Kacie Swartz CFP®, CIMA®
Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.
Hi! I'm Kacie Swartz and as of January 2023, I bought half of a small financial planning firm. All 5 of us employed at the firm are women and we are one of the few all-women financial firms in the country.
Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?
I joined Ellevate in the summer of 2022 knowing I wanted to take this big leap. I found a business coach, a great squad of supportive women and so much motivation to push toward my goals.
How would you define your professional mission?
My professional mission is to expose people to collaborative and compassionate financial planning. To spread the word that finance doesn't have to be intimidating, to remove some of the mystery about personal finance through financial literacy and to encourage other women to join the industry.
What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?
The qualities that make a successful financial planner are the same qualities that make for a good therapist or teacher or any of the "helping" professions! For years, there has been to much emphasis on the hard data of the markets and I think that has discouraged some people from this career who would be KILLER at connecting with their clients. Emotional intelligence is key to helping people meet their financial goals and I hope I bring that to my interactions both professionally and personally.
What are some career challenges on your radar?
I just became an owner of one of the only financial firms in the country with an all-woman staff. I need to learn more about the corporate elements of the firm as well as how we can differentiate ourselves in marketing and media; basically how we get the word out!
We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?
So many of the choices that led me here didn't feel like "choices" at the time. I picked a college based on the biggest scholarship I could get. I was a stock broker's assistant during college because the schedule worked with my night school classes. During my career, I moved around the country and the financial industry and learned so much about what makes the markets work, what the money managers are thinking, and how people view their investments. I'm proud to say I CHOSE to be a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (TM). I did the work and sat for the certification because providing fiduciary level financial advice and helping people understand and manage their money gives me great joy.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding thing I hear from people is "I feel so much better after talking to you." Uncomplicating personal finance for people is my life's work.
What is it about your job that makes you feel it’s the right fit for you?
I love my job because I am a naturally optimistic person and spreading my enthusiasm for financial planning, savings strategies, the power of the Roth IRA, and other nerdy finance stuff makes me so happy. I get to listen to people tell me their wildest dreams, research how to get them to those dreams and the joy of sharing the results. It's the best feeling in the world to tell people they can make their dreams work.
On the other end of the spectrum, sometimes I am the solid rock a person can rest on while they are going through a hard transition in life. Providing comfort, reassurance and a path forward is also extremely rewarding.
What does success look like to you?
To me, success is defined as security for my family, being a good role model for my two little girls, and maintaining strong personal relationships with my clients and co-workers.
What is one piece of advice you’d offer working moms?
My girls are 2 and 4, so it's still early days for me. However, I am grateful that I am past the infant stage. so the advice I give to new moms is that the hard days pass just like the good ones.
Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.
Kacie Swartz CFP®, CIMA®
Black Barn Financial
Kacie is a personal financial planner living in Austin, TX with her husband and small children. She is passionate about helping people feel confident with their money and empowered to ask questions and understand finances. She promotes financial literacy through public speaking, written publications, and to total strangers she meets at restaurants or the grocery store. Continue Reading
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