Update: Since publication, the ‘Keys to Financial Purpose’ event has been rescheduled to Wednesday, Jan. 3 at 6 p.m. Learn more here.
The holidays are a time of joy, togetherness, and, often, spending money. Overspending during the holidays can lead to lofty goals in the new year that include saving money and keeping track of personal finances. In fact, a recent Forbes Health/OnePoll survey revealed that improving finances was the second most popular resolution, right behind improving fitness. If those two goals are already on your radar, then you’re in luck! One local financial advisor wants to demystify the world of finance, with a side of physical activity, through a new event series geared specifically for women called “Keys to Financial Purpose.”
Keys to Financial Purpose was conceived by Robert Felton, a financial advisor at McKenzie Riedel Wealth Management in Wheeling. The concept was simple – bring women together to discuss financial principles before enjoying a relaxing yoga session. After studying investor behaviors and tendencies, he noticed that women were often getting left out of the conversation and wanted to find a way to meaningfully address this issue. “Finance has been an industry primarily dominated by men, so I wanted to create a channel to offer a unique way to discuss finance with women,” said Robert. “When someone consistently hasn’t been included, they might feel like the knowledge gap is continually growing. It’s vital to help all investors, especially women, understand that the gap will never grow so wide that it is impossible to navigate.”
With his target audience in mind, Robert wanted to reach women in a welcoming environment where they would feel comfortable opening up and asking questions. This led to the decision to add yoga to each event. Thus far, yoga has been led by local yoga instructor, Betsy Sweeny. “When I was working out the concept of this event, I sought feedback from Betsy to see if something like this was wanted, or even feasible. She quickly confirmed that there was a need for this type of information to be shared and offered to assist with the yoga portion of the event. It was her excitement and support for the event that helped put it into motion,” Robert explained.
Robert notes that these events are meant to feel more like a discussion than a lecture. Previous sessions have covered topics such as account types and asset classes, but attendees are free to ask any questions related to finance that might be on their minds. “We really let the conversations flow naturally to ensure that each attendee gets something that they need from the session. People might think that they don’t have enough money to work with a financial advisor or that they don’t know where to begin with a new financial journey, but there is an advisor fit for every investor.”
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“It is important for women specifically to deepen their knowledge of finances because it is essential for everyone to be included in financial conversations,” said Robert. He hopes that this series helps build confidence and deepens women’s financial knowledge. Robert also noted that these events also provide him with fresh insights that allow him to be more responsive to clients’ needs. “While the designations Accredited Asset Management Specialist® and CFP® Professional are esteemed in my field, engaging with clients is the best way to truly learn investor preferences. About half of all our clients are women, so the classes also help me get a better understanding of what women of all ages and economic backgrounds are looking for, and what, if anything, they would need from a professional financial advisor.”
Robert says that the first few “Keys to Financial Purpose” events have been quite successful, and he looks forward to continuing to offer these events throughout the year. “While yoga has been a phenomenal pairing, I am open to different ideas that might attract different demographics of women. So far, I’ve received suggestions to include wine tasting, pickleball, and a few other ideas with these discussions.”
Those interested in attending the next “Keys to Financial Purpose” are encouraged to join Robert and Betsy on Wednesday, Dec. 27 at Clientele Art Studio. This event will focus on reflecting on financial goals for the new year and financial concepts to help achieve them. Admission is completely free. Learn more about this event here. For questions and more information, contact Robert at Robert.Felton@mckenzieriedelwm.com.
Robert Felton is an Accredited Asset Management Specialist® and CFP® Professional who works as a Financial Advisor at McKenzie Riedel Wealth Management. Investment products and services are offered through Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC (WFAFN), Member SIPC. McKenzie Riedel Wealth Management is a separate entity from WFAFN.
• Alex Panas is the Program Manager for Wheeling Heritage, where she works with artists, small business owners, and community stakeholders to provide technical assistance and create meaningful programs that enhance Wheeling. She also serves as the managing editor for Weelunk. Alex lives in St. Clairsville with her husband where they raise four cats and four spunky backyard chickens.