The reason I got into this profession
Growing up, I thought I was pretty lucky. My parents chose to be self-employed as a technical writer and graphic artist and they worked from home, so they were there for me every day when I got home from school. However, we didn’t have very much money and this didn’t hit me until I was about 12 years old. That’s when I realized that my friends, Melissa and Monica, had back to school budgets for clothes and accessories, and I had trash bags filled with hand-me-downs from the church. We lived in subsidized housing until I was 18 years old, as my parents didn’t have enough to buy a home. It was only after I moved out that my parents were able to buy their first house. Right at this time, I realized I wanted to help people reach their goals, just as my parents were finally able to reach theirs.
I entered the industry in 2001 at a firm that provided financial planning and investment management where I worked for 8 years. Unfortunately I found that our “comprehensive financial planning” wasn’t truly comprehensive or proactive. I knew I wanted to provide planning in a better way that was more detailed and holistic. I had hoped to influence the firm’s approach over time, but when the internal succession didn’t go as planned, I realized that the best way for me to provide financial planning and be there for my family with my two young kids, was to start my own business. I opened my doors in 2009 and over the next four years, I changed the lives of hundreds of families through creating customized comprehensive financial plans.
As my firm grew, I knew that if I wanted to be able to touch more lives and provide more value to clients, I needed to be a part of something bigger that had the vision to reach thousands of people. I merged my practice in with Abacus Wealth Partners in 2013. Around this same time, I was going through another life transition with my marriage falling apart. After going through an emotionally difficult divorce and seeing all of the financial issues that came up in splitting our lives, I decided that I wanted to focus on working with women going through these same issues. I completed the Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA) designation so I could hold my client’s hands as they were going through one of the most difficult transitions of their life to help them make educated financial decisions.
One thing I’m doing to help the planet
I recycle whenever possible, as well as buying local and organic produce and meats. Teaching my kids about conservation along with encouraging their interests in gardening will build the next generation of conscious individuals. Abacus also has a great telecommuting program, which cuts down on travel and the environmental impact that comes with that.
Outside of work, my passions include
My two kids and all of their activities (baseball, softball, parkour and theater) keep me and my husband busy most weekends, but whenever possible I try to stay active through the outdoors (hiking and camping), slow pitch co-ed softball (which I’ve played for 20 years!) and Crossfit! After many years of not being able to read enough to enrich my soul and mind, I’ve finally dedicated a budget to regular purchases of books for my personal reading pleasure.
One goal I’m saving for
A new house in the school district where my son will go to high school
The primary way I’m advancing my career knowledge
Attending industry conferences always energizes me and makes me come back more educated and ready to change more lives! In particular, focusing on education to help in my work with women has been critical more recently. Finally, I serve on our Wealth Management Committee which allows me the opportunity to brainstorm and develop the best practices for financial planning to be implemented across the firm.