10 Things Every Woman Should Know About Financial Planning

cosmopolitan.com1. You're in charge of your own income. Some financial planners will take on a commission-based role, where they're paid a percentage for each client they see. Other financial planners work on a flat fee, which earns a flat rate for each client. It's also pretty common for financial planners to start their own businesses — which is what I did. There are more risks associated with running your own business, but it's also incredibly flexible. Depending on how much you want to work, you can make well into the six figures.

2. You'll spend half your time just finding new clients. Your success in this field depends entirely on your ability to find clients. In the beginning, I took every coffee meeting I could and networked like crazy, trying to get clients who would pay me for my expertise. Now, after about 10 years of doing this, I have relationships with people who refer clients and I use online marketing to get more, but I'm still always looking for new clients to grow my business. Plus, about half of my clients only visit me one time to create a basic money management plan, so I need a constant influx of new people.

3. It's a good idea to specialize in a certain kind of client, like a doctor does.Otherwise, it can get overwhelming to try to know everything. My clients are all professional women in their 30s and 40s — a demographic I chose for both personal reasons (I'm an entrepreneurial woman in my 30s) and because market research shows women are still underserved by the financial services industry. As more women started to become breadwinners, it seemed like there was a huge need to serve women, so I wanted to become that person. I don't stray from that niche: I don't work with retired women; I don't work with women straight out of college; I don't work with men. Being so particular and becoming an expert in their particular financial concerns has actually helped me to become successful.

Read more