We need to make money a positive conversation at home. Engaging with your children at a young age will help them continue to learn and feel comfortable asking questions as they get older.
Personal finance should be taught in middle school, high school, and in college. This will continue to ensure its front of mind. Learning in a social setting will also ensure it gets talked about outside of home and school.
We need to learn how to make the money world interesting, fun, and entertaining!
As a part of my series about strong female finance leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jessica Weaver.
Jessica Weaver, CFP®, CDFA™, CFS®, is a Wealth Advisor, two-time best-selling author, blogger, speaker and the founder of the #pinkfix movement. Her mission is to help more women gain control, clarity, and confidence over their finances both present and future.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us the “backstory” about what brought you to the finance field?
When I was a little girl, I loved going into my closet and looking at my money tin. There wasn’t much there, but that didn’t matter at the time. As I continued to grow, I had no idea the power money had but continued to be fascinated by the coins in that tin. My father must have noticed and as he was a financial advisor, thought it was best ot teach me about money at a very young age.
After witnessing both my grandmothers struggle with retirement, run out of money, and deal with their estates, I knew I didn’t want that to happen to me and needed to take a stance. This prompted me to start running workshops and events to help women gain control over their money before it was too late.
While running these workshops, it made me realize just how many women needed financial guidance. This ultimately led to the birth of my blog, Not Your Father’s Advisor in 2015. We were able to start a community, which I coined #pinkfix, to educate women, support female business owners, and help women live their best lives by committing to their goals.
While pregnant with my daughter in 2017 and with my son in 2019, I wrote two books: Strong Woman Stronger Assets and Time to Refine, a Strong Woman’s Guide to Retiring on Her Own Terms. Both became #1 Best Sellers, confirming that women were wanting more direction when it came to their finances.
Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with many different women and empowering them to elevate their lives to the next level.
Can you share with our readers the most interesting or amusing story that occurred to you in your career so far? Can you share the lesson or take away you took out of that story?
My 3-year-old daughter yelling at people to put their money in their piggy banks was both a proud mom and proud financial advisor moment in my life. Just like my dad did with me, you can never start them too young!
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
We’ve seen a lot of value with how women have come together over the last couple of years. To keep this comradery going, we’ll be launching our new #pinkfix community in January 2021. This will combine all our programs and events into one place. It will be a community of powerhouse women, joining together to grow their career business, build wealth, and form lasting relationships.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
With my background in the industry, I saw firsthand the impact an advisor can have on a family and their life. I wanted to work with women, specifically, as they were typically checked out of the money conversation. By creating the #pinkfix community, it has allowed different powerhouse voices to come together to share information and empower those who don’t have time to dedicate to growing their money.
This online and in-person community has made such a difference as we celebrate our member’s successes and try to maintain passion and fun with each task.
They say it takes a village to raise a child, and we want to be that village for women everywhere.
Ok. Thank you for all that. Let’s now jump to the main core of our interview. Wall Street and Finance used to be an “all-white boys club”. This has changed a lot recently. In your opinion, what caused this change?
We’ve definitely seen a shift, especially in the last couple years. In today’s working world, women are paying more attention to statistics. Women spend 85% of the world’s wealth yet we only make 10% of it. I think we’ve seen women start to demand more equality with everything — not just finance.
Where once upon a time, the man was assumed the breadwinner, today’s climate allows for women to take on that role. Additionally, I think companies are seeing the benefits of women in leadership positions and this is shown through their profits!
I believe that being a financial advisor comes naturally to women because of our maternal instincts. Women are amazing teachers and naturally patient. Both traits are crucial when working with clients to make sure they feel secure about their financial decisions.
Of course, despite the progress, we still have a lot more work to do to achieve parity. According to this report in CNBC, less than 17 percent of senior positions in investment banks are held by women. In your opinion or experience, what 3 things can be done by a)individuals b)companies and/or c) society to support this movement going forward?
We definitely still have a way to go to create more equality and that responsibility is a collaborate effort.
- As individuals, we need to bring more men into the conversations. Having their support at work or at home is key to continue moving the needle forward. Women also need to learn to outsource household tasks so they can devote time to both the office and their children at home.
- Companies need to be more flexible with their work hours to accommodate working moms. Throughout the pandemic, the work from home model has seems to work well for some families. The biggest reason women leave the workforce after children is because of the demanding hours and long commutes of the corporate world.
- If we want anything to change on a larger scale, we first need to start with ourselves. Showing and mentoring the next generation is key. For example, illustrating how men can be supportive of their partners going to work or allowing young girls to witness their moms working full-time, can be an inspiration for future generations. We need to make the finance industry an inclusive place to attract those who want a family.
Let’s now turn to a slightly new topic. According to this report in Fortune, nearly two-thirds of Americans can’t pass a basic test of financial literacy. In your opinion or experience what is the cause of these unfortunate numbers? If you had the power to make a change, what 3 things would you recommend to improve these numbers?
There certainly is a large gap in financial literacy in today’s economic world. Having an understanding of your money continues to be more critical than ever.
- We need to make money a positive conversation at home. Engaging with your children at a young age will help them continue to learn and feel comfortable asking questions as they get older.
- Personal finance should be taught in middle school, high school, and in college. This will continue to ensure its front of mind. Learning in a social setting will also ensure it gets talked about outside of home and school.
- We need to learn how to make the money world interesting, fun, and entertaining!
You are a “finance insider”. If you had to advise your adult child about 5 non intuitive things one should do to become more financially literate, what would you say? Can you please give a story or example for each.
- Understand and determine how you want to live your life. Start asking yourself questions like: do you want to have loads of money or do you want to retire early or own a business? Decide what success looks like to you. Then read books on what you want to accomplish — on my blog, we do lots of book reviews. The more you can align your behavior with your goals, the more likely you’ll accomplish them.
- Take small steps forward. Get comfortable with investing by starting with a little bit at a time. It will then not seem as daunting. Ensure you’re also asking your advisor questions about your monthly statement. Take your time to understand all ways money can earn money.
- Find a mentor. Follow someone you admire either online or in person. What are their perspectives or values and what are they doing with their money? Try to replicate some of their strategies or tweak them to make them on your own.
- Learn about money systems. From the moment you get a paycheck to the time a dollar gets invested, what happens? Be aware of expenses, taxes, and fees before your money gets invested. See if there are ways to lessen this and make the most of your dollars.
- Invest in a social setting. Join meetups or Facebook groups that focus on money, planning, and investing. The best way to learn is in a social environment to optimize other people’s knowledge, experience, and expertise.
(Choose) You are a “finance insider”. If you had to advise your adult child about 5 non intuitive essentials for smart investing what would you say? Can you please give a story or an example for each?
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
My father was also a financial advisor and brought me into the industry. He tried to teach me about money at a young age. Like many girls, I loved to shop and the question he would always ask me was ‘How many hours do you have to work to pay for that new outfit?’. This really stuck with me over the years and to this day, I continue to ask myself that same question.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create many ripples.” Mother Teresa
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
Having wealth isn’t just for the top earners in this world, anyone can have wealth! The key is finding a plan that works for your money personality because everyone is wired differently. Employing the right strategies, not just generic information, will ensure your best results.