It’s been 55 years since I helped my Finnish grandmother take a blueberry pie out of the white enameled oven in the parsonage in rural Maine where she lived with my grandfather. At the age of 9, enjoying a week without my grandparents and siblings, I was there for her gardening, cooking, baking, sewing, and watching my I sewed the last stitches on the red velvet purse she had made for my birthday.
“Always use the best ingredients, the best ingredients,” she repeated throughout the week in July. “Your time is a big investment. Your time is very valuable. Don’t waste your precious time on cheap materials.”
That’s why I shop for dinner at Whole Foods or at a (local women-owned) quilt store with a bag of Japanese indigo or English floral fabric for my next project. Honor her every time.
My parents taught me the importance of work. The Grammy Awards taught me the value of my work.
As women slowly gain traction in the financial advisory profession, clients are guided by the wisdom passed down from female founders to their young daughters. The advice I received from my thrifty and creative grandmother seems to be much the same as that shared by two cutting-edge baby boomers who have just handed over the business to her daughter-in-law.
“We always quote her,” Elizabeth Dwiley said of Cybill Sternreeve, who founded what is now Merrill Lynch Wealth Management’s Novik Dwiley Group more than 40 years ago. Mr. Sternreeve has the same point of view as my grandmother. Please check the goods and buy carefully.
“The biggest mistake you can make is investing in something that’s of poor quality or what’s trending that week,” said Dwylie, citing Sternlieve’s mantra. “Sometimes boredom is better. Boredom is transparency. I have a lot of clients who say the same thing.”
get married and join the practice
Dwyi would eventually marry a medical practitioner. She has been engaged to Sternleave’s grandson for eight years through her daughter Susan Novick. The shift in ownership centered around Novik’s ability to ease practice into new modes without destroying the cultures that clients hold dear. “Susan has modernized the business while maintaining Sybil’s core values,” Dwiley said. “That’s difficult, isn’t it? And because Susan took the time to understand what Sybil was teaching, it worked and we were able to bring the basics Sybil taught into this new era.”
The money wisdom of matrilineal societies has the potential to destroy one of the most vexing aspects of financial ignorance. That’s because, according to T. Rowe Price’s latest “Parents, Children, and Money” survey, children overwhelmingly look to their parents for financial guidance, yet jump to social media in their teens. Thing. . The survey found that 62% of parents are at least somewhat reluctant to talk to their children about financial issues.
Could more women in advisory and investment roles change the flow of money in families?
Perhaps if Magdalena Johndrow had anything to say about it.
She has been with Johndrow Wealth Management for seven years and is in her second year as managing partner, succeeding her mother-in-law and company founder, Lori Johndrow.
Lori Johndrow’s intuitive risk management style — ‘just try it, you can always change course’ — became the touchstone for Magdalena Johndrow’s adoption of new technologies and client service platforms.
But it’s advice from her own mother that will be the North Star for Magdalena Johndrow. “She was always in favor of making her own money,” she says. She said, “She can work part-time, she will be free, so let’s earn by ourselves.”
keep the family solvent
It was a lesson learned the hard way, as Johndrow’s grandmother had to pick herself up to keep the family going when her husband was unavailable. My own grandmother’s emphasis on quality probably came from her disappointment with her household chores. Her grandmother and my grandfather she married in 1927, and by the time of the Great Depression she was raising three little boys. Perhaps she got disappointing results from her failure to be thrifty.
Naive advice too easily falls into cliche. This is especially true when complex financial concepts are reduced to bromide that is smoothly dismissed. But there’s a reason the timeless wisdom we remember best. Because it resonates regardless of family circumstances or economic trends. More female voices will bring guidance and reassurance to clients who best fit their tone.