WSR’s Hispanic Financial Advisor Of The Year Emphasizes Education And Recruiting, Shares Her Passion For Financial Planning
Some people choose careers by following in their parents’ or other influential person’s footsteps. Others choose a career on practical grounds, examining work environments, location, salary and interests to arrive at a choice that checks all their boxes. Others explore in college and early working years until they find the right groove.
Then there’s the rare individual who learns that a universe of knowledge exists about a topic that they were previously unaware of and learns with a passion until the education grows into a career. Sandra Terronez, WSR’s Pathfinder Award recipient for Hispanic Financial Advisor Of The Year, discovered her career in financial planning this way.
As Senior Financial Planner at Bogart Wealth, with over $2 billion in assets, Terronez leads the firm’s financial planning department, a role that allows her to live out a passion for wealth planning in a way that enriches the lives of her clients.
With 14 years of experience in financial planning, Terronez is a lifetime learner who emphasizes education as a key to optimizing clients’ lives and decisions and opening doors to financial industry careers for minority women, as well as an inheritance she can pass to her son.
We spent time with her to learn about her work, challenges as a woman of Hispanic origin, steps to advance minority women and advice for those who wish to pursue a career in financial planning.
WSR: How did you choose financial planning as a career? What are your favorite parts of the work?
Terronez: Growing up, money and how to manage it was never discussed in my home. I was encouraged to go to college and get a good job, but no one in my family had any real knowledge of how to build wealth, which led to my deep yearning to learn about wealth planning.
Choosing a career in financial planning educated me over the years, until I’m now able to convey to others the importance of making sound financial decisions for building wealth.
Some of the best things about my career as a financial planner are helping clients achieve their financial goals and helping them make huge financial decisions, such as when to retire. No two clients are alike, and I am always learning something new. I also love that I can pass this knowledge on to my son as he begins making career choices as a young adult.
WSR: What challenges have you faced as a woman of Hispanic origin in the wealth management industry? How can our industry be more inclusive to women of Hispanic origin?
Terronez: One of the biggest challenges for me is finding other Hispanic women in leadership positions as role models. Fortunately, I have met several senior financial planning professionals that have been phenomenal mentors. However, the availability and ease of finding someone with a similar background and culture in this industry has been lacking.
I feel that implementing more recruiting efforts targeting minority women is a good place to start. I think our industry needs to push for a professional cadre that is more diverse. Educating minority women, starting in high school and through college, on career opportunities in the growing industry of financial planning could tap into a tremendous amount of talent.
WSR: What advice would you give to a woman of Hispanic origin who wants to pursue a career in financial planning?
Terronez: Be flexible and ready to move where there is greater opportunity. Continue to educate yourself and pursue additional certifications and designations that will make you more competitive and in demand. And most importantly, never forget where you came from and always be willing to give back to your community.
James Miller, Contributing Editor & Research Analyst at Wealth Solutions Report, can be reached at ContributingEd@wealthsolutionsreport.com