Broker Check
Christa Coates

Christa Coates

Financial Planner

I’m passionate about financial planning and seeing people achieve their dreams. In a nutshell, I am self-motivated to build on my own talents, and I get true satisfaction from helping others to do the same. That is why I love helping others learn how to lead lives that may give them a greater chance to achieve both financial security and personal happiness.

I met Scott Coopersmith when we both worked at MetLife, and I was Director of Training. We shared a vision for holistic planning and helping others, which ignited a collaboration we can now bring back together. I even played a pivotal role in guiding Scott through the foundations of financial planning, which he’s since provided for many clients.  

With the acquisition of Lincoln Financial Advisors (LFA) by OSAIC in 2024, I sensed a shift in priorities. The focus on planning was waning, and the culture I cherish for my clients began to slip away. This led me to an exhaustive search for a firm that shared my values. Finding SDA Wealth Strategies, with its emphasis on simplifying complex financial situations, designing effective financial solutions, and advocating for clients in the marketplace, felt like home. Anyone who has worked with me knows I insist on holistic planning. Before identifying and implementing the right solutions to execute each strategy, one has to start at the first steps, understanding your cash flow and financial assets now and setting priorities.

My career in financial services began as a planner assistant in 1996 at Cigna Financial Advisors, which was acquired by Lincoln Financial Group in 1998. During this time, surrounded by what I believed to be the best holistic planners in our industry, I found financial planning to be something at which I excelled.

I left my newborn son with my family for a week to attend new broker training. It was interrupted by the attack on 9/11/2001. Despite the challenges of working full-time and having my second child in 2002, I earned my Series 6, 63, 7, and 24 licenses and worked as a financial consultant at M&T Securities. By 2005, I rejoined Lincoln as a Financial Planner and developed strong relationships with clients and industry colleagues. My personal niche was on the housing bubble, and I gave numerous lunch-n-learns at area real estate offices and presented educational lectures to clients on Real Estate Investments.  Because of these relationships and my innate ability to teach, in 2009, I was recruited to become Training Director and Agency Sales Director for a Westchester-based MetLife agency looking to transition to a planning culture. In 2013, I chose to return to Lincoln Financial Advisors to pick up where I had left off, as many clients were now reaching a point of financial independence, and they wanted me to help them coordinate their retirement and estate planning. 

I enjoy teaching dance at Madeline’s Dance Studio in Marlboro, NY, when I'm not working for her clients. I do this three days per week and have done it for 30 years.

I’m very excited to have reconnected with my now fiancé Mark Hawksley, whose friendship began in the ballet studio when I was just 15. My life-long friendship had rekindled after raising my now two adult children from a prior marriage. My son Roy, III, and Nancy are her pride and joy. I’m the proud founder of a non-profit 501(c)3 organization,, focusing on arts education in Poughkeepsie, NY. 

Words of Wisdom:

One of my favorite quotes is: “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.” Another is: “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”