Why being a financial advisor is like being a swan on a pond

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Earlier this month, our team at Willow Creek were thrilled to have been voted one of the North Bay Business Journal’s Best Places to Work in 2021.

As a new member of the team, I have been very grateful to work with such seasoned advisors, especially following a decision I made a few years ago to give my new direction to my team. career.

In 2019, my career path took an interesting turn that I could never have imagined.

After 20 years of working in financial services with huge institutions, I felt strongly that I wanted a more personally fulfilling career where my values ​​were aligned with my work.

It was then that I discovered the role of a wealth advisor, and I realized that what I wanted to do was bring my knowledge into working with giant institutions to help individuals and families. to better shape their financial well-being, their lives and their world.

To this end, I obtained my Chartered Financial Planner (CFP) designation and joined the Willow Creek Wealth Management team.

We sometimes joke that the role of a heritage advisor is perfectly explained by the analogy of the swan swimming in a pond.

While all you see is the graceful swan gliding effortlessly across the water, what you can’t see are the swan’s powerful paws and webbed feet propelling the bird forward. I like that metaphor when I think of expertise and excellence, that people who are great at what they do make it easy.

I think for a lot of people the value of a good wealth advisor is hidden beneath the surface, and it’s more than investment management.

What you see is the advisor making financial plans for clients or helping them build their portfolios; what you can’t see is the wealth advisor figuring out how to deal with family disagreements before they turn into arguments or helping prepare someone for the loss of their spouse.

While it is essential for a good wealth advisor to understand the markets, financial planning and the intricacies of portfolio management, it is the soft skills that can be invaluable to the client.

Every client deserves an advisor they trust. Every client deserves an advisor who understands their big dreams and goals for living a fulfilling life. And every client deserves an advisor who wants to help them build a legacy they are proud of.

Likewise, everyone deserves to have a fulfilling career, to work with people they respect and to feel supported by their employer.

After the tough few years we have all had, I want to remind everyone that life is too short to stay at a job you hate. I’m living proof that a change like this can open up your life in ways you can’t imagine.

I have spent the first half of my career learning the inner workings of financial services, and I am so grateful that I can spend the second half of my career pursuing my passions: championing women in investing, environmental sustainability. and help my clients achieve their goals, both financially and personally.

So … what kind of career do you want? What are your hopes and dreams for your professional life? When you retire one day, what will your legacy be?

These same questions, asked slightly differently, are the ones I use to help clients distill their overall values, and it’s no less important to build a vision for your career.

A few years ago, I asked myself these questions, and I discovered that I had a deep need to align my values ​​with my career. And in doing so, I have helped build a path for myself, which has led to a career that I love.

This may be my favorite part of my role as a wealth advisor, the fact that getting into what you imagine to be a straightforward discussion about finances very often allows clients to consider ways to make overall decisions. happier about their money and their life.

When I host Women’s Circles, we talk about money, sure, but the larger conversation encompasses how to build community, connection, and understanding.

When I design a sustainable investment portfolio for clients, I can help them discover our deeper shared values ​​of human well-being and environmental sustainability.

Like the swan swimming elegantly on the water, a closer examination reveals much more complex processes that will help you move forward.

This career has helped me become happier and healthier than I have ever been, and I encourage you to build a career path towards your own version of “Best Workplaces” no matter what. what that looks like for you, for 2022 and beyond.

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