Tag: Financial Future

Why Great Success Starts with Breaking Rules with Deb LaFrancis

Why Great Success Starts with Breaking Rules with Deb LaFrancis

As women in the financial industry, we have to break a few rules to succeed. Let’s face it, the financial industry has been dominated by male-driven practices and strategies for far too long… It is time to break that model and change the course of the industry to better adapt to the women and men working in it.

In this episode, Adri sits down with her previous boss, Deb LaFrancis, who now works for Adri at femXadvisor as a Coach and Strategist, as they get real about how the financial industry is evolving, and the changes that still need to happen for women to break out of the male-dominated molds and embrace their authentic selves.

Adri and Deb discuss:

  • Why Deb started breaking rules at a young age. 
  • Deb’s journey from a teacher to banker to Leadership Trainer for a major wire house but today she is living the dream. 
  • Deb’s role at femXadvisor and what she and Adri have established for women advisors
  • The rules you need to break to achieve your greatest potential. 
  • Deb was once Adri’s boss hear how the roles reversed!
  • And more

Connect with Adri Miller-Heckman:

About Our Guest:

Deb LaFrancis has over 40 years in the financial industry with an emphasis on training and leadership development. Following the traditional “male” role models, she climbed the corporate management ladder. Over the years, she found her niche and fine-tuned her focus to personal and professional life coaching, helping others be successful in business while achieving life balance. As a coach for femXadvisor, she encourages women to do what comes naturally, find their voice, and work with their clients in rewarding and satisfying ways.

Risk it All to Become Unstoppable with Jammie Serrano

Risk it All to Become Unstoppable with Jammie Serrano

Jammie was presented with an incredible opportunity but she walked away…she was totally qualified but assumed they wouldn’t hire a woman and told them so and that’s what got their attention. She spoke her truth and it changed everything.

We all have the capacity to inspire other women to succeed…But when you finally have a friend who shows you the actions you need to take to live out your passion you become unstoppable.

In this episode, Adri sits down with Jammie Serrano, Vice President of Advisor Development with Advisors Excel, to discuss Jammie’s journey as a female financial advisor, and why she won’t stop until every woman has reached her true potential.

Adri and Jammie discuss: 

  • The Power in Speaking your truth and stepping up
  • Why you don’t want to back away simply because it’s uncomfortable
  • What would happen if more women spoke up? 
  • “The office environment is totally manly and does nothing for women.” 
  • “Your process is NOT conducive to building relationships with women.” 
  • “As a female advisor, it’s not the money that drives me.” 
  • And more! 

These are the truths we need to speak and Jammie did it. This is how you kick-ass in business. 

Connect with Adri Miller-Heckman:

Connect with Jammie Serrano: 

About our Guest: Jammie Serrano entered the financial services industry 22 years ago with Security Benefit.  Although it was a male dominated industry it did not stop her from moving her way up and using her unique talents to thrive in an industry that needs more women. 

She took the knowledge she gained into the independent advisory sector and obtained her insurance license, Series 6, 26, 63 and holds her Series 65 today.  Along with meeting with her clients she also helped a dear friend build an independent firm through seminars, radio, TV, direct mail, client events and more.   

The rapid growth of that firm caught the attention of Advisors Excel, the largest independent marketing organization in the nation.  She joined Advisors Excel in 2013 and is now Vice President of Advisor Development. 

Using her industry experience from Security Benefit, Jones Advisory Group and Advisors Excel she was able to write a book, “Stop Guessing Towards Your Goals” and share her knowledge with others in the financial services industry. 

She has been recognized within her community as a leader and a successful businesswomen and coach. She studies leadership constantly, to help her great advisors become amazing CEOs of their business. 

When she isn’t busy traveling, coaching advisors and leading her team, she is a wife and mom of three beautiful children, Aspen (22), Oscar (12), and Olivia (10).  They keep her busy with sports teams and volunteering at the school.  

Finding Your Authentic Self While Working With Old School Attitudes (and Bullies) with Margaret Marapao

Finding Your Authentic Self While Working With Old School Attitudes (and Bullies) with Margaret Marapao

Female advisors must uncover their unique approach to doing business in the financial industry, even when it’s different. The next challenge is to maintain the courage to stay true to yourself even when you feel as if you are drowning in testosterone. Women must embrace their unique strengths to achieve the success they deserve. 

In this episode, Adri sits down with Margaret Marapao, CFP® Certified Financial Planner™, of Integrity Wealth Advisors, about her journey in the financial industry. She shares the wisdom gained from 10 years in a male-dominated trading company, that many women in the industry need to hear.

