On episode #9 of the 2B Bolder podcast, guest Jennifer Currin Gutridge, Executive Vice President McGee Wealth Management, shares her passion for working with multigenerational clients, helping them build, preserve, and transfer wealth efficiently.
Hear how Jennifer started in the business, what she loves most about her career, the challenges she has faced, and her valuable advice for those looking at building a career in money management and financial planning.
The 2B Bolder Podcast provides you first-hand access to some amazing women. Guests will include women from leading enterprise companies to startups, women execs, to coders, account execs, engineers, doctors, and innovators.
To be inspired visit https://www.2bbolder.com/podcasts
Learn more about McGee Wealth Management https://www.mcgeewm.com/
Hi there. My name is Mary Kill Olia. Welcome to the to be bolder podcast. Providing career insights for the next generation of women in business in Texas. To be bolder was created out of my love for technology and marketing. My desire to bring together Lifeline is women and my hope to be a great role model in source of inspiration for my two girls and other young women like you, encouraging you guys to show up. But to be bolder and to know that anything you guys dream of, it's totally possible on to be bolder. You're gonna hear inspiring stories of how successful women some I know, some I just want to bring to you guys and they're gonna talk about their careers in business and tech, and they're gonna tell us their stories about their passion in their journey and they're challenges. And we're gonna learn some of their advice along the way, too. So sit back, relax and enjoy the conversation. Today on the show is a woman who is smart and savvy about finances and investing. She's dedicated, hard working mom with a generous, heart fun loving spirit in an outstanding work ethic. She is a member of the executive team that McGee wealth management and a certified financial planner. Professional. She helped clients build, manage, maintain and preserve their wealth. Today's guest is Jennifer Curren. Gut Bridge. Jen, it is so great to have you on the show.
Thank you, Mary. Thank you for having me and looking forward to this.
Okay, So can you tell us about McGee wealth management for those that might not be familiar with your company. And also tell us about your role in responsibilities.
Sure that we are located in Portland. And Mickey Welcome hasn't moved to Portland in 1989. Founded by Judith McGee. We have four financial advisors that our client facing all our women a total staff of about 17 people currently at this time, um, we manage money for business owners, professionals, executive, multigenerational families. We do some nonprofit work as well, but really, we do the comprehensive financial planning and investment management. So we're wanting to make make sure people are meeting not only their short term, but their long term goals and then taking a look at their investments. Everything from their retirement plans to employer sponsored plans. Uh, after tax accounts, education accounts, trust account, reviewing all of their insurance, making sure they have proper life insurance for their families, making sure they're adequately insured as faras auto umbrella policies. Disability, health. All those things look at their tighter insurance picture, looking at their state planning, making sure they have everything and what we call dying order. Meaning they have their will, their powers of attorney healthcare directive trust if needed. Looking at their entire, you know, state planning picture in referring them out to attorneys if they need help in those areas. Also looking. If they have young Children, their education planning, making sure they have proper funding for college like 5 to 9 plans things of that nature. So, really, we're looking at the entire financial life, making sure they have everything in order so they can read the long term bulls and and live a happy, healthy retirement.
That's great. So your role and responsibility is working with individuals in whatever particular areas that they need. Do you want out that business? Do they come to you? How is that work?
Well, having been in this business for since 1992 you know, initially, I was going out and networking and meeting and greeting and building up the client base. But as time went on, you know, it became more of a referral based business for me. So I would say at this point 90% of the new clients that they take on a referral based
That's wonderful. Okay, so let's take a step back in time. Can you give us an overview of the career path? I know you've been with me a long time, but if there's previous rolls or even within the company, how you started that has helped shape you to where you are today?
Sure, sure, No. As a college student, I really had no idea of you know what career path I really wanted to go on. So I grew up in eastern Oregon and outside a small town on a cattle ranch. You grew up and graduated from heaven on high school and after high school, I wanted to play basketball for a couple of years at North Idaho College in court. Elaine, I blew out both of my knees and decided it hang up my tennis
I really didn't want to live in a small community. So I decided to move to Portland, and I met a woman by the name of Judith McGee. In 1992 Judith was one of the first female certified financial planners in the Western United States,
so she offered me a job as I was still a college student at the time. So I worked at McGee Wealth Management and finished up my degree at Portland State. So initially I was just filing. And for the 1st 3 months, I thought, Oh, my
goodness, what am I doing? This is the most
boring thing I have ever done
in my life.
