I Found My Voice and a Role That Aligns With My Values

Sponsored by Fisher Investments

Samantha Nedrow

Photo courtesy of Fisher Investments.

Fisher Investments
Fisher Investments
May 22, 2024 at 2:43AM UTC

Talking with Samantha today, you would never realize that earlier in her career she was uncomfortable speaking up and voicing her opinion. She exhibits professional confidence, communicates effectively with team members and clients, and is comfortable sharing her ideas.

For Samantha, changing firms and joining Fisher Investments as an Investment Counselor not only helped strengthen her voice, she found a rewarding role that aligns with her personal and professional values. She can now focus on what she enjoys doing most – caring for clients and doing what is truly best for them to help them reach their long-term financial goals.

Tell me about your professional experience prior to working at Fisher Investments. 

I graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2013 with a liberal arts degree and no clear plan on what to do next. I decided to apply for an entry-level banking role at a large national bank and within a month of graduating, I started my new job. I did not come into the role with much practical financial knowledge, but I committed to learning as much information as possible out of a desire to make sure I was providing my clients with the best service possible. During my seven years at that bank, I continued to move upward into new roles, eventually becoming a licensed relationship manager with a book of affluent clients. While I loved helping my clients, I hated the pressures of the traditional retail bank where the emphasis was on trying to sell as many products as possible instead of truly doing what was best for the client. Eventually, I decided it was time to switch to a firm where the role was better aligned with my values and core skills. This led me to the Investment Counselor role at Fisher Investments.

How did you make the transition to Fisher Investments after starting a successful career in the industry?

I began to look for new career opportunities about a year before I actually made the switch to Fisher Investments. I knew that I did not want to pursue any additional career pathways within the firm where I was working. Despite my success, my conviction that the company was not a good fit for me only grew stronger with time. Because I was still working, it gave me the flexibility to be patient and look for a role that I would enjoy instead of trying to take the first offer made to me. Eventually, a recruiter connected me with Fisher Investments, and I applied for and accepted the Investment Counselor role.

Can you tell us more about the Investment Counselor role? Why is it such a good fit for you? 

The Investment Counselor role allows me to focus on what I enjoy doing most – caring for my clients. Because Fisher Investments is a fiduciary, I can feel a sense of pride in doing what is best for my clients without the pressure of the traditional broker-dealer model. Being able to provide my clients with peace of mind during periods of uncertainty and fear is hugely rewarding. The Investment Counselor role aligns my personal values with my professional values. I am able to make a difference in the lives of my clients.

What skills did you have coming into the role that have made you successful?

The Investment Counselor role is one that aligned closely with the skill set that I had developed during my career before working at Fisher Investments. Empathy, the ability to stay organized while multi-tasking, and effective communication are all examples of skills that allowed me to be successful when moving into the Investment Counselor role. 

After being in the role for one year, where have you seen the most growth in yourself?

After one year in my role, I have seen the most growth in my level of investment knowledge and understanding of capital markets. The training and education provided to me at Fisher has helped me develop both a breadth and depth of market knowledge. This allows me to go into my conversations with clients confidently and well prepared to discuss markets and the underlying Fisher Investments philosophy. 

What is the most rewarding part of your job?

The most rewarding part of my job is being able to give clients peace of mind when it comes to one of life’s biggest stressors – money. I find it very fulfilling to educate my clients and help them reach their long-term goals. Knowing that I am always putting my clients first, and that I am making an impact in their lives, makes me feel good about the work that I do. 

What does training look like for new employees within your group and how have you been able to get involved with it? 

I recently moved to an Investment Counselor team that helps new employees develop the skills and knowledge they need to begin working with Fisher clients. Investment Counselors spend their first 6-8 weeks at Fisher sitting within this team of mentors. The new hires are able to listen and observe tenured Investment Counselors interacting with their clients. The mentor team also helps these new hires by providing them with ongoing feedback during their training and works closely with them to make sure they are ready and feel prepared to work with clients. 

Why is female representation so important in the financial services industry?

The inclusion of women in finance is incredibly important, and I am encouraged to see so many women pursuing a career in an industry traditionally populated by men. A diversity of thought and opinion provides companies the ability to better innovate, adapt, and manage risk.

How did you find your voice in the industry? What advice do you have for women in finance who want to take their career to the next level?

It took me a long time to find my voice in the industry. When I first started my career path, I was incredibly shy and quiet. The thought of having to speak out and voice my opinion gave me severe anxiety, and I often felt unsure of how to add to the conversation, even when I knew that my input was needed. I gained confidence slowly as my knowledge and skills grew on the job. I worked with management on ways to step up and speak out, and I found that each time I made myself contribute to the conversation, my confidence increased. Eventually, I realized that the anxiety that I used to feel had largely vanished, and while speaking up in new situations can still make me nervous, I know that my voice is valued and appreciated. 

My advice for women in finance who want to take their career to the next level would be to voice your ambitions and to find others in your organization who will advocate for you. Look for ways to connect with others who can help aid your growth through networking events or by reaching out to introduce yourself. 

What are you focused on for the next few years, and what opportunities are available for career advancement?

For the next few years, I am focused on continuing to develop my career and my skill set. Fisher Investments has a large number of opportunities available to help their employees continue to advance. Their emphasis on merit, attitude, and potential allows employees to find a career path within the firm that best fits them. 

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