Adri and Margaret discuss: 

  • How Margaret got the nickname “The Big Ticket” when she first started her financial career 
  • The different roles men and women have played in shaping her financial career
  • How Margaret found her true calling working with women in the financial industry 
  • Why ditching the numbers allowed her to carve her path as a female advisor
  • What it takes to build strong client relationships as a female advisor 
  • And more

Connect with Margaret Marapao: 

Connect with Adri Miller-Heckman:

About our Guest: Margaret earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern California (USC). In addition, she received her Personal Financial Planning certification from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). She also earned her securities licenses and Insurance Agent Licenses in CA, WA, and she is a Certified Financial Planner and registered advisor representative at Integrity Wealth Advisors Inc.

At the age of 23, Margaret began her career in the financial industry as a trader for an investment management firm. She then moved to Client Services as a department supervisor and finally found her passion as a financial advisor, where her focus is to build deeper relationships with her clients and assist them with any unique challenges they face, and help them feel more confident that their plan and investments are aligned with their priorities and values.

She loves spending time with family and friends. She also volunteers in the community. She is the vice-chair and board member for a local school and has volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, Financial Planning Foundation, and USC Day of Service.

Embracing the Opportunity of Flexibility with Lynn Daly

Embracing the Opportunity of Flexibility with Lynn Daly

After being diagnosed with a life-threatening autoimmune disorder at the age of 13, Lynn Daly discovered the importance of embracing flexibility. 

As a female financial advisor, Lynn quickly learned that flexibility is essential to be more effective in your life and workplace.

In this episode, Adri talks to Lynn Daly, CLTC®, CDFA®, founder and owner of Daly & Associates at Focus Financial, about her experience as a female advisor in the financial industry and how her experience with a sudden illness shaped her path. 

Adri and Lynn discuss: 

  • Why Lynn shifted her career path from social work to financial advising 
  • Lynn’s experience with a sudden illness and how it directed her priorities in life 
  • Lynn’s current role at Focus Financial and her decision to focus on women
  • Why female financial advisors need to embrace flexibility in the industry 
  • And more

Connect with Adri Miller-Heckman:

Connect with Lynn Daly: 

About our Guest:  With a passion for helping high net worth women, Lynn R. Daly has provided financial services since 1991. It is this intrinsic desire to serve her clients’ needs that has led to her successes and longevity in this profession, and it continues to motivate her every day. By using a holistic approach to financial planning, her client’s financial goals and concerns are addressed as a component of the health and welfare of the whole person. Approaching everything with the “big picture” in mind allows her clients to retain the proper perspective, always focusing on the client’s long-term goals and future.

As an independent fee-based financial advisor, Lynn enjoys the ability to represent her female clients first and foremost, rather than any company or product. She feels that this independence is vital in providing balanced and sound financial advice. One of her key skills as a financial planner is her ability to discuss complex financial issues with clients in a plain and down-to-earth manner. Her organizational skills further enhance this ability to help her female clients understand and address their financial situation.

Making Life Lessons Out of Life’s Challenges with Sheryl Hickerson

Making Life Lessons Out of Life’s Challenges with Sheryl Hickerson

Trial and tribulations can either be a part of what sets you back in life or what fuels the fire to start your journey to success.

In this episode, Adri talks to Sheryl Hickerson, Founder, and CEO of Females and Finance, about what it takes to be fearless. Women advisors, you’ll get how the journey to find yourself can quickly put things in perspective and change everything!

Adri and Sheryl discuss: 

  • Why Sheryl decided to start her own financial company dedicated to helping women 
  • What it feels like to be the only woman in a meeting 
  • The hashtag that started it all 
  • Sheryl’s MAN “Male Ally Network”
  • How personal development helped Sheryl on her path more than business development 
  • And more

Connect with Adri Miller-Heckman:

Connect with Sheryl Hickerson: 

About our Guest: 

Sheryl Hickerson, CEO of Females and Finance, has proudly worked in the financial services profession for 32 years. She is an international speaker, an award-winning diversity advocate in the financial services community, and an award-winning financial services marketer.


Finding Success in Being Unapologetically Yourself With Matt Halloran

Finding Success in Being Unapologetically Yourself With Matt Halloran

When we talk about what female advisors are experiencing in the financial industry today, we typically hear about it from women who are experiencing it firsthand. 

But today, we’re exploring the male perspective of female advisors from someone with over 20 years of industry experience.

