401(k) – (employer retirement plan)By definition, a 401(k) plan is an arrangement that allows an employee to choose between taking compensation in cash or deferring a percentage of it to an account under the plan. The amount deferred is usually not taxable to the employee until it is withdrawn or distributed from the plan.

529 plan – (savings plan for college expenses) 529 is a category of plans that provide tax advantages when saving and paying for higher education. There are two major types, pre-paid tuition plans and savings plans.

Asset allocation – An investment strategy that aims to balance risk and reward by apportioning a portfolio’s assets according to an individual’s goals, risk tolerance and investment horizon.

The three main asset classes – equities, fixed-income, and cash and equivalents have different levels of risk and return, so each will behave differently over time.

Basis point – A basis point (bp) is a common unit of measure for interest rates and other percentages in finance. One basis point is equal to 1/100th of 1%, or 0.01% (0.0001), and is used to denote the percentage change in a financial instrument. The relationship between percentage changes and basis points can be summarized as follows: 1% change = 100 basis points, and 0.01% = 1 basis point.

Beneficiary – someone who is eligible to receive distributions from a trust, will or life insurance policy.

Beneficiary deed – A deed that conveys an interest in real property as well as the encumbrances that the deceased owner carried with the property.

Bond– A bond is a debt investment in which an investor loans money to an entity (typically corporate or governmental) which borrows the funds for a defined period of time at a variable or fixed interest rate. Bonds are used by companies, municipalities, states and sovereign governments to raise money and finance a variety of projects and activities. Owners of bonds are debt-holders, or creditors, of the issuer.

CD– (Certificate of Deposit) A savings certificate entitling the bearer to receive interest. A CD bears a maturity date, a specified fixed interest rate and can be issued in any denomination.

Deed– A legal document that grants the bearer a right or privilege, provided that he or she meets a number of conditions. In order to receive the privilege – usually ownership, the bearer must be able to do so without causing others undue hardship.

Deferred compensation plan– An amount of earned income that is payable at a later date. Most deferred-compensation plans allow the wage earner to defer tax now so that the funds can be withdrawn and taxed at some point in the future.

Developed markets – While there is no one, set definition of a developed economy it typically refers to a country with a relatively high level of economic growth and security.

Donor Advised Fund – A private fund administered by a third party and created for the purpose of managing charitable donations on behalf of an organization, family, or individual.

Effective tax rate – The average rate at which an individual or corporation is taxed. The effective tax rate for individuals is the average rate at which their earned income is taxed. The effective tax rate for a corporation is the average rate at which its pre-tax profits are taxed. An individual’s effective tax rate is calculated by dividing total tax expense by taxable income.

Emerging markets – Although the term “emerging market” is loosely defined, countries that fall into this category, varying from very big to very small, are usually considered emerging because of their developments and reforms.

Federal Reserve– The central bank of the United States and the most powerful financial institution in the world. The Federal Reserve Bank was founded by the U.S. Congress in 1913 to provide the nation with a safe, flexible and stable monetary and financial system.

FRA – (Full Retirement Age) Full retirement age is the age at which a person may first become entitled to full or unreduced retirement benefits. No matter what your full retirement age (also called “normal retirement age”) is, you may start receiving benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70.

Hedged strategy – A risk management strategy used in limiting or offsetting probability of loss from fluctuations in the prices of commodities, currencies, or securities. In effect, hedging is a transfer of risk without buying insurance policies.

Hedging employs various techniques but, basically, involves taking equal and opposite positions in two different markets (such as cash and futures markets). Hedging is used also in protecting one’s capital against effects of inflation through investing in high-yield financial instruments (bonds, notes, shares), real estate, or precious metals.

HELOC – (Home Equity Line of Credit) A line of credit extended to a homeowner that uses the borrower’s home as collateral. Once a maximum loan balance is established, the homeowner may draw on the line of credit at his or her discretion. Interest is charged on a predetermined variable rate, which is usually based on prevailing prime rates.

HSA – (Health Savings Account)An account created for individuals who are covered under high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) to save for medical expenses that HDHPs do not cover. Contributions are made into the account by the individual or the individual’s employer and are limited to a maximum amount each year. The contributions are invested over time and can be used to pay for qualified medical expenses, which include most medical care such as dental, vision and over-the-counter drugs.

Indicies – An index, when used with respect to financial markets, is a statistical measure of change in a securities market. Indexes, or indices, are imaginary portfolios of securities (usually stocks) representing a particular market or a portion of it.

