Empowering Finance and my WHY

by | Dec 15, 2020

Simon Sinek, a powerful author, and motivational speaker has a phenomenal TED Talk and book called Start With Why. In both, he emphasizes the point that we need to lead with WHY: WHY should we get out of bed in the morning? WHY should anyone care? WHY do the work that we do?

Empowering Finance is my WHY. 

More than a decade spent in financial services showed me that both women and those who chart unique paths in life need financial planners who are on their side, understand them, and are excited to work with them. People who are bold, badass, and ambitious need a CFP® professional who can understand their goals and help achieve them. This introductory post will give you a taste of who I am in all my sparkly rainbow- and unicorn-loving glory so you can determine if we are a good fit to work together. 

Ever since I was a little girl my Ojiisan (Grandpa in Japanese) would always tell me that I would be a CEO someday. I thought he was going senile at an early age (sorry Ojiisan, but look who was right all along!), as being a CEO didn’t sound all that magical when I was a kid. Around the age of 7 or 8, I decided I was going to be an attorney; I can’t remember exactly why, but it was probably due to every adult in my life telling me to be an attorney because I’d debate them about anything and everything. In college, I majored in Political Science with a focus on pre-law and was on the path to becoming an attorney, but it did not come to fruition in the way I envisioned.

As life happens, some curveballs unfolded and I found myself married at 22, moving to a military town to follow my Navy husband, and trying to figure out what the hell to do with my life. Law school seemed impossible on a military salary, so I started attending some financial seminars to get a better grasp on what I needed to do to get in tip-top financial shape. Sitting in the audience of one of these seminars, I saw an older woman hesitantly stand up to ask a question. You could tell by her mannerisms and shaking voice that she was in a fragile state. She explained that she was going through a divorce. She and her husband had run a business their entire working careers, but he had claimed all the income under his social security number. Since she was divorcing and reaching the age of retirement at the same time, she was only eligible for half of her husband’s social security benefit due to how he had filed their taxes for their entire marriage, even though they had both worked equally in the business. She asked if there was anything she could do. The presenter informed her that unfortunately there wasn’t much to be done. If she only had met with a financial planner during her marriage, perhaps things would have been different for her. I decided that very day that helping others with their finances, especially women, is what I wanted to do. 

This is my WHY. 

WHY I’m launching my own firm.

WHY I’m committed to setting myself apart in this male-dominated industry.

WHY I got into finance and decided to become a CFP® professional.

Things have to change and I want to do my part.

This is not an especially easy field to be in as a woman. Over the course of my career, I’ve been criticized for my hair color (it’s “professional” purple and I LOVE it) and been asked to cover/hide my multiple tattoos, and I was once told in a performance review that I should wear more dresses and skirts. The gender pay gap is real and significant, and sexual harassment is rampant in the industry. I never understood why the people I worked for were so focused on my outward appearance when the focus should have been on what has always mattered most: the happiness of my clients. Financial planners and wealth managers should come to work with the intention of helping their clients every step of the way and investing every dollar as thoughtfully as if the money were their own. I take immense pride in delivering kickass service and financial planning because I truly love my clients and what I do. 

At this point in my career, working for myself is the only thing that makes sense. Why? Working for others and trying to conform to industry standards doesn’t let me be my authentic self or give me the opportunity to work with clients who need my knowledge and help the most. There are a lot of people that get into financial planning to make a ton of money and don’t particularly care if their investment decisions are in the best interest of their clients. Some planners don’t like being asked why they invest in a particular investment or if their own personal money is invested the same way as their clients’. My view is that if you wholeheartedly believe in your investment philosophy, then your investments should be the same as those you recommend to clients. The responsibility of a financial planner should always be to use their knowledge to help and empower their clients and to earn their deepest trust. 

I will probably always rock pink or purple hair, I have more tattoos than most of my former coworkers combined, and f*ck is my favorite word because it’s the most versatile word in the English language. If that appeals to you rather than scaring you off, we should talk. My promise to you is that I will work my ass off to be the best financial planner you have ever had and we will have fun throughout the process. It has been quite the journey to get to this point in my career and to launch Empowering Finance. I feel extremely grateful for all that has transpired to get me to finally start every day with my WHY. 

So tell me: what’s your WHY and how can I help?

Corey Beal, CFP®

CEO & Director of Joy