In this episode, Adri sits down with Matt Halloran, the co-founder of ProudMouth and a podcasting expert, about his views on what needs to happen in the financial world to better embrace female financial advisors by leveraging their natural strengths as women.  

Adri and Matt discuss: 

  • The current industry divide between women and male advisors
  • The importance of being unapologetically yourself 
  • Why the financial industry is resisting the necessary changes to incorporate women advisors
  • What prevents women from going rogue from their firm and becoming independent 
  • Why being the “best-kept secret” can prevent you from achieving your true potential 
  • And more


Connect with Adri Miller-Heckman:

Connect with Matt Halloran: 

About our Guest: Matt got started in the financial services industry 20 years ago as a certified life and business coach. As he became immersed in his client’s biggest needs, he built his knowledge and expertise as a financial branding and social media expert.  More recently, Matt has added podcasting to that list.

Matt’s first book, “The Social Media Handbook for Financial Advisors,” available on Amazon, was a big hit. He’s been leading the social wave in financial services for years – teaching top advisors how to be human in an oftentimes inhuman industry. His second book, “99 Best Ideas”, was an Amazon bestseller filled with marketing ideas.

Matt has served in the Navy, is a trained therapist, been a radio host, and worked as a financial professional in his list of accomplishments. Matt’s breadth of hands-on experience positions him superbly to help financial professionals build the marketing side of their practices.  

Breaking the Male-Dominated Mold with Arielle Bittoni CFA, CFP®

Breaking the Male-Dominated Mold with Arielle Bittoni CFA, CFP®

For women working in the financial industry, it can be hard to distinguish your path. It’s often a challenge to stand out, especially when you’re one of only a few women in what seems like a world of men…

But it doesn’t have to be like that anymore–

In this episode, Adri sits down with Arielle Bittoni CFA, CFP® to talk about Arielle’s past, present, and a sneak peek at the future of her life in the financial industry. We talk about how 

Arielle’s love of numbers grew while studying at Berkeley, her past work in institutional trading and the sales industry, as well as her transition from the role of sales into a financial advisor with a company Arielle, didn’t fit into that, gave her the push to go independent and co-manage her own company –  Refresh Investments. 

Adri and Arielle discuss: 

  • Arielle’s motivation in the financial industry to push her to the path of success she is on today 
  • Her experience as a woman in a male-dominated industry 
  • Why Arielle reached out to Adri for coaching and how the program enlightened Arielle on her path 
  • The blend between numbers, analytics, and relationships as a financial advisor 
  • How Arielle’s client focus shifted towards women and families 
  • And more

Connect with Adri Miller-Heckman:

Connect with Arielle Bittoni: 

About our Guest:  Most of Arielle Bittoni CFA, CFP® clients are dynamic women who are doing it all, they’re constantly challenged with balancing career, family, and life leaving little time for anything else. When financial issues arise, it threatens that delicate balance, increasing their frustration and stress. Instead of looking for a quick answer, they’d rather discuss their issues, and brainstorm ideas and solutions that give them a clear direction they can achieve with confidence.

Arielle creates a collaborative environment where her clients can comfortably engage and discuss solutions that make the most sense to them. By helping to organize and plan out their future, her team can reduce stress and anxiety giving them back some of the precious time that they know is so valuable.


The Importance of Receptiveness and Openness in Your Career with Emily Patton

The Importance of Receptiveness and Openness in Your Career with Emily Patton

Many advisors are passionate about working and helping women, but they’re afraid to lock themselves up in too narrow of a target market and end up in a pigeonhole.

Today we will show you how this fear is unfounded, providing more light on the power that comes with a clear focus.

In this episode, Adri sits down with Emily Patton, Founder and Partner of The Partners Group LLC, to talk about her experience in the financial industry, including why she made the transition into the industry, the importance of family, how she sets her personal goals, embraces struggles, and celebrates accomplishments. In this episode,

Adri and Emily discuss: 

  • How Emily went from coaching gymnastics to a financial advisor
  • The scariest part of the job and transition for herself 
  • How Emily was able to find personal success 
  • The purpose Emily has created at her company and within herself 
  • Her experience with special needs financial advising 
  • Emily’s advice to other women who are fearful of fully committing 
  • And more

Connect with Adri Miller-Heckman:

Connect with Emily: 

About our Guest: Emily Patton, Founder and Partner of Partners Group LLC,  was raised by an amazing woman, her mother raising 4 children on her own, she struggled financially. She continually told Emily and her siblings “work hard and save well, so you never feel trapped and always have options.”

