Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.
Hello! I'm Abby Vick and I own a Registered Investment Advisory firm, where we put our female advisors and client first. Our mission is to help women close the wealth gap and to not just be involved, but lead the investment conversation in their communities. Women have 32 cents to every dollar men have in assets; this stat keeps me up at night. And research proves that when women are at the helm of making financial decisions, specifically on investing, they outperform men.
Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?
I'm a member because I am here to learn. As a newer entrepreneur, I have a lot to learn and each event has been created, performed, and attended by women. I get my energy and passion from being around these women; they bring fun and motivation to my life and I am so grateful for them.
What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?
Financial advisors are successful when they put their clients first, they consider a variety of options, and they are devoted to life-long learning. Finance is a field that changes regularly and being stuck in your ways is not something that will serve you well. Advisors also need to rely on industry experts to make sure they are providing the most up to date and relevant advice to their clients. It's almost impossible to stay abreast of all aspects of finance, but networking with experts, learning from them, and communicating that clearly to clients is important.
What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?
At a previous employer, I was promoted to an all-male team to work with majority male clients, which a lot of women were too intimated to work with. I took it because I like to think I'm hard as nails; I realized pretty quickly that I am not, but that it was ultimately up to me to establish boundaries so those around me would respect me. This is where I learned the art of demanding respect from clients; it doesn't mean they all preferred me or even liked me compared to my male colleagues, but they learned to work with me and treat me as I asked. That experience taught me that I can change an outcome of an experience and that even if I'm the youngest in the room and the only woman, I can still command the room. I don't need to command always, but the power and the confidence need to come from inside.
We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?
I actually have my degree in Social Work, which surprises most people I speak to about my current career choice. My first job out of college was providing financial education counseling to low-income families who needed to qualify to live in housing units. I would talk to them about saving, paying down debt, budgeting, etc. I realized how tangible financial advice is and it made me so happy to help them begin implementing small changes that could gradually change their lives. From then on, I have been learning any and everything I can about finance educate the most people. Then, I quickly realized how few women were around me and the reasons women "leave investing to their husbands". A majority of women have this in common, whether upper or lower class, older generation or younger, we tend to leave these investing or business decisions to men. So now, it's my mission to help women have more and more of these conversations.
Who are your role models?
The easiest role model to mention to Ellevate members is Sallie Krawchek. It can be intimidating for financial advisors to be as public as she has chosen to be because of legal issues, compliance, etc. So, I consider her courageous in addressing the public so clearly and openly as she has. And she speaks so directly to the disadvantage that women have in the financial marketplace. She's creating momentum in the financial industry that is being felt by so many of us; it's wonderfully encouraging.
My other role model is my boss in my first job out of college. She is a social worker building housing for low-income families and she allowed me a lot of responsibility as a 22 year old kid. She saw potential and allowed herself to trust me; I saw how critical this was and took the responsibility seriously. I grew so much under her mentorship and I will never forget her strength and determination to do the right thing at ever turn.
What is your favorite social media site? Why?
I am a huge fan of LinkedIn. I think the most organic relationships can be started there over other platforms. I have met such wonderful women across the country who have expressed interest in what I do and I am so happy to encourage them from afar even though they are complete strangers. I have created some long lasting networking or referrals from this platform as well. Also, the genuine discussion about articles, changes in society or industry have been really engaging and most of the time respectful. It's hard to find that on other social media sites nowadays.
What advice would you offer future leading ladies wishing to break into your industry?
More ladies in finance, please; And not just finance, but advisors, money managers, CEOs, Founders, etc. If you are interested in working in finance, I welcome you to contact me anytime. I have worked in several different silos and could help lead you in the right direction. What's key to know is the industry is confusing and a majority of the people I have met don't understand all the different pieces either, so just ask questions. I was too intimidated at first because I wanted to know everything, but we need more honesty, authenticity, and integrity in finance, so just ask!
What is the best career advice you ever received?
Find those things that really bring you meaning and fulfillment in your life and focus on that part of your career. If you have to pay someone else to do the other things that make you feel terrible, then figure out how to pay them. You will produce better work, you'll be happier, and your clients will be more connected to you.
What is one piece of advice you’d offer working moms?
Honestly, being a working mom is so incredibly difficult. My kids are young - 4 & 2, so I am new at this and admittedly not good at it. Find out what really makes you tick and do it! We all have something that is absolutely necessary for your happiness and it might take some time to figure out what it is. Once you find it, make sure you do it, even if you have to give up some kid time. I have so much guilt when it comes to interrupted kid time, but I realized that if I don't attend my networking events, Ellevate or others that I am not very nice. It's my time to be around other adults that I can laugh with and even vent to. I'm inspired at those events and if I miss them because my mommy guilt is too strong that week, it's hard for me to recover. What makes you tick? What provides you with some light and inspiration? Find it and hold onto it tightly.
Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.
Owner, Investment Advisor
Paradigm Money Management LLC.
With a social work background, I entered the financial services industry to help clients to create a financial foundation for their future. Paradigm was established to help women to engage in their finances, become educated, and make empowered decisions to accomplish their goals. My favorite part of my job is educating my clients on all the options available to them and how we can customize their financial situation. Continue Reading
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