To build a career as a woman in finance, ‘you must want it more than you fear’

I started my career in finance in 1994.

My first job in finance has a description like the following:

  • Make 250+ cold calls a day. Most people will hang on to you or shout at you while working with about 15 others in a back room.
  • Once you get seven “hot clues” that turn into customers, you can get out of the back room.
  • If you pick up a team, you will continue with the 250+ calls per day, but the clues will go to your team leader. You will start studying for your stockbroker license.
  • Salary $ 1100 / month, long hours and a dropout rate of ~ 70%.

I think one of the biggest reasons why there weren’t many women stockbrokers in the ’90s is that most women would see that job description and have the common sense to say,’ why would I want to do that? ‘

In 1994, there were no ‘wealth advisers’, ‘financial planners’ or any other of the 100 descriptions real advisers call themselves today.

There was one title: stockbroker. We did one thing: tone stocks.

In the nineties, we attracted new customers by calling. Your success was based on your abilities over the phone. You needed two ingredients: a true faith in yourself and the ability to talk on the phone.

At its peak, our office had 50 to 60 people, either a stockbroker or they wanted to become one. I always felt it was an advantage to be one of two or three women. It gave me the opportunity to stand out.

Enter the “ring of fire”

After catching up with a team, I realized I wanted to manage my own team. First I had to overcome the ‘ring of fire’.

The president of the company would come to our office. Everyone gathered in a large circle, and when he called your name, you went to the middle for role play. He was the customer, and we had to give him the best stock idea for him.

It seemed like forever, but probably only seven minutes. If you did not convince him, these seven minutes would be one of the most humble experiences of your life.

I blew it the first time I entered ‘the ring’. The president had a loud voice and sounded like the most aggressive salesman of used cars. I would not manage a team if I could not play the game. Period.

I was not going to fail, but when I did, I did not allow it to rattle my core. No one would care if I never ended up in the “ring” again. There were 10 to 15 other people who were ready to get in there and make a name for themselves.

You must want it more than you fear it.

Overcome your fears

Bryn Talkington, Managing Partner, Requisite Capital Management

Scott Mlyn | OilGasJobz

The difference between the first and the second time was night and day.

I started studying the successful people around me. I made note cards. I studied every analyst report I could find and then distilled to “Why would anyone want to buy this stock?”

The next time the president of the company came, I nailed it. Shortly thereafter, I became the first woman to lead a team in the firm’s private wealth division.

There is no way I would have the confidence today if I did not have to overcome so many fears early on.

After running a team for a year, I realized how big our industry is and how little I know about anything beyond the supplies we recommended.

I also realized that I was working at a glorified “kettle room” and knew it was time to move on.

Then I decided that what I really needed to do was learn how to do it right.

I spent the next 20 years, most of which were at UBS Asset Management, learning everything from the inefficiency in the municipal bond market to the merits of convertible arbitrage.

I did well in that world and many of my former colleagues are still my closest friends. I also worked with many thoughtful advisors and learned how to carry out their practices.

The best part of my job was to work with clients and teach them about the reality of investing. I achieved some success, but over the years I was not satisfied.

Go independent

Enter Doug John.

He was a successful private wealth advisor with amazing clients and more than two decades of experience. Given the limitations of working for a large firm, Doug decided that he would start an independent wealth management practice.

He asked me to be his partner and start Requisite Capital Management.

No matter how excited I was about this opportunity, the thought of leaving what I knew was terrifying.

Frank Herbert writes in “Dune”, “Fear is the mind killer.” We as women sometimes create our own glass ceilings. I’m not going to do it here.

The last three and a half years since we started our business have been the hardest, yet most rewarding years of my career.

As a perpetual ‘student of the market’, I feel like I’ve acquired a proverbial ‘PhD’ to work in the industry I love with a rock star team and a group of clients who inspire me every day .

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button