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Thursday, May 8, 2014

Why We Need More Women In Investment [INFOGRAPHIC]

In a country where women are expected to control two-thirds of consumer wealth in the U.S. over the next decade and to become the recipients of the largest transference of wealth in our country’s history, it’s surprising to see the lack of women within the investment industry. Perhaps even more shocking, is the industry’s response to it.

Let’s take a step back and get a sense for the role of women in the financial services arena. Within our industry, women make up only about 30 percent of the total populace of U.S. investment advisors. At hedge funds, women fill fewer than 20 percent of C-level positions. And at venture capital and private equity firms, only 13 percent are made up of females, who fill only 12 percent of C-level desks.

This begs the question, where have all the investment women gone?

Money Concepts financial advisor, Susan Sukys, weighed in on the topic, “The industry has historically been predominantly male, so there's a natural time delay for women entering the industry… The same evolution has been seen for physicians, attorneys and other professional, formerly male-dominated professions.” In many instances the world of financial services is still perceived as a scene out of Mad Men, a boys’ club of sorts. Financial advisor Rebecca Muller adds, “It’s a field that women typically are steered away from. I think it’s a cultural thing that is slowly being overcome.”

Fortunately for us, Money Concepts advisors like Susan Sukys, Rebecca Muller and Cheryl Boyer have chosen the path of financial service in order to educate and empower clients to make the financial decisions that will help them live more enriched lives. “Women bring to this industry a natural tendency for nurturing relationships which is conducive to building effective and profitable client-financial planner relationships,” said Boyer. They encourage other women to join their ranks.

What would it take for more to follow in their footsteps? Our advisors felt that if women were more knowledgeable about the profession and what it means to be a true financial planner, the more they would be drawn to be a part of it. Popular media often negatively spotlights the moneymaking side of the industry; but, there is a more holistic, sharing-of-information approach to this profession that supports clients in their goals, building their path to success personally, professionally and financially - and that is what needs to be seen. The more women who enter the field, the more role models will be created for young women to emulate and hopefully, over time, the balance on the scales will shift and the gender representation within the industry will be equalized.

Sukys noted, “This field is immensely rewarding, but challenging. It is not for the faint of heart. You are an advocate and guide for individuals and families with financial goals, which ultimately can add significantly to their quality of life, not just in the present, but also for future generations. It's a privilege to partner with clients on these impactful goals, and you'll want to be prepared to shoulder that rewarding responsibility.” And if that’s not enough, Muller points out that the flexible work schedule allows financial advisors to enjoy an engaging and impactful career, while still being available to your family. So not only is a career as an advisor personally and professionally rewarding, it will also provide you and your family with the resources to do anything you want to. “The short answer - Join us and Just Do It!” she exclaims.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

How Charitable Giving Pays Off

“We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” – Wintston Churchill

At Money Concepts, we offer our clients and customers holistic financial planning and wealth management solutions that empower them to live more enriched lives. In doing so, we encourage them to pay it forward and enrich the lives of others through charitable giving.

Imagine if you transformed your thought process from earning money just to get by to earning money to be a part of a bigger whole! This is the concept of “earning to give.”

One of the key phrases Founder Jack Walsh stated in Money Concept’s formation was that "our education teaches us how to earn a living, not what to do with it". We all have our own respective situations and the ability to give or spend as we see fit. Making charitable giving a regular part of a budget can be an empowering teaching tool and justification of what we were meant to do in life. By simply showing the reduction of arbitrary or wasteful spending that has no real value, and turning it into a giving stream that saves lives, or helps deliver a life experience can not only change the receiver, but also the giver. It helps bring a perspective into your life that is often times lacking. 

If you want to incorporate charitable giving into your financial plan, the first step is to take the first step. Make the decision to prioritize it within your budget. Review what your current spending habits are and where your money goes. Usually, you will find multiple ways to create money to reallocate in your monthly budgeting. If you’re having trouble with this process, speak with your financial planner. “[We] are in the business to truly help others, not only from a financial planning perspective, but also to help discover how we can all have a better life, which includes charitable efforts,” noted Money Concepts financial advisor John Hathaway.

The next step is to do a self-evaluation on what is important to you and align yourself with a charity or organization that you will be proud supporting. You can’t give to every charity, but find one or two that ideologically and philosophically align with yours. Probably the best advice when it comes to giving is not to get involved with charities for the sole purpose of exposure or to be a part of anything that acts in an unauthentic way. You will do yourself a disservice and you will not gain the full life experience that awaits you unless your intention is pure.

Money Concepts strives to be a prime example of “earning to give” through its yearly tradition Spring of Love. During May and June Money Concepts allocates 1% of its gross income to various charities like Folds of Honor, St. Jude’s Hospital and Make A Wish Foundation. It is our mission to help foster and assist charities in the communities where our advisors are. Money Concepts financial advisor Craig Sutherland has supported St. Jude Children's Research Hospital for almost 20 years and has even founded the "Money Concepts Classic,” a local charity golf event. John Hathaway helps contribute to Early Childhood Education and Wellness and Cherish the Children, a statewide effort to help children and families in need of financial assistance.

Sutherland adds, “At some point, everyone will face a situation or make a decision on what is most important or meaningful in their life. In that moment, there is a clear realization that you have the ability to change the world. No matter, great or small, you can be a part of something great.”

Are you ready to start earning to give?

Major Contributions by:
Craig Sutherland
John Hathaway