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Today we are talking with Anna Shaw about her role as a Financial Advisor.
I am so excited to share this week's talent spotlight with all of you! Anna and I met almost 10 years ago when we both worked at the same financial firm. Anna and I worked on different teams, but in those early years could often be found partnering together to get documents sent to clients that had urgent meetings. Anna is someone who will always jump in to help out those around her. In every meaning of the word, Anna is a solid team player.
Outside of the office, Anna and I have remained close friends. She is someone who has a knack for listening and hearing more than just the words that are coming out of your mouth. She is also a tremendous athlete and an all-around great human. If you get the opportunity to add Anna to your network, you are getting the opportunity to have the best person in your corner. Anna, thank you again for sharing your journey on the blog today!
Now let's learn more about Anna...
Name: Anna Shaw
Time in Current Position: 1.5 Years
Where Can You Connect with Anna?
Connect on LinkedIn!
What does a day in the life of a Financial Advisor look like?
I am fortunate to work in an industry and a role where no two days look exactly alike – I love the variation in my days! But clients and their well-being are at the center of everything I’m doing.
I usually get in early, study up on current events, and then spend the rest of my day meeting with clients in-person, over Zoom, or over the phone. It’s also important to me to be the very best teammate I can be, so I spend a good amount of my day collaborating with our service team and contributing in positive ways to our company culture.
What roles did you have prior to your current role?
I was previously in a similar role at a different firm for almost 7 years. Prior to that, I worked on the service team at that same company.
How did your experience in previous roles help you succeed in your current position?
My time at my previous company absolutely set me up for success in my role today. I have a very non-traditional route to becoming an advisor. I didn’t go to school for finance, and I come from a very “money illiterate” background - I couldn’t even tell you the difference between an IRA and a Trust when I started in the industry several years ago!
My previous employer gave me the resources to learn as much as I could about finances and capital markets and empowered me to share that knowledge with others.
Is there an area of expertise needed to succeed in your current role?
The bare minimum is to carry a license to sell securities or give advice. I recently received my CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification as that’s something that is required of all advisors at my firm. The CFP® mark holds us to the highest level of professional standards of continued education and ethical behavior – I wish all advisors were required to earn it!
How do you think your job will change in the next 5 years?
I think that the wealth management industry will just continue to get better and better for clients and advisors alike. The leaps and bounds we’ve made in technology make everything operationally more efficient (I used to have to fax hundreds of pages to custodians when I started out…) and make our planning far more impactful.
That said, I do think advisors are in for tougher seas ahead – the markets have been choppy and I don’t know that we’ve seen the worst of it yet. Time will tell but I believe that the really good advisors that treat their clients and employees well are going to prove themselves over the next 5 years.
What is something you wish more people knew about your job?
Financial advisors get a terrible rap! Sometimes when I tell people what I do, I can literally see them shut down, afraid that I’m going to start my sales pitch. Not all advisors are created equal – we’re not all sharks, we’re not all trying to get you to invest in some garbage product, and many of us are really good people who are passionate about helping people.
What parts of your job do you find most rewarding?
I love the hard conversations. I love holding space for the emotions (known and subconscious) that people have about what money means to them, their families, and their communities. There are no better days than the ones where we’re able to get someone to buy into – you have enough, work is on your terms now, you ARE enough. I love helping people dream about how to best pay-it-forward to lift up underserved communities that matter so deeply to them. I love building authentic, transparent relationships that feel like old friendships.
What makes you successful in your career?
The number one skill that has made me successful as an advisor is one that you might not think of as traditionally “financial”: it’s my empathy.
Empathy is my superpower. I live by the quote of “seek first to understand, then to be understood” because I think every aspect of the world would be a better place if we all tried to understand the other person.
How does that help me as an advisor?
It allows me to really be present and hear where people are coming from – their money psychology, their early experiences with investing, how scary the stock market sounds to them, how they’ve worked their entire lives and made sacrifices along the way only to feel like they don’t have enough to be free. Then I can approach all advice I give and planning I do with a whole-hearted understanding of what’s most important to them.
Where do you see yourself professionally in 5 to 10 years?
Even on my worst days, I love what I do and I love where I’m at. I can definitely see myself being an advisor for the rest of my life.
That said, I know I love being a leader within any team I play on - sports and work alike. I often joke about becoming “Chief People Officer” someday, but you know what they say about jokes: there’s always a sliver of truth somewhere in there. :)
Want to learn more about Anna??
Feel free to connect with her on LinkedIn. There is a direct link at the top of the blog!
If you would like to be featured in the Talent Spotlight Series, please contact me here!
I would love to share your career journey!
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