After spending 20 years in a “traditional” double-income-with-children lifestyle, I became a single parent supporting two teenage children. Through that experience, I was able to rely on my knowledge of financial and tax planning to weather the challenges while meeting the needs of my children.
Financial circumstances can and do change unexpectedly as I’ve witnessed many times over the years with my clients. My client may be going through a divorce for the first (and hopefully only) time, but I have experienced this many times with many clients. They are relieved to know that I can help them navigate this uncharted territory as only someone who has been there before can do.
Bridgewater is the first wealth management firm where I have not been the only female advisor, and I feel each one of our senior women helps me to become better everyday. I began working in this industry in 1987 when it was a male-dominated. For the most part, it remains so today as there are still a relatively small percentage of advisors that are female.
I have had the benefit of working with some outstanding male advisors who have provided me opportunities along the way. I have also had the benefit of working with many wonderful female clients who have confirmed the importance of my work. With those experiences, I have come to believe that there is something very special about women advising and helping other women.
When I work with clients, I like to model several scenarios to reflect a range of possible outcomes. One of the biggest challenges for divorcees is to overcome their feeling of uncertainty. That uncertainty breeds fear which can impact a woman’s ability to make sound financial decisions. Discussing a range of possibilities often shows that, even with “worst case” assumptions, the overall outcome is livable. You can see their relief as they relax and begin to understand that they will be okay.
A similar thing happens when working with widows. Their sense of loss and grief and that everything in their life has suddenly changed can be paralyzing. As I carefully construct a range of outcomes, they begin to develop a picture of a future that lies beyond their loss and grief.
It’s very gratifying to create these turning points, where challenging situations become opportunities for a woman to recreate her life.
I would like Her Wealth to blossom as a community where women in a wide variety of circumstances find support and affirmation in the way they are managing their wealth and gain confidence that there is a path to aligning her finances with her life goals.