.CHSWealthMgt.com. The telephone
number is 1-866-247-6800.