The wealth management industry should be encouraging bright young women to join the profession by raising awareness in universities, colleges and high schools, according to Jackie Porter, partner at Carte Financial Services.
“We need to make basic financial literacy a priority in the school system,” said the Mississauga, Ont.-based, award-winning financial planner. “A lot of women still see financial information as a man’s domain, so there really needs to be more dissemination of information,” she said. Porter believes that educating women about finances at a young age is likely to encourage them to consider wealth management as a career path, which would benefit the industry tremendously.
“When there are more women in the major decision-making roles, a business flourishes, so we need to do far more outreach to women,” she said. “We need to get women excited about the profession by having days when our industry is going into the education environments and marketing the plusses. For example, it’s a fascinating, well-paid career with flexible hours.”
Porter entered the financial industry as a second career after taking a package from a telecom company, and subsequently seeking advice from a female financial planner to invest her money.
“I was intrigued to find out as much as I could about how someone like that worked,” she said. “Having been raised by an immigrant single mom, it was a revolutionary concept to have money work for me,” said Porter. “My mission was to learn everything I could about money to make sure I could have financial security.”
Porter’s advice for young women joining the industry is to learn as much as possible by taking business courses and being a model for your clients.
“When you are a financial planner you have to walk the walk and take your own advice. I tell them I’m wealthy because I listen to my own advice,” she said.
“Treat it like a business. Build a team because you can’t do everything alone. Have an accountant and a lawyer on your team. Have a book-keeper and a real estate agent. Have key people around you. build a team of professionals you can lean on to help your business.”
Porter also feels that the industry as a whole should be doing more to represent single people.
“There’s a lot that we can do for single people as they are the fastest growing demographic,” she said. “When you look at retirement brochures you see two people, retiring together at the beach, but that is not always the reality.”
Porter is the co-author of Single By Choice Or Chance, published in 2016 to address the financial needs of widowed, divorced and never-married women as they navigate aging and retirement without a partner.