What happens when you need to find a new job in the profession, but the opportunities out there aren’t quite right for you? If you’re investment advisor Nina O’Neal, the answer is simple: you create your own.

In this latest episode of YAFPNW, Nina shares how she “accidentally” found financial planning, what makes a successful business partnership, the reality of work/life balance, and more.

Finding her calling in personal finance

Nina is an “accidental advisor” as she put it in this episode. As an English major and creative writing minor, Nina thought she would have a great career in publishing. However, after working as a client relations liaison in New York City, Nina learned about investing as well as the client-advisor relationship. She fell in love with personal finance during her time at Merrill Lynch in her home state of North Carolina. 

“It was totally by accident,” said Nina. “And I’ve found a real calling and career that I’ve loved.”

After leaving Merrill Lynch, Nina partnered up with Matt Archer for Archer Investment Management in Raleigh. At Archer, Nina was able to build the firm she wanted and choose the clients she wanted to serve. While Archer serves many Gen Xers and Gen Yers, she has a passion for helping entrepreneurs of all sizes. Thanks to her and her partner’s personal experiences getting a small business off the ground, their firm is able to help business owners grow and find success.

What makes a successful partnership?

Nina talked about Matt, her business partner, and what makes their partnership a success. One thing she credits is their very different skill sets. While Nina runs the operations, marketing, and financial planning side of the business, Matt handles the analytics and the investment management. 

“He’s responsible for certain things and so with that, nobody’s overlapping,” said Nina. “We could both do each other’s jobs, but we don’t really enjoy it.”

Though Nina and Matt “stay in their lanes” as she put it, and every member of their team has clear expectations of their individual roles, disagreements are bound to come up. How do they handle those disagreements? Nina and Matt decided that, in a disagreement, the person who felt the strongest about the issue won. Period. 

As an example, Nina explained that she wanted to bring on eMoney early on, which was an expensive investment, but she knew it would be worth it. Nina felt more strongly about it, and so they went with her decision. It may sound like an odd way to operate, but it ultimately means putting trust in your partner to make the right decision.

Working in finance as a woman

No matter the profession or industry, female professionals are often pressured to “have it all” and strike that perfect “work/life balance.” Nina brought some refreshing perspective to this topic and talked about how she’s integrated her career and home life in a way that works for her family. As busy as she is, Nina has found ways to get more work done by changing her schedule, asking for help, and generally slowing things down. It’s the “antithesis of hustle culture” as Hannah put it in the episode.

On top of all that pressure, women in finance typically lack the support and resources that they need. Which training programs can I join? What happens if I get pregnant while working, and how do I break the news? How can I talk to other women in finance? That’s why Nina founded the Female Advisor Network, a national membership organization for female financial advisors. Female Advisor Network is a community of women that offers mentorship programs, accountability programs, retreats, speaking engagements, and so much more.

Nina had a lot of great stories and insight to share in this episode, so be sure to tune in and listen to the full thing!

What You’ll Learn:

  • How Nina got into financial planning
  • The ideal client
  • Growing a successful partnership and firm
  • Handling disagreements and decision-making in a partnership
  • Working in finance as a woman
  • The reality of work/life balance
  • What the Female Advisor Network does
  • Why Nina created Female Advisor Network
  • Nina’s advice for new professionals

Show Notes:

In this episode of YAFPNW, Hannah Moore, CFP®, and Nina O’Neal, investment advisor, discuss:

Want to keep up with Nina on social media? Check out her LinkedIn and Twitter page at @noneal510.

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