"For me, success is not measured by money or status, but by accomplishment and impact. I'd like to leave this world knowing that I did my best to help others find their personal success."

— Deena Boone Katz

Deena%20Boone%20Katz Deena%20Boone%20Katz

Professor Deena Katz of Texas Tech University has bravely followed her inspirations throughout her 40 years in the financial world, whether as a practitioner, an author, a mentor or a teacher.

After her father died at a young age, her mother encouraged Ms. Katz to always take care of herself financially. She took that advice to heart and has been on a mission to bring that care to as many people as possible, especially women.

In the mid-70s, she saw an advertisement about becoming a CFP. She decided to go for it.

In 1977, at age 27, she hung out her shingle in Chicago. Not only was she starting a firm on her own, but it was fee-only and woman-focused.

"I was brave," she said, "but I didn't realize it at the time."

In the late '80s, Ms. Katz bought into a practice in Florida, Evensky & Katz, to be near her mother.

In no time, she was in charge and changed the practice model over to the still unheard-of fee-only concept. The press took notice, and she started to become well-known.

Ten years ago, Ms. Katz joined Texas Tech and used her expertise to expand and enhance the CFP curriculum. She has insisted on a strong focus on ethics.

"If we don't instill a good value system for our upcoming advisers, we may go back to the model of 'eat what you kill' working on commission with no advice and no transparency or fiduciary responsibility," she said. "Our responsibility is to the people, not to their money."

Deborah Nason

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