Inherited IRA– An individual retirement account that is left to a beneficiary after the owner’s death. If the owner had already begun receiving required minimum distributions (RMDs) at the time of his or her death, the beneficiary must continue to receive the distributions as already calculated or submit a new schedule based on his or her life expectancy.

Institutional investor – A non-bank person or organization that trades securities in large enough share quantities or dollar amounts that they qualify for preferential treatment and lower commissions. Institutional investors face fewer protective regulations because it is assumed that they are more knowledgeable and better able to protect themselves.

Interest rate – the proportion of a loan that is charged as interest to the borrower, typically expressed as an annual percentage of the loan outstanding.

Large cap – A term used by the investment community to refer to companies with a market capitalization value of more than $10 billion. Market capitalization is calculated by multiplying the number of a company’s shares outstanding by its stock price per share.

Life insurance – A protection against the loss of income that would result if the insured passed away. The named beneficiary receives the proceeds and is thereby safeguarded from the financial impact of the death of the insured.

Long-term capital gain/loss – A gain or loss from a qualifying investment owned for longer than 12 months and then sold. The amount of an asset sale that counts toward a capital gain or loss is the difference between the sale value and the purchase value.

Long-term care – Long-term care (LTC) is a range of services and supports you may need to meet your personal care needs. Most long-term care is not medical care, but rather assistance with the basic personal tasks of everyday life.

Long-term disability – Long term disability insurance (LTD) is an insurance policy that protects an employee from loss of income in the event that he or she is unable to work due to illness, injury, or accident for a long period of time. Long term disability insurance does not provide insurance for work-related accidents or injuries that are covered by workers’ compensation insurance.

Managed futures – An alternative investment strategy in which professional portfolio managers use futures contracts as part of their overall investment strategy. Managed futures provide portfolio diversification among various types of investment styles and asset classes to help mitigate portfolio risk in a way that is not possible in direct equity investments.

Mid cap – A company with a market capitalization between $2 and $10 billion, which is calculated by multiplying the number of a company’s shares outstanding by its stock price.

MLP – (Master Limited Partnership)A type of limited partnership that is publicly traded. There are two types of partners in this type of partnership: The limited partner is the person or group that provides the capital to the MLP and receives periodic income distributions from the MLP’s cash flow, whereas the general partner is the party responsible for managing the MLP’s affairs and receives compensation that is linked to the performance of the venture.

Municipal bond – A debt security issued by a state, municipality or county to finance its capital expenditures. Municipal bonds are exempt from federal taxes and from most state and local taxes, especially if you live in the state in which the bond is issued.

Pension plan – A type of retirement plan, usually tax exempt, wherein an employer makes contributions toward a pool of funds set aside for an employee’s future benefit. The pool of funds is then invested on the employee’s behalf, allowing the employee to receive benefits upon retirement.

Power of Attorney – A legal document giving one person (called an “agent” or “attorney-in-fact”) the power to act for another person (the principal). The agent can have broad legal authority or limited authority to make legal decisions about the principal’s property and finance. The power of attorney is frequently used in the event of a principal’s illness or disability, or when the principal can’t be present to sign necessary legal documents for financial transactions.

REIT– (Real Estate Investment Trust)An REIT is a type of security that invests in real estate through property or mortgages and often trades on major exchanges like a stock. REITs provide investors with an extremely liquid stake in real estate. They receive special tax considerations and typically offer high dividend yields.

RMD – (Required Minimum Distribution) The amount that Traditional, SEP and SIMPLE IRA owners and qualified plan participants must begin distributing from their retirement accounts by April 1 following the year they reach age 70.5. RMD amounts must then be distributed each subsequent year.

Roth IRA – An individual retirement plan that bears many similarities to the traditional IRA, but contributions are not tax deductible and qualified distributions are tax free. Similar to other retirement plan accounts, non-qualified distributions from a Roth IRA may be subject to a penalty upon withdrawal.

SEP IRA – (Simplified Employee Pension) A retirement plan that an employer or self-employed individuals can establish. The employer is allowed a tax deduction for contributions made to the SEP plan and makes contributions to each eligible employee’s SEP IRA on a discretionary basis.

SIMPLE IRA – (Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees) A retirement plan that may be established by employers, including self-employed individuals. The employer is allowed a tax deduction for contributions made to the SIMPLE. The employer makes either matching or non-elective contributions to each eligible employee’s SIMPLE IRA and employees may make salary deferral contributions.