When Emily became a financial advisor, she recognized how many women, like her mother, were dependent on others to manage their money. She wanted them to feel heard and appreciated while she gently guided them to building their financial knowledge and confidence. She watched as they became more empowered and optimistic about their life – they inspired herself.

That is why her true purpose is to create an environment where women feel safe, heard, and valued. Every woman is encouraged to become more engaged in her financial affairs, building more confidence in her ability to create life by her design.


Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone as a Female Financial Advisor with Michelle Kaufman, CFA, CPWA®

Stepping Outside Your Comfort Zone as a Female Financial Advisor with Michelle Kaufman, CFA, CPWA®

As a woman in the financial industry, you are often forced to step outside your comfort zone and make decisions that you truly know are right for yourself and your clients. 

In this episode, Adri talks to Michelle Kaufman, CFA, CPWA®, Founder of Prioritas Financial Advisors about Michelle’s journey in the financial industry and why she decided to go from working with major companies such as Credit Suisse and Bloomberg to open her independent practice. 

Adri and Michelle discuss: 

  • What drove Michelle to be successful initially when she started her professional journey
  • Michelle’s experience as a woman in high male testosterone environments 
  • How she was able to step out of her comfort zone 
  • Michelle’s experience transitioning from massive firms such as Credit Suisse and Bloomberg to her on independent wealth management firm 
  • How being open-minded and thoughtful played a role in Michelle’s career path
  • And more

Connect with Adri Miller-Heckman:

Connect with Michelle Kaufman, CFA, CPWA®: 

About our Guest:

Michelle Kaufman, CFA, CPWA®’s clients have ambitious goals and lead hectic lives, constantly juggling personal and professional responsibilities that leaves little time for other priorities. The need to make important financial decisions adds to their already full plate creating additional challenges, even for the most successful individuals. Michelle works with the complexity of executive compensation (e.g. restricted stock, stock options, deferred compensation) and classic retirement planning (e.g. 401(k), IRA, Roth, after-tax contributions, pensions).

Michelle simplifies the complex, creating more financial clarity, focus and direction. By building a dynamic partnership with my clients, they are able to focus on what they do best, while she guides them on their path to success.

With nearly a decade and a half experience in finance, Michelle holds the designation of Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®), an advanced credential for financial professionals who advise high net worth clients as well as the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), the highest distinction in the investment management profession.


The Defining Moment for Women Advisors with Catherine M. Magaña

The Defining Moment for Women Advisors with Catherine M. Magaña

Success as a female advisor is not only about long hours and elbow grease. 

Great success is often a result of a defining moment in our lives—a moment when we choose to go our own way, and begin to carve out our own path, defying industry pressures, because it feels right and is what authenticity is all about

In this episode, Adri speaks to Catherine Magaña, managing partner and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional at WWM Financial about how she fearlessly embraced her authentic self, and transformed her business as an advisor to help both women and men understand their true financial success. 

Adri and Catherine discuss: 

  • The change in a woman’s role in the financial industry 
  • Managing building a business while still following industry protocols 
  • Balancing having a family and running a successful business
  • How the focus shifted for WWM Financial from men to women 
  • Advice Catherine has for other female advisors 
  • And more


Connect with Catherine Magaña: 

Connect with Adri Miller-Heckman:

About our Guest: 

Catherine began her financial management career at Smith Barney (now Morgan Stanley Wealth Management) in 1999. She then partnered with Steve Wolff and Cliff Wiese in 2004 while at Smith Barney and now serves as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (TM) for Wolff Wiese Magaña, dba WWM Financial which she helped found in 2011. Catherine graduated from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Catherine is active in local community service activities such as Holiday Baskets, Fill the Plate, and Backpacks for Kids. Catherine is well respected among other San Diego business professionals and participates in many organizations. She was awarded “2013 to 2021 Five Star Wealth Manager,” “2016 Carlsbad Chamber Small Business Awards for Women Owned Business,” “2016 Carlsbad Chamber Go Giver Award,” “NCPC Volunteer of the Year for The Carlsbad Charitable Foundation” and was a finalist in the 2016 San Diego Business Journal Women Who Mean Business awards.

She serves as Chairwoman of the Board and Past Chair of the Government Affairs Committee for the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce, is a Member and the Past Chair of Board of Directors for the Carlsbad Charitable Foundation, is a Board Member and Past President for the Financial Planning Association of San Diego and an Executive Board Member of the Financial Planning Association of California.