I am a financial stress coach, speaker, and writer specializing in helping women and teenage girls tame their financial anxiety, create healthier financial habits, and achieve financial well-being.
I bring to this work two decades in business and personal finance journalism, reporting and editing for The New York Times, Business Week, CNBC, and others. Over that time I managed to write about everything from municipal bonds to business schools, including the wills that a few celebrities left behind. One of my cover stories for Business Week even helped the magazine win a National Magazine Award for general excellence.
Journalism allowed me to make my own small difference in the world, and that has always been important to me. Plenty of journalists are more heroic than I ever was, but by exposing financial wrongdoing and explaining complex financial ideas in terms my readers could understand, I was at least helping them make better choices.
Even so, a little something was always missing. Part of me wanted to be focused on empowering women and help them live fuller lives. It’s kind of in my genes: my great-aunt Florence Kelley spent her life pressing for the first consumer protections and the end of child labor, and my mother was a fervent (and very effective) advocate for women’s health and autonomy. But I just couldn’t figure out what special thing I had to offer.
Then I started covering personal finance. I wrote about paying for college, saving for retirement, and the challenge of helping children become financially literate. What I really loved, though, was writing about women and money. The more women I interviewed and the more data I saw on women and money, the more I realized that women face unique financial challenges. These can start as early as childhood and last a lifetime, and they are keeping too many women from realizing their dreams. Some of these challenges are structural – the pay gap, women’s time out of the workforce to care for others – but the bedrock challenges are emotional. Women are plagued by financial stress, and it can keep them from taking charge of their finances and using their money to help them live the lives they want. Finally, I realized how I could help.
I decided to train as a coach, aiming to blend that expertise with my financial knowledge so I could empower women and teenage girls to tame their financial stress and realize their dreams. And here I am!
About that training: I have a graduate business degree from the Yale School of Management and I am a Chartered Financial Analyst. Recently I also became a Certified Financial Education Instructor, and I am a member of Everyday Health’s Wellness Advisory Board. I hold an Advanced Diploma in Coaching from New York University and I am a certified Positive Psychology Coach.
I live in an old house in New Jersey with my husband and my three children. I love tough workouts, cooking for family and friends, reading, and exploring the world. I meet with clients in my home office, or on the phone or by Skype. I look forward to hearing from you!
Kelley’s combination of incisive questions, thoughtful listening, and insightful feedback made each coaching session we had deeply valuable as I was figuring out both career and life transitions. She encouraged me to see possibilities for growth I would otherwise have ignored, and offered a range of useful strategies to help me truly empower myself to move forward. Kelley coaches with equal parts patience, intelligence, and tough love, and it’s her particular genius to know when to deploy which tactic for maximum effectiveness. Own Your Destiny offers a fantastic experience, and I highly recommend Kelley to anyone looking for a partner to help them through a major life change.Anne
I gained much valuable insight working with Kelley. She not only brought out my best and highest self but she offered me the tools to allow me to access and recognize this “real me”. I learned that it is my choice to embody a more empowered state of self-love. Thanks to Kelley, I can now recognize when I’m acting from a place of fear/illusion rather than acting from my inner truth. This has positively impacted every area of my life.Deborah