But as time went on, I got more and more interested. You know, I would sit in meeting with Judas as a note taker. You know, we type up notes after meeting. So clients, they're, you know, just review of everything that we've covered in the meetings and sitting. In each of these cases, every single person is different, the financial life different. Their family dynamic is different the way they saved maybe different. So I really grew a passion for helping people and just entire financial planning picture. So as time went on, I moved on to a paperwork transferring account, opening up accounts. Then, from that point, I moved to the trading desk and I was
trading desk for Oh, I want to say about three years. And then after the treating us, I get all of my licenses and started working with clients, I would say at about the age of 27 then went on to get my certified financial planner designation. And I did that through the University of Portland. They have a course. It's called Certificate in financial planning, and then you can go on once you pass that coursework. You could then bonnets it for the board through the cfpb designation.
What a great story. I've known you for years, and I don't think I've ever heard in that detail some of the steps. So that's that's really need. I'm glad that you sure that So what is a typical day looks like for you?
Well, every day's a little bit different that typically Mondays. For the most part, we have blocked out for our investment committee meetings in our Financial Planning Committee meetings where we really sit down and meat is an entire group all the advisers, Our analysts are assistant to really take a look at portfolios meaning with money managers, economists, you know, whoever we can get our hands on and listen to him, you know what we're doing with the portfolios and do we need to make any adjustments? And then we meet with the financial planning as a fighting after planning committee to really talk about all the financial plans we have, what we need to do for the clients. But I would say the bulk of my week is really sitting down in meetings with clients for both financial planning and investment meetings In really those meetings, it depends on the client or 1 to 2 hours per client to really make sure that we're covering everything you know extensively in the financial life.
Um, you mentioned earlier that kind of working your way up in your career there were certain certifications that you had to pass. Is there required education, continuing education that you have to meet each year?
Yes, absolutely. So Raymond James is our broker dealers. Raymond James has so many hours of see that we have to complete every year have the insurance license so We have so many hours of insurance that we have to complete every two years. And then with the CFD designation, there are, I believe, 30 hours of continuing education. So I try to be a continuous Lerner attending conferences, going to courses, staying upon tax LA because it's continually changing. You really have to stay on top of it.
So what are the pros and cons of being in your business?
It's very, very rewarding. And I think that is why I really love this business. Because it just feels so good when, for example, somebody is able to retire and they come in and they give you a big hug. And
thank you for all of the years
of helping us reach our dreams of being able to retire. I love to help people make smarter, you know, financial decisions in their lives and really just live their best financial life possible as Faras calms ago. You know, when you get into extreme market volatility and people are fearful, you know, behavioral finance really plays a big part and just really talking through with the clients, you know, here's the long term strategic plan. Let's not make any massive decisions based on market volatility that may be short term.
Is there an average age of your clients, or does your clients range in age?
You know they really range, but I would say for the most part, my clients are from 45 older. Just because that's really at the age where people, you know, accumulate really good net worth and really have you no assets to manage it really need the financial planning. I'm in my late forties, and I feel like you know, a lot of my clients around by age. I do work with a lot of Nike employees that are getting closer and closer to retirement. So, you know, working with their entire compensation packages and all of the benefits they have really helping them work through all of that. So I would say, you know, for the most part, clients Air 45 plus but a wide range.
When it comes to money management, what are the bids? Biggest mistakes that you see women make, and the reason I call out women is obviously I think this podcast is directed to women and sometimes I try to hone in on particular things that we can learn and grow from.
I think the biggest mistake that women make our just really not having enough confidence. A lot of women feel that they're not great with finances, or maybe their husband has always paid the bills
taken carols all of that. So they just don't have the confidence and, there may be, does not paying attention to it the way they should. They give up control. And so I have worked with a lot of women, you know, several women that have gone through a divorce, and they just feel completely overwhelmed because they haven't paid attention to where everything is, and they don't even know where their assets they're located. And then they feel badly. They've given up control and they lose confidence. So I would say that's probably the biggest mistake is just not paying close enough attention to your finances
right when it comes to your career. And I know right now Ah, lot of it is referral based business. But how important is networking?
