* t w o * Years to RememberApril 1, 2021
Reflecting on the recent past requires us to think about the Covid-19 pandemic. The tremendous toll that the pandemic has taken on our health, traditions and livelihoods will be with us for years; however, it’s also important for us to recognize the achievements that have come out of this past year of adversity. The heroes in healthcare, biotech and education have worked tirelessly to see us through this pandemic and we celebrate them daily. Similarly, the shared virtual concerts and online museum collections are two of the blessings that have helped to ease anxiety and present beautiful moments of solidarity while highlighting the fortitude of humanity. These are just a few of the achievements from the past year that cannot be dismissed.
Another achievement that cannot go unnoticed is that SWM is ringing in a two-year anniversary. The first year was a blur and this past year has been one shaped by continuous change. One constant over the past two years, has been helping our clients attain financial independence. We have helped many find clarity around their money, take charge of their financial goals and discover independence through financial empowerment.
The supportive culture at SWM, encourages women to gather and speak freely about their financial goals, without judgment and without jargon. It has taken long hours, resilience and an amazing team to reach this milestone, and we are incredibly grateful for all who have accompanied us on this journey.
SWM’s Values and Mission in Action
The past year tested our mission to help women grow and protect wealth for the long term, during uncertain times. The ripple effects of uncertainty caused by the pandemic has resulted in an uptick in divorce, career change, loss and estate planning for the personal representative. Many have found that managing the financial planning needs of parents, partners and college-age kids has left women feeling overwhelmed and confused with their new wealth management responsibilities. As a financial partner, we’ve helped support and guide our clients through the twists and turns Covid has thrown their way. One positive outcome from all the pandemic flux is that delivering financial advice to our busy clients has become more convenient. Connecting virtually over Zoom, from the comfort and safety of home has made it easier for some to connect and dig into financial goals. We feel fortunate to be able to meet our clients in their homes, surrounded by the things and people they love most while discussing finances across a vast digital landscape.
Best Year Yet in Growth
The path to growth was not what we expected. We started by meeting in-person at our office in the Stimson Green Mansion and are now connecting virtually to continue progress toward many financial goals.
We proved our mettle by going completely virtual in a matter of days and providing financial advice in an evolving virtual space. The financial technology available today enables us to conduct online weekly meetings where we review financial plans, estate plans, marital asset division worksheets, and Personal Representative checklists, conduct risk tolerance questionnaires, and build out value-based investment strategies that align with individual risk and time horizons. We are proud to say that while adapting to the limits placed on us by Covid, we added employees and used industry-approved financial technology to grow SWM and advance progress in the financial industry.
All the pandemic-induced adjustments illustrate what we already know: how easy it is for the best-laid plans to become disrupted. Planning around uncertainty is what we do because in a flash, everything can change. Planning around uncertainty has remained one of our strengths.
We’ve come a long way over the course of two years, but we have only just begun this journey toward financial empowerment for all women. With each step taken, we observe the money stories that unite and the roadblocks that prevent us from attaining financial freedom. Walking with a trusted partner lends clarity and motivation around financial planning and can help shift clients toward their desired financial destinations. As Sonia Sotomayor once said, “it is important for all of us to appreciate where we came from and how that history has really shaped us in ways that we might not understand.” Understanding and validating feelings around money remains fundamental for all of us. Once we begin to understand our attitudes toward money and take control of our finances, we begin to discover financial freedom.
Looking back, the pandemic has forced us to rise to new emotional and financial challenges. And as we move beyond the struggles brought on by Covid, we won’t forget the lives lost and the families forever altered by the tragedy of the pandemic. But the duality of this shared experience will remind us to honor the losses and also celebrate the successes. So here as we celebrate turning two, we reflect on our reason for launching SWM. Our passions drove us to create a progressive firm with culture, values and modern beliefs that align with our world view. The financial industry has a long way to go toward delivering unbiased, kind and thoughtful financial advice that is designed for all people. We will continue to work hard, embrace change and find ways to meet our clients on their terms to further our mission – financial empowerment for all women.