Boutique financial institution flips outdated script on women and finances with tailored, goals-based advice


Navigate the complexities of financial planning, wealth management and retirement planning with complete confidence that your preferences and needs are being heard

BlueShore Financial provides personalized expert advice for every client. Photo via: BlueShore Financial.

We all come from different backgrounds and knowledge bases regarding money matters. However, even in our modern era, it is still the case that women typically face more significant challenges, particularly in the finance realm, for many reasons–more often due to outdated interpretation rather than fact. 

That said, times continue to change and progress, and these various barriers, be they less earning potential, an impression of lack of knowledge, or preconceived societal stereotypes of roles, are breaking down.

Still, while progress continues to persevere, certain stigmas may linger for some. These old-fashioned sentiments may further discourage women from coordinating meetings with advisors to gain more insights into their personal finances, but no more. 

To combat this stigma and alleviate any discomfort, Ilana Schonwetter and her colleagues at BlueShore Financialcommit every day to flip this outdated script. 

Whether it’s financial planning, investments, or retirement goals, BlueShore advisors empower all of their women clientele to feel confident and committed to life’s most essential facets – your future and your finances.

“Many of my clients communicate to me that when they are dealing with a female advisor, it’s a very different experience for them,” Schonwetter explains. “When working with a male, they don’t always feel as heard, and they feel they’re not being taken seriously. They find that, when they ask a lot of questions, they’re sometimes being talked down to and being patronized.”

Schonwetter’s clientele typically fall into two categories: the first is the savvy, successful entrepreneur who’s made some money and needs to grow that wealth going forward.

The second category includes clients in their 50s or 60s who are recently divorced or widowed. They are entering the world of finance for the first time, which can be daunting.

“They feel that they do not have the tools to make the necessary decisions going forward and are looking for somebody to guide them, educate them and to listen to them so they can grow and make empowered decisions,” Schonwetter describes.

This is where Schonwetter doubles as a guidance counsellor or reporter by distilling complex information into easily digestible tips and facts. Visual charts, straightforward language and analogies are the tools of the trade to ensure all BlueShore clients leave a meeting with more confidence and financial literacy than when they arrived.

The process begins with a planning exercise that establishes where a client is and wants to go, and the client and advisor determine and set short, medium and long-term goals. This step also considers the individual’s risk tolerance, fears and dreams to create a roadmap focusing on kids, grandkids, retirement or charitable giving.

“I constantly say that investing without goals and a target in mind is like getting in a car on holiday without a map – you’ll end up somewhere, but it’s not necessarily where you wish to be,” Schonwetter says. “If you want to get to a specific destination, lay out a path to get there.”

Developing investment strategies happens much in the same way: BlueShore advisors define and differentiate the basics around stocks, bonds, cash-equivalent instruments or tangible asset targets such as real estate or commodities.

It starts with a big picture that is then narrowed down.

“Women, by nature, are typically a little bit more conservative than men, they’re a little more risk averse, and they often don’t like to see big fluctuations in their investments,” Schonwetter explains. “It’s important to explain how these different investment classes interact and how they fit together.”

Beginning as early as possible is the ideal starting point for retirement planning. BlueShore advisors establish goals and how much monthly income you want in your retirement years and work backwards from there, covering all facets of your later years.

The entire process begins with instilling confidence. Choose an advisor based on your gut feeling about who that person is and what they value; ask for references, qualifications and how they’re compensated; and interview at least three advisors before making your choice.

 “I think many women feel silly or that they should know certain things, and that makes them afraid to ask questions - throw that concept out,” Schonwetter says. “Asking questions, being curious, and wanting to learn is a sign of intelligence.”

To learn more about BlueShore Financial’s suite of personalized advisory services, visit blueshorefinancial.com.