Short term disability – Short term disability insurance pays a percentage of your salary if you become temporarily disabled, which means that you are not able to work for a short period of time due to sickness or injury not related to your job. Typically, a short term disability policy provides you with 40 to 70 percent of your pre-disability base salary.

Short-term capital gain – A capital gain realized by the sale or exchange of a capital asset that has been held for exactly one year or less. Short-term gains are taxed at the taxpayer’s top marginal tax rate.

Small cap – Refers to stocks with a relatively small market capitalization. The definition of small cap can vary among brokerages, but generally it is a company with a market capitalization of between $300 million and $2 billion.

Traditional IRA – An individual retirement account (IRA) that allows individuals to direct pretax income, up to specific annual limits, toward investments that can grow tax-deferred (no capital gains or dividend income is taxed).

Umbrella policies – Extra liability insurance coverage that goes beyond the limits of the insured’s home, auto or watercraft insurance. It provides an additional layer of security to those who are at risk for being sued for damages to other people’s property or injuries caused to others in an accident. It also protects against libel, vandalism, slander and invasion of privacy.

Bower Team
Kenneth J. Bower
Managing Director
Ken began his career in wealth management after launching three startup companies in Baltimore and Saint Louis. He earned his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College (where he played Varsity Football and won two Ivy League championships) and his MBA from Kellogg (Northwestern). Committed to community involvement, Ken serves on a number of charitable boards. He enjoys Cardinals baseball and makes an annual pilgrimage to Spring Training in Jupiter, Florida. Ken and his wife, Mary, have two young children, Joe and Claire. “I am fortunate to work with a great team, where we all work hard to serve clients who appreciate the value of our services.”
Bower Team
Matthew J. Bower
MBA, CFP®​​​
Managing Director

Matthew has been involved in the wealth management industry for over ten years providing customized services to each of the families he serves. His goal is to implement strategies that align with the long-term planning goals for each client.

He earned his B.A. in Mathematics and Computer Science from Colorado College and his Masters of Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance from Washington University in St. Louis. While at Colorado College, he played three years of Division III soccer.

He is involved with Entrepreneurs’ Organization St. Louis serving as a sponsor for the Accelerator program. Matthew enjoys spending time with his wife, Mary, and children, Grace and John. They enjoy traveling, attending sporting events and taking advantage of all the great things St. Louis has to offer.

Michalak Team
Chris Michalak ​​
Managing Director

With over 20 years of experience in the financial industry, Chris Michalak serves as a Managing Director at Clayton Financial Group and is a five-time recipient of St. Louis Magazine 5 Star Wealth Manager designation. With a primary focus of acting as an advocate for every client, Chris works to understand his client’s goals and then create a sustainable, long-term plan that will lead to financial success.

Having been groomed to take over a successful family business, Chris also has particular expertise in the complicated dynamics that confront many families and businesses. This background has naturally led to working with business owners on their company retirement plan needs.

For companies and institutions, CFG provides a fully-bundled retirement plan solution including expertise in designing retirement plans that best align with corporate objectives. With Chris’ leadership, CFG matches this with highly-customized employee education programs that maximize each participant’s chances for a successful retirement.

Prior to joining CFG, he served as an investment representative at Edward D. Jones & Co and Partner at Moneta Group.

  • Accredited Investment Fiduciary®
  • Ronald McDonald House Charities – Kids & Clays, Committee Chairperson
  • Gateway MS Society – 2007-2009 Corporate Achievers participant
  • Missouri Athletic Club
    • Board Member 2010-2013
    • Finance Committee Chairperson 2012
    • Pension Subcommittee Chair 2011-present
  • Bellerive Country Club Board Member 2013-present
  • Peter & Paul Committee Services – Board Member & Treasurer 2013-present
  • Moneta Group, 401(k) Committee – 2014-2016
  • RPS Benefits – Advisory Board
Bahr Team
Julie E. Bahr
Managing Director

Julie Bahr places the utmost importance on providing clients with personal care and service when helping them plan for a successful financial future.

Throughout her career, Julie has used her significant experience and expertise to help clients simplify the many complexities of their financial lives. By placing a heavy emphasis on closely understanding each family’s values, Julie develops a plan that best achieves their financial goals. “The relationship between an advisor and a client is a very personal one,” she says. “Together, we discern their specific needs and goals, and schedule regular meetings to achieve their financial success: each member of our team takes pride in going above and beyond for every client and addressing any problem or need that may arise along the way.”