Oh, it's it's huge, especially when you're getting started, you know, networking for the most part, even a lot of people when they started their careers, their first job or one of their jobs because of who they know, not because of what they knew but who they know. So no word of mouth is. It was a great thing. And, you know, networking with others have been great, you know, networking, for example, with the Nike Peace. Once you build up a few clients, the network is huge and they just keep referring. So you know, networking is always important, and we try to do that. You frequently set up networking appointments, you know, a few times a month just to make sure that we're staying in touch.
Um, so some of the skills included that I know you have is wealth management, financial planning, securities. How does someone who's interested in you know, a career like yours build up those skills, whatever recommended classes or other areas of expertise someone should pursue or hone in on?
You know, there's there's several ways to go about it, but I do know that the certificate and financial planning is becoming a bigger thing. I want to say there's well over 100 colleges nationwide that offer that OS you recently brought the certificate and financial planning Oregon State Online. So a lot of people couldn't work and get that planning designation, you know, on a part time basis, which is really nice for those people that need to keep a full time job, keep their income. So I think that's a great certificate. And then after you passed that, you can sit for your certified financial planner designation. You do have to have a college degree in order, you know, to have the cfpb designation. They also have MBAs and financial planning. And there's a college from financial planning that has a lot of the different courses in designations that I think is a great place to start.
That's awesome. I love that there's so many resources available on, um, it keeps growing, so that's great. So if I was applying for a financial planning or money management and I'm putting together my resume, what are some things that I should highlight on that resume?
You know, I just think it's important to take a mini finance type courses as you possibly can in college and try to get some internships, um uh, that are related to finance, you know, even if it's an investment firm or an insurance firm, something that is finance related. Uh, there is a pair of planner course as well, which isn't as in depth as a CFP designation. A pair of planner course doesn't take nearly the time, but it gives you all the generals of financial planning, but not as in depth. I think becoming a pair of planner would be great getting the CHP designation. And then, if you want to be more investment focused, the chartered financial analyst designation is a good one as well. The C s a no.
What would be key qualities or characteristics of a person that you would look for to be successful in money management?
Oh, I think just discipline, ethics, hard work, doing what you say you're going to d'oh being a continual Lerner having a growth plan, you know, sitting down, have a strategic plan and then really review that in my meeting, my goals and what did we set to accomplish this quarter or year, whatever the timeframe, maybe and really have a strategic plan and review those goals regularly, and I also think it's really important to have a network of pure group. So, for example, I talked to a lot of women financial by. There's nationwide. So if there's something industry specific that's going on or a problem you're having in your own business, really being able to reach out to other people for their guidance and advice as well,
that's great. Is this field predominantly male? And I guess if it is, isn't that a great thing? In a way, because it brings in a huge opportunity for women.
Yes, I think there is a huge opportunity for women. And when I joined Miggy welcome management in 1992 I want to say it was like 10 to 12% of the advisers Nation quiet. We're women. And in the statistics that I see today and even, you know, looking at Raymond James specifically, it really has not
that much. I want to say it's 16 or 17% of financial advisors in the U. S. Or women, which I find really disheartening because I think women make amazing financial planners. Just because we have that nurturing component to us that just, I think, really helps people succeed. So I guess it's my hope and dream that women will get more and more into financial planning and learn more about it. And I think one of the reasons historically women haven't done this is a career is historically. It was basically eat what you kill. And it was a commission based business, and women really needed the stability of income. So they were scared. Fear, fear that they wouldn't be able to provide for their families were. Now what I find is a lot of these practices have got to a team approach and, you know, everyone, maybe on salary, with bonuses rather than being such a commission driven business. So you know, my hope is that women will will become a larger percentage overall in this industry.
Those that's great insight. I know I mean nothing against male advisers out there, but as a woman, I I am interested in having a female advisor. There's some level of that relationship of trust. I don't know if others feel the same way, but it certainly makes sense to me. And I think I look at that, this being a huge opportunity for women and not just in this field, but like all fields where there's ah lack of women that shouldn't be discouraging. That should be encouraging.
