Men, Minimums and Myth-busting
Starting with my favorite, here are the 3 most common questions I get in my myth-busting practice:
- (Eyes popping) Do you Really not work with men??
- (Squirming) Sooooo, how much do I have to have to work with you?
- (Feeling dodgy) And, uh how does this work, how do I pay you?
My all-time favorite contrarian question is: Do you Really not work with men?? The person asking is usually genuinely concerned and confused, almost worried, as if my practice will fall flat on its face because I work with “women.” The truth is that I don’t spend one cent marketing to men or one ounce of energy prospecting for male clients. Zero. Ever. There are plenty of other firms, thousands and thousands of other advisors and generally, the rest of the finance industry who already do that quite well. I’m going to let them continue to beat that horse. (For the record, my favorite conventional question is: Where have you been all my life??!)
What’s interesting is that I have a lot of male clients. Many of my Savvy Sisters have male spouses who are clients, and I have a fierce following of Unicorn Savvy Misters. They are Unicorns because they are precious and unusual. I have a handful of clients who have been with me for years, since before I was able to publicly speak out about my taboo love affair of helping “women and their families.” They are dedicated clients who are fiercely loyal and generous with their qualified referrals. They support me and our mission at Serendipity. Who I don’t appeal to is the know-it-all-DIY or the guy who’s going to “run this past my dentist.” And let’s just get this out there: if your guy has Napoleon Complex, we probably won’t be a good fit, chances are, he won’t respond well to my Glamazonian stature. But don’t fret ladies, if you’re married to one of these gems, I have an incredible knack working with divorcees – just sayin’. And, as macabre as it sounds, helping widows and widowers wade through the excruciating process of re-organizing family finances after the death of their partner is some of the most rewarding work I do.
Answer: If a qualified gentleman skipped through my doors at Serendipity, I would welcome the opportunity to turn him into a Unicorn Savvy Mister. In the meantime, I’m over here spending zero dollars and zero energy on trying to find him.
Here’s the second most common question we get: How much do I have to have to work with you?
Answer: (Dr Evil’s voice, pinky to corner of mouth) “1 Miiiiiillllion dollars!”
No, seriously, one million dollars. That’s our minimum initial investment guideline for money management and a financial relationship together. If you have 1 million or more in investable assets, we welcome the chance to partner with you, and empower smart financial decisions for the rest of your amazing life.
Do I ever make exceptions? Yes, all the time. I’m a softy and wish I could help everyone, but I can’t. So, I have measures in place to ensure I’m helping the right people. The way I’ve set up my practice, the more of the right people I help, the more impact I can have spreading financial literacy around the globe. Bluntly put, I have the capacity to provide quality financial service to a finite number of families and I can’t help everyone. Combine that with the way I designed my practice - so a portion I generate in management fees is set aside to fund women’s financial literacy projects around the planet – and it becomes more apparent why it’s necessary for me to qualify my clients so tightly. What gets me out of bed in the morning is my belief that: until we understand our finances, women won’t be equal. Quality service and a meaningful contribution to women’s financial literacy is how we roll.
Here’s the tricky part, just because you have a million or more in investable assets doesn’t mean we’re a good fit. See, it’s not all about the money. There are two other components we look for. 1. You need our help, and we can make a positive difference in your life. 2. We like you.
My ideal client can be defined very clearly, she’s a Baby Boomer Woman with Wealth. These clients, my Savvy Sisters, may be single, married, widowed, or divorced. She and her family typically have 1-3 million of investable assets and a complex financial situation and she doesn’t want to be burdened by either. Rather, these gals are living their best lives with purpose, they are family and community-minded and value advice, health, independence, and choices. Here’s a list of adjectives that describe our most treasured clients: dynamic, decisive, driven, divorced, disciplined, drama-free, delightful, down-to-earth, and Alaskan. One that’s deliberately missing from the list is “busy”, if you’re a self-described “busy person”, well… And, Alaskan? Yes, born and raised in that great state myself, Alaskan women are entirely badass and are absolutely and always welcome in my practice. If you can’t find any of the above attributes in yourself, you likely won’t cut it as a Savvy Sister. In a nutshell, my Savvy Sisters are dynamic women who kick ass at business and life.
Here’s an option to consider: If you need advice, like our vibe, and miss the minimum by a minute or a mile, you can hire us in a consulting capacity, for a flat fee. I’m excited to be able to offer this type of arrangement because I can help more women than I otherwise could, and I absolutely love it. These women have a strong desire to up their finance game and need timely advice but aren’t eligible or don’t need money management and the comprehensive planning and ongoing quality service that goes along with that. These gals are looking for straightforward, no-BS advice on a specific situation or how to help maximize and tweak their current saving plan so they can one day, work with us in a more meaningful manner. This offering is a godsend. I am so happy to be able to work in this capacity and help women get started or regroup that I would otherwise, not be able to assist. Women and financial literacy, that’s my jam.
“How do you get paid?” You made it through the gauntlet, and we are vibing on each other, so, how does this work? Great question with a very simple answer. I run a managed practice and the cost is based on the assets I manage for you and your family. The annual percentage is billed quarterly and paid directly from your account. The cost of management varies a little bit depending on which side of 1M your accounts are on. If you have more, say $3-10M+, the cost is typically lower but be warned, we’ll likely be spending additional time together, planning to ensure your legacy and values pass to heirs in the most tax efficient manner possible. Some of my most gratifying and impactful work has been in this complex arena. If you’re an exception to the minimum, the cost will likely be slightly higher.
I took a lot of shit when I first “limited my practice to women.” The detractors were BUSY! I blew that myth out of the water: that I wouldn’t be successful if I “only work with women.” Our practice is thriving BECAUSE we work with women. Here are some other myths we’re busting in the finance world: Finances are boring, scary, confusing and you’ll talk over my head.
Nope, absolutely not. Your finances are NOT boring and there’s nothing boring about me either. I’m a 6’1’ ball of fun! Your finances are a means to an end, they should serve you. What’s important to YOU? Let’s make it happen! Utilizing my COACH Approach®, we strive to manage your portfolio in such a way that you are free to live a life with purpose, whatever that looks, smells, sounds, tastes and feels like to you.
I don’t know if it’s my psychology degree or my 20 years in the business that makes me so good at what I do. But I have an uncanny ability for explaining very complicated financial material in very easy to understand words. I enjoy imparting just the right amount of knowledge so my Savvy Sisters can make confident decisions with less stress. We create a safe environment that is supportive and comforting in a “you’ve got this girl!” kind of way. It’s not scary and I won’t talk over your head, I promise. If I slip and sound like a “broker” for a second, call me on it and I’ll give it to you straight. Confusion is the last thing we want; our goal is to simplify your financial life, so it frees you up to be fabulous.
CliffsNotes: If your family meets our target minimum of 1M+ to invest, we’ll give you comprehensive, quality service and it won’t be boring or scary or confusing and in turn, we will donate a portion of our management fees to fund women’s financial literacy programs around the globe. Together, We’ll Make Sisters Savvy PlanetWide!
The foregoing information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that it is accurate or complete, it is not a statement of all available data necessary for making an investment decision, and it does not constitute a recommendation. Any opinions are those of Serendipity® Securities and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected. Raymond James and its advisors do not offer tax or legal advice. You should discuss any tax or legal matters with the appropriate professional.
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