I was mistaken for an assistant at a conference of financial advisers. Here is how I answered.

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“What is your floor and office number?” »

In my former career on Wall Street, this was a question I regularly posed to my colleagues.

However, it wasn’t so I could track them down to talk about a work-related issue, it was to help them build their 401(k) provided business. It quickly spread within my company that I knew how to set up these retirement plans and that I often helped my colleagues to do so.

I have always been interested in saving money. For me, money was synonymous with independence. It was something I enjoyed and realized from an early age. Several years later, I had the opportunity to buy my family’s wealth management business, which led me to launch my own personal finance education platform, Planancial.

When I left Wall Street, I expected to find more women in personal finance. While there were more women in this field compared to a trading floor, there was a pretty glaring gap. Even today, only 15% of financial advisors are women and less than a quarter of certified financial planners (“CFPs”) are women.

At my first industry conference, many people assumed that I was not attending as a financial advisor. When checking in, when asked what kind of badge I needed, the first guess: “Assistant?”

No.

“Wholesaler?” No again.

“Home office?” Always not.

To their surprise, I answered “adviser”.

The personal finance industry has long been predominantly male. It’s an “eat what you kill” environment at best and a “boys club” at worst. It also has a staggering failure rate…over 90% of advisors fail within the first five years. gap between industries.

Image: Barbara Ginty is a certified financial planner and host of the popular financial podcast, Future Rich.
Barbara Ginty is a certified financial planner and host of the highly rated financial podcast, Future Rich.Brad Trent

These two statistics alone make it easy to see why most women don’t consider this area – and who would blame them?

But there is a promising silver lining that has gone largely unnoticed. Being a financial advisor offers flexibility, unlimited earning potential, and most importantly, it’s a career where you can have a tangible positive impact on the lives of others.

So why was it never revealed? Well, I don’t think there were enough women to lead the way.

The women I talk to assume you have to be good at math and stock picking, which just isn’t true.

Women bring a totally different perspective to this industry and maybe even a better one. Women are by nature intuitive, empathetic, understanding and trustworthy. Advisors are much more likely to be your financial quarterback and provide holistic, goal-oriented planning in an environment where there are no bad questions or complicated jargon.

Thanks to Mika Brzezinski’s Grow Your Value competition – where I was a finalist in 2017 – I learned how to harness and promote these strengths through business coaching.

I implore more women to consider this diverse career path, especially those looking for more flexibility. The big difference with personal finance is that you have the ability to create recurring income, so you’re not starting from scratch every year. Plus, with comprehensive goal planning, you work with your clients throughout their lives, and then with their children and grandchildren. It’s the tangible positive impact you have on generations.

Given that women are expected to control an estimated $30 trillion in financial assets by the end of the decade – an amount that outweighs today’s annual US GDP – we need more female advisers immediately.

Looks interesting? So start by asking yourself these questions:

  1. Are you hardworking, empathetic, caring, detail-oriented, personable, a good listener, and enjoy building personal relationships?
  2. Are you interested in the subject of personal finance?
  3. Do you like the idea of ​​a career that allows for flexibility and control over income?

If you answered yes, then a career in personal finance might be right for you! Educate yourself with podcasts hosted by advisors or books written by advisors. If this continues to interest you, think about your ideal client and your area of ​​interest. Advisors tend to have clients who share similar interests and values. The next step would be to find a mentor.

If you’re worried about changing careers in the midst of the current economic climate, I challenge you that now is the perfect time to do so. Americans are managing household finances in unprecedented times — a global pandemic, war in Eastern Europe, record inflation — now is when they need help planning their safety the most. financial.

Money is power, but having women managing that money is groundbreaking.

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