About the Keator Group
Keator ancestors: George Washington Nesbit (second from the left) with his four brothers, circa 1910
Keator Group’s legacy dates back over four decades, when our founding partner, Sheila Nesbit Keator, left a career in the printing and newspaper business to answer a Kidder Peabody ad in The Wall Street Journal looking for brokers. After a brief stint at Kidder’s Wall Street offices, Sheila returned to the Berkshires, where she quickly became one of the few women to attain the role of vice president within the firm.
In 1988, Sheila transitioned her business to First Albany Corporation after being recruited by their chairman, George McNamee. Over the years, through various mergers and as she welcomed three of her sons into the business, her success continued to grow. Frederick arrived in June 1994, joining her from First Albany Corporation as a syndicate trader. Then in December 1998 her son David joined, bringing his background in the tax planning and wealth transfer field.* In August 2000, Sheila’s son Matthew arrived, combining his clients and experience from an investment advisory career with Paine Webber Jackson & Curtis in Washington, D.C.
In July 2008 the Keator Group moved their office from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, to Lenox, Massachusetts. In the fall of 2017 they entered into a strategic partnership with the historic Pittsfield Cooperative Bank as it continued its growth and expanded its services**. With their affiliation with Raymond James in October 2019, the Keator Group is continuing its tradition of adapting to changing trends by providing its customers with expanded research, planning and technology offerings.
As a “family working for families,” the Keator Group is looking toward the future and looks forward to continuing to serve its clients with the utmost integrity and confidentiality.
*Raymond James and its advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. However, we will be glad to work with you, your accountant, tax advisor and/or lawyer to help you meet your financial goals.
**The Keator Group, LLC, is a business administrative company jointly owned by members of the Keator family and Pittsfield Cooperative Bank. Pittsfield Cooperative Bank, as a minority investor, may benefit in any revenue-generating activities of the Keator Group, LLC, due to its ownership stake. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse Pittsfield Cooperative Bank.
**The Keator Group, LLC, is a business administrative company jointly owned by members of the Keator Family and Pittsfield Cooperative Bank. Pittsfield Cooperative Bank, as a minority investor, may benefit in any revenue generating activities of the Keator Group, LLC, due to their ownership stake. Raymond James is not affiliated with and does not endorse Pittsfield Cooperative Bank.
***The Forbes ranking of America’s Top Wealth Advisors, developed by SHOOK Research, is based on an algorithm of qualitative and quantitative data, rating thousands of wealth advisors with a minimum of seven years of experience. Ranking algorithm is based on quality of practice, including: telephone and in-person interviews, client retention, industry experience, review of compliance records, firm nominations; and quantitative criteria, including: assets under management and revenue generated for their firms. Investment performance is not a criteria because client objectives and risk tolerances vary, and advisors rarely have audited performance reports. Rankings are based on the opinions of SHOOK Research, LLC, which does not receive compensation from the advisors or their firms in exchange for placement on the ranking. Research summary (as of August 2019): 30,691 advisor nominations were received, based on thresholds. 12,258 advisors were invited to complete the online survey. 12,498 advisors were interviewed by telephone. 2,279 advisors were interviewed in person at the advisors’ locations. Final list of the top 250 advisors was then compiled based upon the quantitative criteria. Raymond James is not affiliated with Forbes or SHOOK Research, LLC. This ranking is not indicative of an advisor’s future performance, is not an endorsement, and may not be representative of an individual client’s experience. Neither Raymond James nor any of its financial advisors or RIA firms pay a fee in exchange for this award/rating.
Meet the team
Our team's experience transcends investment management, providing an opportunity for a collaborative, consultative and comprehensive approach. The ability to work in concert with our clients' estate and tax planning advisors* offers them a holistic approach to investing.
The Keator Group has over 200 years of collective financial services experience and is recognized as an industry thought leader. Armed with numerous degrees and designations – ranging from Certified Estate and Trust Specialist to Certified Fund Specialist – along with Series 7, 24, 63, 65 and 66 registrations and insurance licenses, we’re committed to helping our clients reach their financial goals.
Through our boutique structure, our principals have significant direct equity ownership. This ensures an alignment of interests with our clients, providing a unique entrepreneurial culture committed to building a legacy practice.
Our investment philosophy
Having the opportunity and ability to articulate a plan as well as the discipline and patience to stick to the plan while filtering out the noise helps maintain focus on the long term. With our more than 200 years of investment experience, we’ve picked up some words of advice along the way that we thought worthy of repeating.
Have a plan
“The best way to measure your investing success is not by whether you’re beating the market but whether you’ve put in place a financial plan and a behavioral discipline that are likely to get you where you want to go.”
The tenants of diversification are rooted in thousands of years of history and are as old as Solomon was wise …
“Divide your portion to seven, or even eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur …”
“Let every man divide his money into three parts, and invest a third in land, a third in business and a third let him keep by him in reserve.”
“History provides a crucial insight regarding market crises: they are inevitable, painful and ultimately surmountable.”
Filtering out the noise
“The function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.”
Beware of market timing
“Far more money has been lost by investors trying to anticipate corrections, than lost in the corrections themselves.”
Psychology of investing
“The investor’s chief problem and their worst enemy can likely be themselves. In the end, how your investments behave is much less important than how you behave.”