In recognition of Women’s History Month, we are featuring stories this week about women financial advisors who are defying the “old boys’ club” perception of financial advice.
Following the untimely and sudden passing of her husband, Regina Beatty saw firsthand the importance of comprehensive financial planning for families and how it can give peace of mind when the unexpected happens. She runs a practice in Pittsburgh and is building a second practice in Florida, reliving the steps that it takes to grow a successful financial advice business from the ground up.
Financial planning might be perceived as an entirely concrete and calculated practice, but in my experience good financial planning is much more personal than that. I was initially drawn to this industry because I thought it would be a perfect fit for my lifestyle and my skill set. I was right. After years in the hospitality industry working long hours for a small paycheck, I immediately thrived on the flexible schedule, relationship building and independence of financial planning. Over time, my motivation and my approach to practice management changed and my appreciation for the value of thoughtful, comprehensive financial planning deepened.
When I was in my late 30s, my husband passed away suddenly. This was, of course, an incredibly challenging time. In the midst of our grief, my family and I had a lot of financial planning work on our hands, and that experience changed the way I view the role of a financial advisor. I saw for the first time how innately personal and emotional a family’s finances can be and how a well-developed financial plan can offer a huge sense of security.
Understanding the highly personal nature of planning for a family’s financial future has shaped the way I work with my clients. The only way to help clients make the best possible decisions is to truly get to know them. Knowing what keeps your clients up at night is crucial to helping them plan accordingly. Asking the right questions about what is important to clients not only helps you to better work with them, but also builds trust and shows them that you will be there throughout the process as a valued, holistic planning resource.
This is especially important when discussing life insurance, which is often omitted due to the difficulty of the discussion. But true holistic planning includes risk management in all facets of a client’s financial life. We cannot do our clients justice if we fail to have the insurance discussion, whether for survivor needs, legacy planning, or liquidity to affect a successful business transfer. Being comprehensive financial planners helps empower us to have those difficult conversations, which are necessary to motivate our clients to action.
It is imperative that my clients trust the plan that we have built together, especially in times of uncertainty in the market. On particularly nerve-wracking days in the market, I pick up the phone and proactively call my clients to reassure them that a few bad weeks do not mean that our stress-tested financial plans will fail. They believe me when I reassure them because of how intimately I know their goals and objectives. They know that I am in this with them. Having a level of trust in place is crucial to the success of my clients’ plans and, ultimately, to the success of my business.
After many years in management, I set up shop in Pittsburgh six years ago. Now, I’m expanding my business by opening an office in Florida. As I begin to grow my book of business in a new market, I realize that people’s universal concerns are the same. Everyone wants to feel confident in their ability to retire happily, their ability to care for their children no matter what, their ability to leave a legacy of which they can be proud. The role of a financial advisor must be to help people achieve these unchanging goals in the face of an unpredictable world.
Regina M. Beatty, CRPC®, CFP® is a Private Wealth Advisor with Mosaic Wealth Consulting, and a registered representative of Lincoln Financial Advisors. Securities and advisory services offered through Lincoln Financial Advisors Corp., a broker/dealer (Member SIPC) and registered investment advisor. Insurance offered through Lincoln affiliates and other fine companies. Mosaic Wealth Consulting is not an affiliate of Lincoln Financial Advisors.