Episode 20: Changing the Narrative Around Wealth Management with Marielle Schurig

April 29, 2021

Many of us look at money and see only money. It’s simply a number of bills in our hands or a virtual number on a screen.

However, we have the ability to give our money meaning. If we were to view our money through the lens of what it can do for us, everything would change. We would start to understand how it can give us the life of our dreams, provide us with the legacy we desire, and help us reach our greatest goals.

Today I am talking with Marielle Schurig about this new way of viewing money. Marielle is a wealth advisor at UBS Financial Services in New York City. In her role, she works with many entrepreneurs who are going through a transition by helping them adopt a new perspective on money. She helps them develop an empowering relationship with money and to start to see all it can do for them and the people they care about.

Tune in to this episode to hear more of Marielle’s amazing insights into changing the narrative around wealth management.

In this episode, you will hear:

  • Why we should view money differently.
  • How money can fit into the grander purposes of our lives.
  • What it’s been like for Marielle to work in the financial industry with few other women.
  • Why she is so passionate about working with women.
  • The “money story” many women tell themselves.
  • How to change your “money story.”
  • Why you should start managing your wealth now while you’re making less.
  • Why many women are better investors than men.
  • How making more money can allow you to help more people.

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Supporting Resources:

https://cgl-llp.com/

Marielle on LinkedIn

UBS Financial Services

 

Episode 20 Transcript:

 

SUMMARY KEYWORDS

women, money, life, conversations, people, business, wealth, younger women, investing, clients, stories, finances, bit, changing, wealth management, men, business leaders, financial management, husband, shift

 

00:02

I’m your host Hannah.

 

00:03

I’m Tom and I’m one of the founding partners of CGL. What if you could speak with top business leaders and CEOs about their professional insights and personal journeys. Each week, we share authentic discussions with business leaders, where they flesh out substantive issues while also getting deeper into their authentic stories. Our goal is to bring you conversations on the fusion of business and humanity, success and authenticity, and the challenges of balancing life and work. Thank you for joining us.

 

00:37

Hello, and welcome to

 

00:39

conversations with CGL. I am very excited about today’s episode, I have Marielle Shrek here with me today. And I think it’s going to be a really interesting conversation, maybe just kick things off Marielle, you could give a little intro about who you are, I think you’ll do a better job of just giving kind of an intro of who you are and kind of your background. And we can talk about how we got connected and some of the amazing work that you’re doing. Right. Thank you. Well, I’m excited to be here to talk to you about this today. Again, my name is Marielle shrug, I’m a wealth advisor at UBS financial services in New York City. I’ve been at UBS for a little over 10 years, I’ve been in the wealth management, which I like to call the wealth advice industry for about 15 years. So my role is to advise clients around their money and their wealth. And I work with a lot of corporate executives, entrepreneurs, next gen business leaders and women who are going through a transition. And so I do do a lot of work with women in all of those areas. And we really, I’m trying to get a lot of people to look at money in a little bit of a different way than we traditionally do. And wealth management and to really have an empowering relationship with your money and to see all of the things that it could do for you and for other people. Can you describe that a little bit more in terms of this different relationship that you’re trying to get people to have with their money, like, tell us a little bit more about what you mean? I think for a lot of people they look at money as money, it’s just money, it’s just a number on the screen unless you give it some meaning. And for a lot of people, they don’t always take the time to sit back and think about what that means for them how money can give them the life of their dreams, how money can provide the legacy that they want for their life, and what all of those goals can be. So I always tell people to sit back and think about their perfect life and what that looks like, and then how money has a role in that. And then we can really sit back and think through all of your goals, because it does have a much larger purpose. And a lot of people don’t see money in that way. Yeah, imagine different relationships. And that’s also probably, I don’t know, illuminating conversation. For some people, I can see that there’s these like perceptions of money I come in, I just want as much money as possible. And it sounds like you’re processing guidance is like but how does that fit into the grander purpose of your life and the meaning and kind of doing some of that. And as I understand it, too, you’re doing a lot of work with women and wealth there, which as my experience and understanding as kind of underrepresented in that low Wealth Management kind of industry would love to hear you kind of talk a little bit more about that and the work you’re doing there. Yeah, well, first of all, there’s very few financial advisors that are women in our business. And so you know, I saw that for myself when I was in my training program. I was at Morgan Stanley when I started, and I was fresh out of college, and I was the only woman in our training group. And so there were all other men that I was around. And I really felt like I didn’t belong. But I do think in moments where you feel like this, I don’t belong here, I’m a lot different than everyone else in this room. That’s pretty much where you do, where you do belong, because that’s where you can really make a difference. And I knew that we’re in this new, amazing feminist era where we are women are breaking glass ceilings are starting businesses, they’re achieving and accomplishing incredible things. And they’re achieving more wealth. And women deal with money a lot different than men do. they perceive it differently. They value it differently. Women also have different money stories than men do. And we have different lives and needs than men. So there needs to be a different approach when you’re dealing with women. And we’re taking a look at now in particular with all the success that women are having. But also there’s a lot of generational wealth that’s being passed down to women. So over the next few years, women are going to be in control about $30 trillion in the US economy. And that is a huge transition. So getting women to see that this is a very empowering moment for us and to really look at money as a way that we can help shape the world that we live in, as well as also some of these new conversations that I’ve been having with people so needed, you know, and especially with just kind of the changing face of who is working and as women come into work, I would love to learn a little bit more about your journey in there and kind of saying what there needs to be more of that I’m one of the few women here on financial services. There needs to be a kind of a greater voice. I mean, how has that journey And in that process then for you, I can’t imagine that, you know, I know a bit of it being a woman in the legal industry and being a partner in the legal industry. Certainly there aren’t as many women there. I mean, I’m curious kind of to hear about your journey and your experience on that piece. Yeah, well, it