Yes, I agree. And just, you know, feedback from a couple of women clients that I've brought on recently that had male advisers. You know, this is something for Mendel. Listen to a CZ. Well, a CZ. They didn't feel like they were heard, though. For example, one woman in recently she was telling her advisor, I want socially conscious investments in my portfolio. Environmental, government, social, economic. I want to be SG friendly and my portfolio. And he was still buying stocks in the port full and just really not listening to what she needed. So I think women are better listeners. And really, I want to do what the client wants, not what they feel is what's best for the client. We're really working as a team together and listening what the client really wants.
Yeah, that's great. Um, I know you mentioned early on Judith, um had brought you on to the company and given you a chance. So I assume she has been one of the mentors in your life. And maybe you can talk to the mentoring that she's provided, or if you have other mentors and then how you built those relationships.
Yeah, absolutely. She she has been amazing for me being a 20 year old kid from Rule Eastern Oregon and bringing me under her wing and and seeing that I had potential to become a really good financial planner, long term was amazing for me. So really, I think the biggest benefit was really just sitting in meetings with her. And, you know, she had been in the business for 20 plus years when I met her and just really sitting in with different cases and learning and, you know, really letting me continue to grow, offering the opportunities for, you know, conferences and getting better educated at the entire financial planning practice. But she really helped me in the fact that I could learn and grow with the practice. So, you know, I started it in the file room, and now I'm one of the owners of the firm. You know that having been with us from 1992 it was just amazing experience for me knowing that someone had confidence in me to become a really, really good financial planner.
What have been some of the biggest challenges that you faced in your career?
I think probably work life balance. So having two Children and really wanting to do the very best job you can at work trying to be the very best mother you can and try to go to your kid's activities and volunteer at the school and do all those things that yet still work. You know, a 40 to 60 hour week. And then we all tell ourselves, though I need to get to the gym.
More ball is here
more. I need to read more books I need to do to try some new hobbies, and I just think the work life balance piece is really hard.
you just have to tell yourself no more excuses. I have 100 68 hours in my week, and I need to just really be good at using time blocks to do what I need to. D'oh.
have more time than you think, if you really have good time management skills. But I would say the biggest challenge for me is trying to be a really good parent and have a fabulous career at the same time.
That's great. Well, I know you and I know you are a great mom. So you you've done well. What drives you to be successful?
Oh, I think just helping my clients and seeing them reach their goals in their dreams. And even if it's a short term goal or retirement, it's really satisfying to know that you're helping people in a positive way.
Have you ever had self doubt? And if you did, how do you overcome it?
Yeah, I have many times, and I think it's It's more mental than anything. You just have to put away your fear than yourself, doubt and, you know, build a good team around you. I think that's the biggest thing for me is that we have a fabulous support staff and we try to, you know, have a team that has really good skill sets in many different areas that were were divers. But I think a lot of the success I've had is just building a great team around May and, you know, knowing that and just putting your fears and your self doubt away and just, you know, having a lot of discipline.
What would you tell your 20 year old self if you could tell her something?
Oh, I would say that a lot of 20 year olds really don't know what they want to D'oh! And that's okay. You just have to, you know, continue, learn, you know, 10 courses, you know, try to find what you're passionate about. I think that's really key to success is really getting into a career that you're passionate about. So when you go to work every day, you're not dreading it. You know, I could honestly say I love going to work every day, So I think you really have to figure out what you enjoy doing and focus on that. And then another thing I would tell myself is a 20 year old is, you know, it's never too early to start investing, just the calm, pounding overtime. Even if you're putting in $500 a year of age 20 whatever it may be, you just have to really get started sooner than later. Because one day you wake up in your 45 years
so glad that I was disciplined to put money away when I could have been spending it on clothes or shoes or whatever. It may be
good advice What's your favorite part of your job?
love people. I love working with people. Everyone's different. I love working with different personalities, people, different skill sets and really helping themselves problems. Every client has a different situation in a different set of issues, and, you know, I like being a problem solver.
That's a great skill. Thio note that someone should be capable of being a good listener. Being a problem solver, a CZ. Well, as you know, you would typically think he should be good at math. You need to be, you know, skilled in numbers. But it's so much more than that. Absolutely. What's next for you? Well, I'm 40
eight years old. I have a daughter who's a freshman in college at Cal Poly, almost a disco and an eighth grade son, as you know. So I think I'm going to focus on callin my son for the next five years until we get him through high school. And then after that, you know, I really, really want to be more of an impact in the community. So I wantto volunteer
do more nonprofit work, really make a difference, you know, in the community as the whole. You know, I see myself working another 15 to 20 years. I love what I d'oh. But you know, once I get my Sun Rays, I really want to do more volunteerism. That makes an impact.
