Why do you work almost exclusively with women?
I write more extensively about why I work with women in my e-book. But the short version is that I observed my mom deal with a variety of financial struggles as a single woman. Soon after becoming a financial planner, I was encouraged to explore my own financial journey and I reconnected with some of these childhood experiences and how they affected me. As a result, I was curious if serving the financial needs of women were unique in any way, and if I’d be a good fit to serve those needs. So, I conducted an informational interview project in metro Atlanta where I reached out to almost 500 executive women over the course of a year. I completed the project when I reached 100 interviews. I met some incredible ladies through this process, and I’m grateful to all the women who took part and for being able to ask so many questions. Since then, in sort of a tongue-in-cheek kind of way, when I’m asked what qualifies me to work with women I often say, “it’s because I do what few men do – I ask for directions.”
Over time, I realized that while many of these women may have different financial concerns than those my mom faced as a young single-parent, their feelings and expressions of worry about financial matters were quite common and familiar to me. Even as many women are thriving in their careers today, most still have no real confidence in their future financial preparedness. Without the help of a trusted financial planner, it’s doubtful that many of these women will achieve the outcomes they desire or the peace of mind they hoped their financial success would provide. When this possibility is combined with the statistics showing how we’re all living long but women tend to outlive their spouse, women are less likely remarry after divorce, she may start saving later, etc., then working with women becomes not just more important but urgent.
The financial services industry continues to speak to women as a collective group about financial matters. But we know that financial needs, wants, and wishes are unique to an individual (not a gender) and are best determined through the discovery of personal financial goals, priorities, obligations, and aspirations.
The women we serve face many important questions and decisions about their financial future, but we believe there are four main questions that matter most:
- Do you have the plan that’s right for you?
- Are you working with someone you can trust?
- Do you have confidence your portfolio will get you there?
- How do you stay on track?