 

05:15

has been a journey, there’s been a lot of ups and downs, being a woman and being a young woman in this business was difficult starting off, you have to prove yourself. And I always say the beginning of my career here was about survival really is I had a lot to prove. But it was really worth it in the end, because one thing that really drove me is I knew that the face of wealth was changing them, because the face of wealth is changing, there needed to be people in a business that could help cater to that. And so that really was my driving factor in being in this business. I was seeing also a lot of women who were noticing a lot of women who are the breadwinners, I work with a lot of families who the women are the breadwinners, and women who are starting businesses. But what really also drove me to focusing a lot on women was some of the divorce work that I’ve done. And some women who’ve lost a spouse prematurely, because those are the situations where I saw that women were not taking a control of their finances. And they’re deferring a lot of decisions to their husbands in those relationships. And so when it was time for them to then make those important decisions, they were left in the dark. So I said to myself, okay, how can I have women, young women to see their finances as a very important and meaningful aspect of their life before they have a negative life event that forces them into that? So it’s almost kind of, it’s education and empowerment before you have to make those kind of decisions? So in that, I mean, are your clients primarily younger women at the beginning of their career, I mean, kind of where do your clients land on the spectrum in terms of where they are in their careers and their life? And then second, kind of part of that question is, how do you start to connect with women either who are like at a phase where it’s time to get financial literacy or mastery, or whatever. So a lot of my clients are more seasoned professionals. They’re people who have built up networks, either through working or selling a business. And people have had a bit of a complicated need, that they need to start working with someone. what really got me interested in talking to young women, I do a lot of educational and financial literacy talks to younger women was that divorce work that I did, I’m getting some of these women to see that, you know, their finances should be something that they look at very early on in life. And so through those conversations that I was having, I started to work with some younger women, and those are some I call them my next gen clients. Those are my wealth, accumulators, really driven women who have a lot of goals and need someone to help them, you know, figure out what those are, and how to get from point A to point B. And that’s really, you know, when I started working with some of those younger folks, but it’s a fun conversation to have, because everyone can get better with their money, right? There are always things that we can do to get better with our money and being able to have a dialogue and have that conversation with someone who understands you. And that could be a financial adviser that could be a trusted friend, right. And that could be your partner. It’s just having those conversations, having open dialogue around what you see for yourself, and what you really want to achieve. It opens the doors. Yeah. And I think it’s also you know, the education around it. And even getting kind of in the space. I imagine you deal with this both as a professional but even for your clients. You know, it’s the assumption, you know, in a marriage or a partnership, that the male partner is the person managing the finances, it’s still so much part of it. I think I mentioned this to you in like one of our first conversations as we work with a financial advisor, and regularly he’ll send correspondence just to my husband. And I’m actually the one that does financial management and kind of that piece, but it’s just kind of a default in the way that the communications are. And I think that certainly as girls in school and things, we’re not educated on these pieces, and we find ourselves as women now in this position where we are earning on that in terms of how you’re educating people, can you tell us a little bit more about some of the educational work that you’re doing to kind of bring light to this disparity, and I would love to learn a little bit more about that

 

