We are excited to announce the launch of our new blog series: Spotlight on Women in the Financial Services Industry.
I was recently inspired to start this series after publishing my blog: Best Blogs to Read for Financial Advisors. I emailed all the advisors I featured and one advisor, Sophia Bera, responded saying she was honoured to have been featured, but she couldn't help but notice only 2 out of 16 featured bloggers were women.
To be honest, I was shocked that I had done this! I consider myself a woman who is always looking out for other women, but it didn't even cross my mind when I wrote the article that only 12.5% of the bloggers I featured were women.
After a bit of reading, I learned that only 23% of Certified Financial Planners are women. I decided to take it upon myself to start a series where I got to interview female advisors and learn about what they're doing in the industry.
What are your thoughts? If you're interested in this subject or you know someone that should be featured in this series (even if it's yourself!) shoot me an email at: email@example.com.
Our first advisor is Amy Hubble.
Amy Hubble, CFA, CFP® is the founder and Principal Advisor at Radix Financial in Oklahoma City, OK. Prior to founding Radix Financial, she was positioned as the Senior Vice President and Head of Relationship Management for Heritage Trust Company. On top of this, Amy was recognized in 2016 as a "40 Under 40" by InvestmentNews as well as one of the "Top CFP® Holders Under 36" by Wealthmanagement.com.
Amy also devotes her time as the Treasurer and member on the board of directors for Heartbeat for Hope, a non-profit organization that works to reduce poverty amongst single women in the small West African country of Ghana through literacy, vocational training, and microfinance.
I had the opportunity to chat with Amy and hear her best financial tips, her greatest professional achievements, and her thoughts on the reported shortage of women in the financial services industry.
Why did you decide to work in the financial industry?
I fell into it by accident! My dad was a banker, so I was always aware of the financial industry, but I started out in oil and gas. After college, I got a job at a trust company as a receptionist and it ended up turning into a career.
How long have you worked in the financial industry?
This year will be 10 years.
What has been your greatest professional achievement?
My greatest professional achievement, and certainly the most difficult, would have to be starting my own business. No question.
Going off of that, could be the same, but what achievement are you most proud of?
The achievement I’m most proud of would have to be my involvement with Heartbeat for Hope.
We work in Ghana helping women and homeless street teens gain vital vocational skills training along with English literacy and business skills. It’s been amazing to see the impact this organization has had.
We’re providing capital for the trainers to have a job, and once the women themselves have graduated from the program, they can then support themselves and their families. The business model is very sustainable, and creates many positive externalities in the community. For example, the women can now afford to pay their children’s school fees with the small profits they generate with their small business which will hopefully help to reduce the cycle of poverty, and that’s really cool to see and be a part of.
How do you define success?
I define success as being able to enjoy what you do and who you work with. When you’ve achieved this, everything starts to feel much less like “work.”
What leader inspires you?
I don’t think I can pinpoint one exact person that acts as my hero, instead I probably idealize “everyday heroes.”
There is one woman we work with in Ghana with so much passion for helping others; from teaching and training, to taking in abandoned children, to delivering babies, to sewing clothes for the needy; she never stops and she never complains. Those are the kind of people I respect and wish I could be more like.
It’s been reported that there’s a shortage of women in the financial services industry. What do you think is the best solution to help encourage women to enter this industry?
I definitely agree that there’s a shortage of women in the financial services industry.
The industry, in general, needs more diversity, and not just from the ‘check the box’ perspective. Women are earning more money, inheriting more money, and more likely to feel comfortable asking another woman a technical financial question as opposed to a man.
In my not-at-all humble opinion, I think women actually make better advisors than men! Women get things done, pay closer attention to the details, and generally do what they say they’re going to do, which builds trust with clients.
How we are going to help encourage more women to join the industry is the big question. Women need to be able to look up to someone and have a mentor they can aspire to become. Most of my mentors have been men, so I won’t discount that, but I hope that someday I can be a mentor for women in the industry.
Helping women earn professional credentials is also key. It’s going to make them more marketable and ultimately more qualified and confident to apply for upper level positions.
What are the most common financial mistakes you see being made?
The number one thing is people trying to pay off their student loans too fast and foregoing their retirement savings. People don’t realize that by forgoing those early years of retirement savings, you lose the value of future compounding returns which can be extremely powerful.
The second mistake I see being made is keeping too much in emergency savings. Our culture preaches virtue in having no debt and holding lots of cash on hand for emergencies. But holding too much cash can hurt your return going forward, and does nothing but get eaten up by inflation and fees. Don’t be afraid to invest!
The third mistake I see is people not openly discussing finances with their spouse. You need to make a conscious effort to keep an open dialogue with your partner. Especially when you start having kids, partners get busy with the day to day bifurcation of “you do this, I do that” and time goes by and eventually you’re not sure where everything is, much less how it’s invested.
What is your number one financial tip?
My number one financial tip is to pay yourself first and automate that as much as possible. Make sure that your you get those priority payments out first before you’re given the chance to spend it, and the best way to do this is by putting it into a different account.
What’s a fun fact most people don’t know about you?
I recently started playing racquetball, it’s so much fun and a great work out!