As a result of Julie’s professional excellence and philanthropic dedication, she was named to St. Louis Business Journal’s prestigious ‘40 under 40’ list in 2011. She has also been recognized with the FIVE STAR Wealth Manager Award for exceptional expertise and commitment to client satisfaction annually since 2013.

Julie earned her B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Missouri – Columbia and her MBA from Maryville University. She oversaw mutual fund operations for Edward Jones, was the management assistant at Anheuser-Busch Employees Credit Union, and served as President and CEO of the Missouri Student Financial Credit Union in Columbia, Mo. She brought her experience to Moneta Group in 2001, where she worked until joining Clayton Financial Group as Managing Director in 2015.

Outside of the office, Julie is an active member of the civic community and enjoys volunteering for many different charities, reading and traveling with her family. She resides in Town and Country with her husband, Marc, and their children.

Bower Team
DeAnna Kaber
Director of Operations

DeAnna began her career as a Financial Aid Director at Allied Medical College. She attended Columbia College focusing her area of study on psychology and communications. This foundation, along with her strong interest in finance, continued to grow and support her as she decided to transition into personal finance and wealth management. She joined Moneta Group in 2004. In 2010, she obtained her designation as a Registered Paraplanner (SM) professional and in 2014 became designated as an Accredited Wealth Management Advisor (SM).

Along with spending time with her husband, Jeremy, and two children, Abby and Alex, she enjoys playing competitive volleyball and coaching her son’s soccer team. DeAnna’s hard work and dedication has been apparent throughout her career. “I truly enjoy and strive to assure that my clients get the continuous high-level service that they have grown to expect and deserve.”

Bahr Team
Margaret Klokkenga
Senior Advisor

Working on the Bahr Team allows Maggie to do what she loves most – help others, serve clients to the fullest, and truly take care of each family.Maggie utilizes her passion for helping people to provide extraordinary service to clients. She works with her team to simplify complicated financial topics, including investments, retirement, education planning, and smaller items, such as acquiring insurance quotes or finding the right credit card. Through all of these services and more, Maggie strives to make clients’ lives easier.

Maggie earned her B.S. in Accounting from Truman State University. She began her career as a CPA working at KPMG LLP, Gelfand Rennert and Feldman LLP and then RubinBrown LLP. While at RubinBrown, she served as manager in charge of the Family Office Services Group. Looking to further her personal connections with clients, Maggie joined former employer Moneta Group in 2012 as a professional consultant and joined Clayton Financial Group in 2015.

Maggie and her husband, Brett, live in central Illinois with their children.

Bahr Team
Lynn A. Hogan
Director of Client Services

Lynn is responsible for managing all client operational tasks, ensuring smooth day to day operations, and achieving a high level of client satisfaction. She processes all paperwork for new accounts and works with custodians Schwab and Fidelity and third-party providers Vanguard, TIAA-CREF, and Missouri MOST, among others, to ensure accurate and timely management of investment accounts. She enjoys solving problems for the clients: “our clients rely on us and trust us; they know that we’re here for them.”

Lynn received her B.S. in Business Administration from MacMurray College. She began her career as a New Accounts Coordinator at Smith Barney. She earned her Series 7 and Series 63 licenses and became a Registered Sales Associate. In 2014, she earned her Registered Paraplanner (SM) designation.

Lynn lives with her husband, Marty, and their children in West St. Louis County. She enjoys family time and playing golf with Marty and their children. She also enjoys reading and watching her boys play baseball.

Bahr Team
Kerry Keeney
Client Relationship Strategist

Kerry works on all areas of client service, including preparation of client reviews, updating beneficiaries, and establishing efficiencies in the day-to-day operations. She enjoys working with a team who cares so much about every client and their individual needs. Kerry likes “knowing that what we do is helping someone and their family.”

Kerry was a junior financial analyst with TBG Development and senior purchasing financial analyst with May Department Stores. She joined Julie Bahr and her team at Moneta Group in 2012 before moving with Julie to Clayton Financial Group. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance from University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Kerry and her husband, Eric, live in Webster Groves with their children. Outside of work, she enjoys volunteering at her church and children’s schools and distance running.

Bahr Team
Kathy Blair
Office Manager

Kathy brings many years of administrative experience to the Clayton Financial Group. She handles all of the administrative tasks for the Bahr Team, including handling the team’s calendar, Julie’s travel, client billing and ensuring everyone has the supplies they need. Kathy also assists with office manager responsibilities for the entire Clayton Financial Group office. She enjoys working in a team setting and taking care of the clients.

