Financial advice has long been a male dominated industry. Women represent 51% of the US population, but only 23% of CFP® professionals are women and this percentage has stagnated over the past decade. Why is there a feminine famine in financial planning? Today we’ve invited Allison Berger and Grace Kvantas back on the show to discuss the 6 main challenges that prevent women from becoming financial advisors. As we shed light on these topics, we share ways we are fighting against these stigmas. We also celebrate Grace as the latest partner of Financial Symmetry. Listen to this episode to hear why there aren’t many women in financial planning but also why that should change.
See show notes here: https://wp.me/p6NrVS-3ar
Grace is a rarity among women in the field. She knew that she wanted to become a financial advisor at the age of 15. Her dad was a CFP® and it was at that young age that she realized that she was taught money lessons at home that many others never received. She wanted to help others learn what her dad had taught her. In college, she learned so much more about finance, but she still didn’t understand the depth of what one learns as a CFP®. It was only on the job that she began to understand all that a financial advisor really does. Listen to this episode to hear about Grace’s journey to becoming a CFP®.
Many people don’t know the difference between a financial advisor and a CFP®. The CFP® designation is the standard of excellence in financial planning. Becoming a CFP® takes a bit of work. You must have a bachelor’s degree and take the coursework first prior to taking the CFP exam. Candidates also need to have 3 years of qualifying experience or 2 years working directly with CFP professionals. After obtaining the CFP designation, Certified Financial Planners must maintain continuing education.
Now is a fantastic time to become a financial advisor. The average age of financial planners is over 50 and ⅓ of advisors are projected to retire within the next 10 years. Women are uniquely positioned to excel as financial advisors in the years ahead. Listen to this episode to hear why 72% of women who pursue the CFP® designation report high levels of career satisfaction.
We walk through the CFP Board whitepaper detailing recommendations to increase the number of women CFP® professionals and the reasons women are not pursuing this career path.
You've just sold your business. Or maybe you received an inheritance. Making decisions on how to handle the lump sum proceeds can be paralyzing. We all have that fear of making a mistake with the money and when the stakes are high, the fear is heightened. You might be wondering how wise it is to invest a big chunk of money with the markets near all time highs. When dealing with a lump sum, there is more to consider than just investment decisions. Listen to this episode to hear about the things you may not have thought about when considering your lump sum investment options.
You may have received an inheritance, sold a business, or received stock options or restricted stock. However you received the money, there are really only three things you can do with it. You can spend it, pay down debt, or invest it. In fact, spending a portion of your newfound wealth to treat yourself is a good first step. Then take a step back and analyze your new financial picture. How have your goals changed? Is retirement now just around the corner? How will you need to invest to accomplish your new objectives? Many people are quick to want to pay off all debt. But first analyze the kind of debt you have before rushing to pay it all off. Paying off credit card debt is generally a good idea, but you might want to rethink paying off your mortgage. Before you make any decisions on what to do with the money you should take some time and consider all of your options carefully.
When receiving a lump sum of money, it is important to estimate the tax burden that comes with it. You don’t want to spend all of the money and then discover that you owe a large amount in taxes. No one likes to pay penalties so it is important to do some tax planning first. Take a comprehensive view of your tax strategies with a professional to help you consider all the options. There are many strategies you can consider to help ease the tax burden. A donor-advised fund is a great choice for the charitably inclined. Are their retirement accounts (SEP-IRA, 401k, Roth IRA, HSA's) you haven't been maxing prior to the lump sum? Could front-loading a 529 account be right for you? What's your plan for health insurance and how will the premium tax credit affect you? You also want to consider the timing to ensure that your strategies are used in the same calendar year that you receive the lump sum.
We would all love to have a crystal ball to tell us the perfect time and place to invest our money. Instead, we ask questions like, should you invest it all at once? Should you invest in small increments over time? Or do what too many people do, and don’t do anything. Vanguard had an article which analyzed these lump sum investment options from a historical perspective. It turned out that about two-thirds of the time it was better to invest all at once. But, if you were prone to sell if experiencing a big loss in first few months, then investing over the next year may be best. Bottom line was that if you wait too long, you could end up regretting it. We all have that fear of making a mistake, but that fear of missing out in a rising market compounds the difficulty of long-term decision making. Understand that your decisions won’t be perfect but at the end of the day, it's all about the big picture. Think about your investment strategy. What assets make the most sense for your goals? Implementing a customized strategy for your specific desires will give you the comfort of being able to sleep at night, knowing you have a plan in place.