Financial planners have to be good with money.
And if you’re good with money, you’re good with numbers. If you’re good with numbers, you’re good at maths. So, by that logic, financial planners must be excellent at maths.
Not exactly, writes Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz on LinkedIn.
Schwab-Pomerantz’s father was Charles Schwab, the founder of the eponymous San Francisco-based brokerage company, and today, she’s a certified financial planner and author of “The Charles Schwab Guide to Finances After Fifty.”
On LinkedIn, while writing about the lack of women financial planners, she explores the finding from a recent Charles Schwab study that says millennial women prefer to work with a woman financial planner. This presents a challenge and an opportunity for the industry. Why, she asks, is there such a disparity between the sexes working in financial services? It may be in part because of the stereotype that boys are better than girls when it comes to maths and hard sciences, she muses, a bias that gets ingrained in many of us from a young age.
But, Schwab-Pomerantz writes:
“Careers in financial services aren’t just about maths. To be a good financial advisor, you need to understand your clients. You need to be intuitive, dig deep into what your clients want to achieve, help them define their goals and then help them reach those goals. My dad always says you have to be empathetic and put yourself in someone else’s shoes. To me, that’s at the heart of any good financial advice.”
She has a point. Much of dealing with money, at any level, is managing the emotions surrounding it: jealousy of someone who has more, desire for something you hope to afford, anxiety around finding and keeping a high-paying job, satisfaction at being able to pay each month’s bills. Money is something that touches everyone’s lives, whether you’re good at maths or not.