That's awesome, All right. Do you have any good books, business books, financial books, um, that you listen to or that you would recommend someone listen to who's interested in this?
Yeah, Ideo. I have a lot depending on the topic, so you know it's for a time. Management goes. There's a book by believing Name is Laura Vander Cam, and it's called ahead and 68 hours. You have more time than you think. It's really a pretty quick read, and I found it great. Just
really think about How can I
my time better? As far as just basic books on finance, there's ah, book called How Money Works. That I think is just really good about just giving people the facts of entire financial world world and how money works. Um, another good book. I just really feel that in our school systems elementary ed and such, we just really aren't teaching our kids enough about finances. So, you know, I made my daughter take a course that will throw the high school,
fighting off course. And, you know, she found it really valuable. It just I steal that. Kids need more education in this area because they get on to college and they take on a credit card and they rack up dead on a credit card, not knowing of the interest in all of it and how that works. So there's a book called Raising Financially Where Kids, Um, by Sarah Alison and Jonathan Knapp. I think that is a good book. Um, a great book I
I went to. I think that the first year Portland did the tech stocks and they had a gentleman by the name of Greg Bill there. And I think the topic of this text talk with water, the bamboo. And he also has a book called Water the Bamboo, Unleashing the potential of teams and individuals. That is a great book, I think, um, for women that have gone through divorce or have divorced situations going on a friend of mine, Kathleen Miller, up in the Seattle area. She's a C F. P a n n b a. She has a book called Fair Share Divorce for Women. That's a really good resource for women, that they're going through situations like that. So I mean, I could go on and on about, you know, good books, depending on the topic. But Stars podcast go. I think NPR has a podcast called NPR's Marketplace. I think that's what it's called. It's called out the top of my head that I think it's a really good podcast. I listened to a gentleman by the name of Michael Kitco. He has great podcasts on financial advisors success. The C S P they have some really good resource is as well on their website. And then there's also a podcast called Inside Strategic Coach, which is Dan Sullivan who really helps entrepreneurs with their time management and how to become really successful. That's another great podcast that I like.
Oh, those are great. Resource is, I've been writing them down, and I'm gonna definitely pursue a couple of these. So thank you for that. That's awesome. Sure. Um, that was supposed to be our last question, but I'm gonna ask you one more. Um, your job's gotta be stressful. How do you deal with the stress?
It ISS And you know, when I was younger, I would really if the markets were down 10% or something, I would take it home and I would lose sleep over, over over all of this. But if time goes on and I've been through many, many market cycles, you know, I feel that you just have to be able to separate. We don't work from personal and go home and enjoy your family and exercise. Do something for fun and you know, today's another day, so don't take it home and least loop overnight because that's not good for your health. And then you just feel terrible. So I think it's just you just have to learn how to manage it, because there are time in extreme volatility. You know, you really people get fearful and they're stressed. They're calling you and they want your guidance and you want to make sure that you're giving them the proper advice based on their age and their risk, tolerance and all of those things. So you know it can get really stressful, but you have to be able to manage it by, you know, separating the two at the end of the day.
Well, the information that you share today has been so valuable, and I know the audience is gonna love it. I could ask you so many more questions, but, um, I want to be respectful of your time. Thank you so much for being on the show. It was awesome talking to you. Where can someone learn more about McGee Wealth management? And then also, if they wanted to connect with you,
they can go to our website, which is, um, Mickey W m dot com. So that's a good resource in, uh, phone number at work is side 03597 2222 One other resource that I just thought of is there is a new group of women financial advisors nationwide. I'm in juice McGee and Lana Dobbins in my firm. They started Women's Leadership Alliance in the website of women's lead alliance dot or GE, and they have some really good resource is on that website as well for women that want to look into the financial planning industry.
Awesome. Fantastic. Thank you so much, Jen.
You bet. Thank you for having me.
Thanks for listening to the episode today. It was really fun chatting with my guest. If you like their show, please like it and share it with your friends. If you want to learn what we're up to, please go check out our website at to be bolder dot com. That's the number two little be bolder dot com.