Prior to joining the Bahr Team, she worked for General American Life Insurance Company, D’Arcy-MacManus & Masius, The Seven-Up Company, Rehab 1 Network and Moneta Group. Kathy attended Meramec Community College and Hickey College.

Kathy resides in Ballwin, and in her free time, Kathy enjoys spending time with her family and friends listening to live music and going to movies and museums.

Bahr Team
Donna Weber
Client Relationship Specialist

Donna works on the preparation of client reviews and many daily operational duties for the Bahr Team. She enjoys working with this efficient, hard-working and friendly team. She loves the way everyone pitches in to keep everything flowing smoothly.

Donna was most recently in Retirement Services at Edward Jones and a Client Service Manager at Moneta Group before joining the Bahr team at Clayton Financial Group. Her earlier career was in Pharmaceutical Sales, before staying home to raise her 2 boys.

Donna has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Marketing from Missouri State University.

Outside of work, Donna enjoys Cardinal baseball and loves to read.


Bower Team
Brooke Stalberger
Client Relationship Specialist

​Brooke joined Clayton Financial Group in May of 2016 bringing with her over seven years of experience working in the wealth management industry. She takes pride in cultivating strong client relationships by providing excellent and comprehensive service. She enjoys working alongside her clients to ensure their long-term goals are attained and their expectations of service are surpassed.

She obtained her B.S. in Finance with a minor in Accountancy from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale where she graduated cum laude.

Outside the office you can find Brooke spending time with her daughter, Ava and husband, Jason. She also enjoys spending time with her dogs, reading, playing recreational sand volleyball, and traveling.

Michalak Team
Kathy Nelson ​​
Director of Client Services

Kathy obtained her B.S. in Psychology with a minor in Communications from Missouri State University, where she graduated cum laude. Growing up with her family in St. Charles, MO, finance was always important. She learned early the importance of saving, budgeting, and investing to meet personal goals. After graduating, she worked at a brokerage firm, within the investment department of a regional credit union, and a life insurance agency. These experiences led to her obtaining her Series 52, 7, and 63 licenses, as well as her MO life insurance license. In 2006, she joined Moneta Group and Chris Michalak’s Team. Combining her school, work, and personal life skills, she found her niche – helping other achieve their goals through financial planning.

Kathy, and her husband, Tim, recently moved from south St. Louis City to Kirkwood, MO and are expecting their first child in August. Along with spending time with Tim and their four-legged companions, she enjoys baking and cooking.

Michalak Team
Laura Paulsell
Senior Advisor

Clayton Financial Group Advisor Laura Paulsell works with the Michalak team to provide clients with relevant solutions and outstanding client service. She strives to build strong relationships with clients to better understand their needs.

Laura earned her B.S.B.A. in Finance with a minor in Economics from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has served in the financial industry for more than ten years. In 2011, she obtained the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation.

Laura lives in Chesterfield with her husband, Matt, and daughter, Cate. She enjoys spending time with family and Cardinals baseball.

Michalak Team
Melissa VandeVen ​​​
Client Relationship Specialist

As a Client Relationship Specialist on the Michalak Team, Melissa strives to give her clients the best care possible. She enjoys that CFG is here first and foremost to serve the best interests of the client; and finds satisfaction in being able to help clients’ reach their goals, while building close relationships with them.

Melissa graduated from Murray State University in 2015 with a B.S. in Finance. Shortly after graduation, she joined the Michalak Team.

Outside of CFG, Melissa enjoys attending St. Louis Cardinals & Blues games, spending summers at her lake house with friends and family, and traveling.

Bahr Team
Carter Schmid
Associate Advisor 

Carter joined Clayton Financial Group in February 2017 to pursue his passion of helping individuals and families accomplish their financial goals through a comprehensive, needs-based approach. He has a background in Risk Management from his time at BB&T Bank in Charlotte, North Carolina, and has five years of experience in the financial services industry.

Eager to plant his roots in St. Louis, Carter moved home to begin helping clients make sense of the complexities surrounding financial planning, while hoping to establish peace of mind through careful assessment and understanding of client values.
Carter received his B.A. in Global Markets from Southern Methodist University and is currently working toward his CFP designation.

Outside of work, Carter enjoys St. Louis sports, golf, and traveling with his wife, Bri.