Miranda Reiter,CFP®, MPA, is a certified financial planner and founder of She & Money Financial Planning. A former banking professional, Miranda became disillusioned with the banking industry’s focus on selling products over personal attention and education. Education is a core value for Miranda and is at the heart of her practice and if Miranda had her way personal finance would be taught in all high schools.
Miranda believes “that financially planning should be available to everyone” and that “building wealth is possible no matter what income you have.”
When she’s not educating professional women she’s traveling the world with 30 countries already crossed off her world map!
What initially drew you to this profession?
My first career out of college was in banking. I was a branch manager and an investment specialist and had many colleagues who were financial planners.
One of my colleagues, Mike, a teacher-turned-financial-planne, was absolutely phenomenal at what he did. He knew how to listen to people deeply and help them get to where they wanted to be financially. He taught me how to do the same. It was so gratifying to see how I could help people improve their lives.
How do you approach financial planning and why?
I work with smart, professional women who want to buckle down, improve their financial lives, and accomplish their dreams. I have a hands-on approach that’s easy-to-understand, practical, and educational.
Working in banking, I became disconcerted by all of the unnecessary product selling we were required to do. People seeking financial help need guidance and education – educating clients was what I enjoyed most about my banking job. I love that this principle is a core part of my financial planning practice.
Why do you think there are so few women in this profession and what needs to happen for this to change?
I entered the banking industry 11 years ago via a top management associate program. After 3 months in headquarters, we could choose which division we wanted to work in. I was really interested in working for the wealth management division, even though there were very few women and almost no diversity. My mentor with the company was a male senior executive and I was not encouraged to pursue wealth management. In the end, I chose another path – one with far more women and diversity but also less prestigious in the eyes of the company. I think there are other stories like these from women in the financial industry who are looking to choose a path in finance that’s not traditional for us.
When the environment is like that, it’s hard to recruit other women. They don’t see anyone else who looks like them in that role and no one’s talking to them about the benefits of being a financial planner.
I also believe that educating the general public on the concept of “financial planning” needs more attention. We all know what lawyers do, but I get asked all the time what a financial planner does. More awareness about what we do in our field is key to peak the interest of those who aren’t in the industry.
How can we encourage more women to get excited about building wealth?
Once women really understand that building wealth is something that they can actually achieve without having a six-figure job or compromising their lifestyle it gives them motivation to work towards it!
Building wealth is possible no matter what income you have. It’s about knowing your net worth and how you can improve it. Anyone can work on this.
Who are your female role models in the finance world?
In today’s world, there are so many talented women who are educating us on finances. But I’m old school, so I think of Glinda Bridgforth and Suze Orman – they wrote some of the first books I read on personal finance.
If you could change one thing about the finance world, what would it be?
I would change the national public school math and finance curriculum in the United States so that children would be highly proficient in these subjects such that they can manage their own finances upon high school graduation.
What personal achievements are you most proud of?
I value education, so I’m very proud of having obtained my master’s degree on a full scholarship. I am also delighted that I was able to buy a house last year – that saves me $500 per month compared to what I used to pay in rent!
I am proud to be a Certified Financial Planner™. Only about 17% of financial planners have that certification. Lastly, I’m really proud to have managed my own finances in a way that allows me to enjoy life to the fullest!
What’s your favorite splurge?
Hands down, my favorite splurge is traveling the world.
When I left banking, I embarked on a journey to explore as many countries possible. I’m up to 30 and I’m not stopping anytime soon!