What Glass Ceiling? How to embody the concept of UnNiched.

What does it mean to be UnNiched? The path to becoming UnNiched is different for everyone, but for ALL of us to become UnNiched means to turn our backs on preconceived notions of who we are, who we should be, and what we are meant to do. On this episode of UnNiched, Terri Spath and Tiana Brenneise, truly embody the UnNiched concept.

Terri and Tiana work for Sierra Investment Management, the parent company of Ocean Park Asset Management. Terri is Sierra Ocean Park’s chief investment officer and Tiana is Sierra’s national account manager. Sierra Ocean Park always looks for the right person for the job and it just so happens that for its CIO, CFO, and CCO positions, the right person was a woman. A refreshing perspective when you consider as of December 31, 2016, only 9.12% of the CEOs and 6% of the chief investment officers of the largest institutional money managers were women.

As CIO, Terri is responsible for market and economic analysis, portfolio allocation, investment strategy, and building client solutions at the firm.  Her extensive experience in the financial services industry includes portfolio management and analyst responsibilities at Franklin Templeton, Fidelity Investments, and RSF Capital Management. She holds the CFA and CFP designations and she earned her M.B.A. from Colombia Business School and an A.B. from the University of Michigan.

As Sierra Ocean Park’s national accounts manager, Tiana is responsible for enhancing and maintaining relationships with national broker/dealers and investment platforms. She has helped cultivate and grow the distribution of Sierra’s investment management products throughout the country. Tiana earned a B.A. in business administration with a concentration in corporate and international finance from California State University at Fullerton.

Join me as I engage in a fun, lively and enlightening conversation about confidence, gender roles, and opportunities for women with these two UnNiched industry powerhouses.


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Advocate by Day and by Night – Raising a Special Needs Child

In this episode of UnNiched, I talk to attorney, Lara Kapalla-Bondi.  Lara is an attorney and the mom of a special needs child.  During our time together Lara share with me a little bit about what it’s like as she navigates all of the special financial planning needs that are an everyday consideration for special needs families.

Episode highlights:

  • Learning to be an advocate for those who can’t advocate for themselves.
  • Advocating for a special needs child

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Solving for X – It’s About The Relationship, Not the Numbers

In this episode of UnNiched,I had the pleasure of talking to financial adviser, Maddie Parker.  Maddie talks about her transition from high school math teacher to financial adviser, transforming a long-standing practice into a modern business, and dealing with harassment and discrimination both as a teacher and a financial adviser.  She shares her thoughts on cultivating relationships and resources to create a meaningful connection with clients.

Episode highlights:

  • Why math skills should not be a barrier to becoming a financial adviser
  • Relationships matter – Maddie Parker’s thoughts on how we talk to high school boys v. how we talk to high school girls
  • Being young and female in a male dominated industry
  • Working with family. How to interact with your dad when he’s also your boss
  • Revolutionizing and modernizing a long-standing advisory business
  • Responding to sexual harassment on social media
  • Educating the next generation on respect and crossing the line into harassment
  • The importance of surrounding yourself with the right tools and resources to be the type of adviser you want to be.

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The Financial Wellness Gap with Mark Mersman

In this episode of UnNiched, I explore the bold statement that our industry, the financial services industry, has failed women investors. Instead of viewing us a resource of investing knowledge and confidence, many shy away because they don’t feel confident in their knowledge. Discussing this with me is Mark Mersman, Chief Marketing Officer at USA Financial and head of the Financial Wellness Initiative. Mark offers insight in to how women have a gap in financial education and how our industry can help combat that gap. We have a responsibility to create new and more effective ways to reach our female clientele.

Episode highlights:

  • Only 52% of women feel confident about managing investments
  • How can we think differently about the way we’re talking to women investors and how we’re inviting them into the conversation?
  • Consider different ways to communication to your female clients
  • Women are diverse and want to consume information differently
  • There is a feeling that we have to be experts in finance in order to talk to a financial advisor. How do we change that perception?

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Working with Family

In this episode of UnNiched, I interview Teresa and Jim Yent of Golden Years Advisors about working together as a married couple. Joining me is my husband husband, Matt McGrew, to offer his perspective on working with me at USA Financial.  Each couple shares insights and advice about the joys and pitfalls about working with your spouse.

Episode highlights:

  • How their business began
  • Keeping the peace – how Jim and Teresa handle disagreements
  • Benefits of working with a spouse
  • Complimentary approaches – How we handle clients differently
  • What we love and hate about working together
  • Advice to others working with family

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Breast Cancer Awareness

In this episode of UnNiched, I had the opportunity to talk to three different women that have faced or are currently facing a breast cancer diagnosis. Listen to each women describe her battle and how it has affected them both personally and financially. Just like no cancer diagnosis is the same, neither is how we deal with the challenges. Advice is offered to financial advisors on how to approach clients and support them during and after a diagnosis.

Episode highlights:

  • Personal stories on three very different diagnoses
  • Financial implications when facing cancer
  • Thoughts on how a financial advisor can approach and support a client facing a battle with cancer
  • The battle doesn’t end after treatment – long term financial consequences

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A Conversation on Confidence

Join me in the first episode of UnNiched where I interview Confidence Coach Christen Shefchunas.  Coach Christen talks about the challenges women face with confidence, specifically in a male dominated industry. She explores her thoughts on how our brains operate and how this can differ by gender. Identifying and addressing our thoughts and fears is key to building confidence and Coach Christen offers some specific steps to follow.

Episode highlights:

  • How to gain confidence as women in a male dominated industry
  • As a male advisor, how do you approach your female clients
  • “Fear dominoes” – Coach Christen’s thoughts on how women’s brains operate differently
  • Conquering the “what ifs”
  • Advice to male advisors on how to approach their female clients
  • Our brains: “the boxes” vs. “the ball of wire”
  • Steps to identify our thoughts/fears and address them
  • The importance of giving yourself credit
  • Confidence Nuggets

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