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Deborah Van Doorne

Deborah Van Doorne

Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.

I am a Financial Representative at Wealth Advisory Group LLC. I am a career returner to financial services and financial planning. So at the moment I am spending a lot of time building my client base as well as pursuing professional licenses and credentials.

Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?

A few years ago when I decided to pursue my dream of financial planning, my career coach advised me to "get out there and network". I found Ellevate from a Google search and it was my first networking event. All the way to the event in the car, I was so nervous. To keep myself from turning around and going home with my tail between my legs, I kept bargaining with myself, "stay a minimum of ten minutes, talk to one person, find one interesting story". When I arrived, Susan McDonald came right up to me, said hello, welcome and gave me a big warm hug! Who wants to leave that kind of event?

What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?

You have to be a good listener. You have to hear what the client is saying and not saying. Be willing to probe their answers and not take them at face value. Be curious. Also, it's a very competitive industry and male dominant. You have to have tremendous mental strength to keep going after rejections.

We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?

In college, I majored in Banking and Finance. After graduation, I landed a job in a brokerage house and moved around to different departments learning about several investment products. A career opportunity for my husband made me a trailing spouse as we moved to Brussels, Belgium for 24 years. The move crushed my financial career aspirations and I became a stay at home mom. When the kids got into school full time, I was looking for something to pass the time. I became an independent contractor for Berlitz, the language school. It gave me the opportunity to work with adults, who were often white collar and the vocabulary and discussions were often about business. The icing on the cake was that I could balance work and home by taking school holidays off. Surprise, surprise; after thinking that we would be permanent in Belgium, we came back to the states several years ago. I thought about going back to financial planning, but it is a tough business to start and I thought I would be too old. So, I took a couple of jobs in bookkeeping. I was miserable. I heard that the industry was crying out for women to join the ranks to increase their diversity. And, studies have shown that female clients are often dissatisfied with male advisors. It was enough to tell me that it may be late to start, but not too late.

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

We, as a country, are financially illiterate. Money as well as the decisions we have to make has become more complex. Women suffer from gender wage inequality. We live longer. So, we have to make less last longer. I love when I can help my clients work through the morass and create order out of the chaos in their financial world. And the joy when they can see a clear roadmap of how they are going to finance their life's goals.

What is your favorite social media site? Why?

Facebook. I have friends and family all over the US and around the world. I might not be able to do things with them, but we can stay in touch, share photos, and live vicariously in their lives.

What would you say your personal superpower is?

I can spot typos very easily. They just jump out at me!

What does success look like to you?

Being the best you can be. Fully utilizing all your talents.

What advice would you offer future leading ladies wishing to break into your industry?

Women are needed in financial services. We are better investors. Work for a firm to get some experience and your licenses. People who go out on their own often leave because they don't make much money at first and they need to pay rent and eat. Take advantage of the steady paycheck to put money aside. If you decide to go out on your own. Have survival money to last at least three years until your business is running well.

What is one piece of advice you’d offer working moms?

It's the hardest job in the world with the best rewards.


Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.