In today's shaky economy, having a trusted financial advisor is more important than ever.

Making wise investment decisions on behalf of her clients has always been a high priority for Julie Sterling.

Mrs. Sterling, who lives in New Milford, is an independent representative for Capitol Securities Management, a Mid-Atlantic based, privately owned brokerage and investment firm.

In this capacity, Mrs. Sterling provides her clients with a full range of financial planning services, from retirement and 401k planning to estate planning and college planning for children.

"We are a retail brokerage firm and we service individuals and small business owners," said Mrs. Sterling during a recent interview.

In 1994, Mrs. Sterling began her career in the financial industry as a broker at Dean Witter, which was later bought out by Morgan Stanley.

She moved to Prudential Securities (now Wachovia), where she remained until 2008.

When Mrs. Sterling, her husband, Michael, and their children, Connor, 5, and Annabelle, 4, moved to New Milford from Kent, N.Y. two years ago, she saw it as an opportunity to make a change.

"It was the perfect time to work from home," Mrs. Sterling said.

Operating from her home office on Pleasant View Road, Mrs. Sterling manages the investment portfolios of clients all over the country who have been with her for years, many of whom are located in Westchester County in New York.

One of the benefits of being an independent financial advisor for Capitol Securities is having some leeway in what she charges her clients, she said.

Clients pay less for her services than they would if she were still with a large firm, Mrs. Sterling related.

She acknowledged a lot of people are nervous about investing money these days, and those who are on a fixed income, such as senior citizens, tend to acquire treasury bonds, CDs and high-grade, corporate bonds.

Other clients, who are savvier, she explained, tend to take some risks with investments.

Mrs. Sterling generally conducts research for her clients, taking age, risk and goals into consideration and then makes investment recommendations.

"I am fairly conservative and that has done well for me over the years," Mrs. Sterling said.

She recommends diversifying with a variety of investments including stocks, treasury bonds and CDs.

Mrs. Sterling loves what she does, but noted it's a tough business at times, because it is emotional.

Now that she has settled into working from home and her children are in school part-time, Mrs. Sterling plans to "pick up the pace" and hopes to grow her business locally.

For more information, call Ms. Sterling at 860-799-0093.