Managing Money Against The Odds
I’m a black woman that helps people achieve their dreams for a living. My story became possible because I had friends, advocates and mentors who have helped me along the way. I have a rewarding career as a financial advisor, with good pay and hours. It’s a field that is always looking for talent right here in Arizona.
I’m not from Phoenix. I was born in Wisconsin and moved here when my husband – the primary bread winner – was transferred here. I had worked for Bank One (which later became Chase) in Wisconsin and transferred to Phoenix. It didn’t take me long to adjust to Arizona. The local food scene did it for me. Eating out was the highlight of my weekends. I’ve actually lost weight during the pandemic because I can’t do that now.
I had never thought about be coming a financial advisor. Man aging money has traditionally been a male- dominated industry, and is no different in Arizona. Nearly four percent of the industry’s 87,000 ad visors are Black or Latinx, accord ing to the Certified Planners Board, the organization that sets standards for the industry and issues the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) certification.
These numbers aren’t close to reflecting the diversity of clients and create a false impression that men typically manage the family finances. They don’t reflect the fact that 80 percent of wives outlive their husbands, putting them in charge of all the aspects of managing a house hold – sometimes even overnight. A friend and colleague who had worked as a banker and was promoted to financial advisor showed me that this was a career possibility for me. Although hesitant, I listened when she walked me through
the steps I needed to take to get the appropriate licenses, a typical work day and the pay and benefits. It was not a complicated transition to be come a financial advisor after being a banker for 6 years. I was already familiar with some of the work, cli ents’ needs and financial products. I also knew that I had to be bold and work twice as hard as my colleagues. I was up to the challenge.
I’m also heartened by JPMorgan Chase’s recent commitment of $30 billion over the next five years to provide economic opportunities in underserved communities including building pathways towards a more diverse and inclusive workforce and holding itself accountable towards achieving that goal.
So, if you are thinking about your future, I would like to encourage you to think about a career as a fi nancial advisor. Here are four tips:
1. Find a mentor or mentors, who can guide you from who to meet to what to read. I started my own mentoring group within my firm to help new talent grow in their careers.
2. Join the right firm. How serious are they about diversity? How did they address diversity and inclusion prior to 2020? Are senior executives held accountable for racial discrimination at the company? I am a founder of J.P. Morgan Wealth Management’s Black Leadership Forum created in 2019, which regularly advises senior executives about employee experience and the needs of the Black community.
3. Fight for access to clients. Be bold, work hard and don’t be scared to show your ambition and ask for what you want. Don’t wait for somebody to tap you on the back. To become a successful advisor, you need clients, and that’s where your firm plays a key role. Will you be given the tools needed to grow? As soon as I got my license, I reached out to the district manager and asked him to put me in a big office with access to many clients. He took the risk and gave me an opportunity as a junior advisor – and I’ve been here ever since.
4. Embrace your extended family. Becoming a financial advisor is about helping people talk about something intimate, like money and their financial needs. It’s not about selling products. I’ve helped clients through the most important moments of their lives: having children, graduations and weddings. It’s an incredibly rewarding career. Tequilla Swan is a private client ad visor at J.P. Morgan Wealth Management based in Phoenix. She was named an America’s Top Women Wealth Advisor by Forbes* in 2021.
For more information about J.P. Morgan wealth management jobs in Arizona go to https://careers.jpmor gan.com/global/en/home. J.P. Morgan Wealth Management is a business of JPMorgan Chase & Co., which offers investment products and services through J.P. Morgan Securities LLC (JPMS), a registered broker-deal er and investment advisor, member FINRA and SIPC. Annuities are made available through Chase Insurance Agency, Inc. (CIA), a licensed insurance agency, doing business as Chase Insurance Agency Services, Inc. in Florida. JPMS, CIA and JPMCB are affiliated companies under the common control of JPMorgan Chase & Co.
* Data provided by SHOOK Research, LLC. Data as of 9/30/20. Source: Forbes.com (March, 2021).
America’s Top Women Advisors ranking was developed by SHOOK Research and is based on in-person, virtual and telephone due diligence meetings to evaluate each advisor qualitatively, a major component of a ranking algorithm that includes: client impact, industry experience, review of best practices and compliance re cords, firm nominations; and quanti
tative criteria, including: assets under management and revenue generated for their firms. Investment perfor mance is not a criterion because client objectives and risk tolerances vary, and advisors rarely have audited per formance reports. Rankings are based on the opinions of SHOOK Research, LLC and not indicative of future per formance or representative of any one client’s experience. Neither Forbes nor SHOOK Research receive com pensation in exchange for placement on the ranking. For more information: SHOOKresearch.com.
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