FA-IQ reached out to advisors to ask: What advice would you give to young women considering becoming advisors?

Lauren Cosulich, an advisor and partner at Summit Trail Advisors. Boston-based Cosulich has been in the industry for 16 years and has $677 million in client assets.

"First and foremost, join us. I love my career as an advisor because it achieves a trifecta of benefits:

  1. It’s fulfilling to help my clients with something as deeply personal as the wealth that they’ve earned and accrued for their family.
  2. I have tremendous autonomy and flexibility in my job, with an accountability to my clients and my colleagues but also agency to determine how I deliver for them and what I do on any given day.
  3. I’m not making financial sacrifices to achieve either #1 or #2; rather, it is a lucrative profession that gives me and my own family opportunities to live comfortably and be philanthropic.

Lauren Cosulich
The profession of financial advising is not just approachable for, but actually in need of, people with a wide array of backgrounds because the demographics, experiences, and priorities of our clients are widening and diversifying with each passing year. Relatable advisors who bring different backgrounds or perspectives to the role will continue to be in high demand.

It’s important to understand that there is not just one pathway into this career. My advisor colleagues at Summit Trail have degrees in history, psychology, math, economics, political science, genetics, engineering, and more, and our prior job experiences include time in high technology, viticulture, accounting and the art world. There are myriad skills and talents that are transferrable from other industries, but the one requirement is that you thrive on helping people.

The job of a financial advisor sits at the intersection of relationship management and client service, quantitative and analytical analysis, and problem solving and project management.

Those interested in this career should assess how their own talents and experiences can tie into that type of work. Once you’ve identified your own strengths, it’s helpful to find a firm or a team where your skills are complementary to those on the team.

One should also consider how she would do business development. Thinking creatively about how and where to source clients is important, and, again, there are infinite ways to go about this. My colleagues and I have clients whom we met through our alumni networks, our children’s schools, houses of worship, our spouses’ colleagues, etc., not to mention the referrals that ultimately accrue from happy clients, attorneys, accountants, and other professionals once you have a book of business established. Specializing in certain types of clients — e.g., entrepreneurs or divorcees — is another way to narrow and refine one’s business development efforts and create a strong association in the minds of possible referral sources.”

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