99-year-old advisor sticks by her clients

99-year-old advisor sticks by her clients

99-year-old advisor sticks by her clients The almost centenarian continues to find success in life; here’s why.

“In this business, you have to get the confidence of your clients,” Irene Bergman, a financial advisor with Stralem & Co. recently told Bloomberg. “You don’t have your clients for three weeks, you have them for at least three years. It takes that long to know if you’re doing a good job.”

Bergman’s business career began in 1942 when she joined a New York bank as a secretary. Soon after Bergman moved into the investment business joining Loeb, Rhodes & Co. where she stayed until 1973 when she joined her current firm where she now serves as a senior vice president.

“Women on Wall Street were not very popular,” Bergman remarked about her days at Loeb Rhoades & Co. “This [Stralem] was the first place where I was treated like an equal.”

Women working in wealth management have come a long way since Bergman first joined the financial services industry.

Bergman’s investment philosophy is definitely long term preferring to wait at least three years or sometimes longer before reassessing her decisions. That said, she’s not afraid to change course on a strategy when it’s clear it’s not working.

Refreshingly honest about her failings, Bergman is quite candid about one high-flying tech stock.

“I missed Apple totally,” she said. “Apple was too much for me.”

While Bergman no longer goes into the office, she does have four personal assistants who help keep her business humming. Totally independent having never been married and wealthy in her own right, Bergman believes successful advisors need to stick to their guns and make their own decisions.

“I always like to do what I want to do, then it’s my fault,” Bergman said. “I can’t blame anyone else.”