09:19

for so I first get to the root of the issue. You can throw people as much information as you want. I can tell people the difference between IRA and 401k. And about investing all day long. But unless you’re motivated to make a change and to create action in your life, and unless you get to the root of what makes you tick, you’re not going to make you know those changes in your everyday life to get you where you need to be. So I always talk about money stories with people, what are they? How is it shaping your life? How is it positively impacting your life? How is it negatively impacting your life and as women collectively A lot of us do have negative money stories? We don’t deserve it. It’s not our job to earn it. On our job to ask for it, we’ve been taught, you know, and you can see this a lot in, you know, your money stories can be brought up through the home that you lived in how your family dealt with money, your culture. But again, women collectively, we have this money story that has been brought up through generations, that it’s not necessarily our job. Still to this day, about 80% of women in heterosexual marriages, defer the financial choices to their husbands. And we found that for millennial women as well, and UBS, we did a bunch of research on this topic, we found that 70% of millennial women also did that. So it’s not really changing. But if you look at our culture, and how women have evolved through the times, you know, it wasn’t until the 70s, that women could even open up a credit card without having a man sign for her that having a father or husband there. So it’s not that long ago that women had all of these financial freedoms. So we have come a long way. But there’s still a really long way to go. So when I have these conversations with younger groups of women, I want them to get to the root of what their money story is, how it’s impacting their life. And then I want them to be able to see that they are capable of breaking through those barriers, just like they’re capable of starting a business, are having a really successful career. Because we do find that women feel more confident to do those things. And then when they get the money, and it’s theirs, they don’t really fully know what to do with it. So the confidence level around financial management really needs to change with women. And it starts with understanding ourselves and understanding the some of our money stories are not our fault, right? But fixing them are our responsibility if we get the life that we want. Yeah, and really changing that narrative and shifting that perspective of ownership of like, it is okay to own this and to make decisions about it. But it sounds like you’re talking about as like such a lack of confidence almost in those moments of like, okay, I’ve come into wealth, or I’ve earned this wealth, well, I don’t know what to do with it. And I don’t know how to do with it. And so there’s probably I mean, I’d be curious, you know, if you see scenarios where women are like, I’m just gonna outsource this all to somebody, instead of even taking the time to say, Actually, I learned how to run a business, I should be able to learn how to manage this a little bit more on what I’m doing with

 

12:15

my money.

 

12:15

And that sounds like a real like shifting of the narrative. I mean, we’ve been told, again, like in my mother’s generation, even you know, not far before I saw all that women weren’t even capable of on their own to open up a bank account or get a credit card, or whatever it was, you know, I mean, that’s not long ago, and still such a massive shift to happen. And you don’t need to be an expert, a lot of women feel like they need to know everything to get started. You don’t need to be an expert in this area. But you do need to take the time for yourself, you do need to set some time aside like you would with your business or like you do with you know, everything that’s worth it takes effort, right. And so it’s the same with your finances, but you don’t need to be an expert, you can outsource some of that you can work with a trusted advisor that understands you and understands your needs, where you have that open dialogue. But you also need to have that basic framework and that basic information. But again, you don’t need to be an expert, I found a lot of women are scared to take that first step because they feel like they need to know it all. And you don’t. And you also learn as you go. And so I always tell people, if you start off small, if you start off when you first start making money, and start understanding is and start investing, you know, understanding these topics and start investing, you’re dealing with a smaller number, right? And so you can make mistakes, you can learn, you can grow, we all make those mistakes, and that’s okay. People make mistakes with investing. People make money mistakes all the time. It’s how we learn. And it’s how we grow. But the older you get, and the more money you accumulate, the more nervous you’re going to be to make mistakes with a larger pot. And you know, statistics actually find that women are better investors than men, we do take more time, we don’t take as much risk as they do. But one thing that we do do is because we don’t take as much risk, a lot of women keep more of their money in cash than men do. So their money is not working for them, you work really hard for your money, right? And so you want your money to be working just as hard for you. And you did for that. And so a lot of women do keep a larger percentage of their money in cash than men do. They’re a little bit more risk-averse, which makes them great investors, but it also has them sit on the sidelines quite frequently, and they miss out on opportunities. Yeah, and that shift could come in time as women get more confidence in you know, that risks that appetite for risk might increase a bit, but that thoughtfulness and investing still helps us, you know, be strategic in kind of the investing process. So is there anything else that you think would be helpful anything else that you’d want to share with kind of our audience you know, we have a lot of women founders, CEOs, women who have wealth, kind of any last tips of advice that you’d like to share. with folks that are listening today, yeah, there is nothing wrong with women having more money. That is something I try and preach that when women have more money, the conversations that I have with really successful women around their money is not really how can I get a good return? It’s how can I use my wealth to change the world, and women really want to, you know, do well for themselves, you want to put the oxygen mask on yourself first. But when you do that, you can help other people. And you can, you know, invest in causes that you care about, you can construct an investment portfolio of companies that only have socially good missions and care about the environment, there are so many things that women can do with their wealth. And it’s just the beginning. And so I think that the new face of wealth is women, and it’s what are we going to do with this responsibility? How are we going to create the lives that we want for ourselves? And how are we going to create the world that we want to live in, and it’s pretty incredible. And it’s an opportunity that should not go to waste.

 

16:02

I love that. I’m all about making impact and making a difference. And that’s very powerful. So where can people find you? Where kind of should people go if they want to kind of contact you? You can find me on LinkedIn, on LinkedIn, I’m on there frequently. If you want to send me a message on there. You can also find me on my company’s website at PBS calm, and my contact information is all there as well. Awesome. Well, thank you so much. I feel like I learned a lot here. I’m definitely inspired even more and so I just really appreciate you coming on today and speaking with us. Thank you for having me.

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