Kathleen Entwistle UBS
Kathleen Entwistle was stay-at-home mom with an MBA, already active in the local library foundation and in her children’s sports teams, when she began teaching classes at her local YWCA to help women understand their finances. “I was so surprised to see how many women were attending,” she says, adding that many were experiencing major financial changes like career transitions or losing a spouse.
After class, Entwistle says her students would come to her with questions and complaints like, “I don’t understand my investments, will you explain this me?” and “my broker doesn’t speak to me, this is over my head.” This was her “aha moment," she says, which led her to realize that there might be a larger need for her particular expertise.
So after 12 years at home, Entwistle earned all the necessary certifications and got hired at Morgan Stanley as a wealth advisor in 2001, where she excelled despite making half the salary of her peers in the training program during her first year. Women from her YMCA classes and from her other volunteer work in her community were among her first clients as she began to build her business.
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Now Entwistle, 53, is a private wealth advisor at UBS, where she heads a team that manages more than $340 million in assets. One of her three children even works alongside her in the group as a financial advisor. Entwistle's clients are a mix of families and entrepreneurs, both women and men, and she still teaches classes at her local library.
One of Entwistle’s personal goals is to help young women become more actively involved in their finances. She cites a surprising figure: a 2019 UBS study revealed that 56% of women between the ages of 20 and 34 defer long-term financial decisions to their spouse, compared to 54% of women over 51 years old. Even though millennial women are making major strides in their careers and educations compared with their mothers and grandmothers, it seems that not all that much has changed when it comes to how they manage money with their partners.
Entwistle knows that millennials have different needs and goals than older generations and that many, new to the workforce during the worst of the financial crisis, struggled to find jobs or saw their family’s wealth take a major hit.
“I like having to figure out how to engage this younger generation,” Entwistle says, recalling how the daughter of a friend asked for a meeting together with her husband after hearing about the survey, adamant that she wouldn't among that 56%.
Her top piece of advice for her clients, millennial, female, or otherwise? Treat money like a tool rather than a means to an end. Entwistle asks her clients about their goals and values, and then creates a plan to help them get there using what they have. She even advises having “money dates” with a significant other to get comfortable talking about finances at home.
“Money is just a tool to help you reach your goals,” she says. “That’s all it is.”