Ten Minutes with Laurie Stefanowicz
A Pro Soccer player turned financial advisor
Photo by Stan Godlewski
Laurie Stefanowicz was a soccer star through high school and college and played the game professionally after graduation. She moved on to sports marketing and then financial services, and now is managing partner at Catamount Wealth Management in Westport. A Bethel native, she loves living in Fairfield and talked to us about juggling her career, motherhood, and keeping her soccer skills honed. We talked to her about soccer, wealth management, and Fairfield.
When did you first start playing soccer?
I started playing when I was three years old—at that time all the teams were co-ed. I played on my first all girls’ team when I was nine.
Was your soccer talent immediately clear?
It was clear from the beginning that I was tenacious but it took a lot of practice to keep developing. Also, I was fortunate to have parents willing to drive me all around the state to practice and games—it took a lot of commitment on their part as well.
What was it like playing professional women’s soccer?
Amazing! It was my first “job” out of college. I was in my senior year at Vanderbilt when the league was forming. At the last minute, they decided to do a combine and invite some college players. I can remember being there, half focused on soccer and half focused on the next chapter in life but I knew this was the last time I would play, so I left everything on the field—I was the last person drafted for the league!
What’s the best advice you ever received?
I spent a lot of time in the car with my father and he would always tell me to close my eyes and visualize—see yourself winning the game, doing well in school, etc. That is pretty much how I have lived my life—I set goals or aspirations and I will do whatever it takes to achieve them.
What’s the most challenging part of your job at Catamount?
What is challenging is also my favorite part. Every one of my clients is unique and different. They all have different relationships with money and different goals. I love learning what is important to each of them and then creating a financial plan so they live the lifestyle they want.
What are your top tips for planning for college or retirement?
Keep it simple. Spend less than you make, make your money work for you instead of you always working for money, start early. At the end of the day, you need money to retire and send your kids to college—start saving and investing now.
I hear you’re a terrific “PTA” mom for St. Thomas Aquinas School. How do you juggle it all?
I have a great support system in my firm, family, and friends. My husband is also very involved—we respect each other’s careers but we are pretty equal in kids, housework, etc. I’m not going to lie, sometimes I take on too much but most of the time it is manageable!
What’s your dream vacation?
Paris. But I have a feeling my youngest daughter will get there before I will!