Empowering others is a distinguishing part of our culture. We empower our clients to live enriched and fulfilling lives, and we empower each other who are in the industry to share best practices, case studies, and stories that are impactful.
Looking back over the past eleven years, building my practice came with challenges and adversity, especially entering this industry as a woman. This March, as we celebrate Women’s National History Month, I take great pride in speaking about my pathway to success despite formidable odds. These are the lessons I’ve learned that are poised to help women financial professionals succeed:
You must be relentless, incessant, and persistent. I started my practice as a financial advisor during the Great Recession in an environment where, as a woman new to this industry, I was a minority. I learned that you must be focused. Don’t yield to the values of others contrary to your own, and you will prevail. This has helped me in my personal and professional journeys.
Fail with grace and recover with grit
Failure shouldn’t be viewed negatively but rather as a learning opportunity. It is all part of the growing process. If I ever found myself in a situation that I wasn’t sure how to address, I looked at it as an opportunity to learn more. This brought me down the path of additional education. Five professional designations later, I feel equipped to handle my clients’ needs with a path forward if I need to further advance my expertise. You must look at your shortcomings as opportunities for improvement that will blaze your path forward. Seize those opportunities as they come, and you will build a thriving practice.
Build your support system
Finding your community in the industry will help you persevere when things get tough. Your mentors and community members will build you up to take on challenges, help you celebrate your successes, and teach you to learn from your losses. One of the reasons that Lincoln Financial Network was so appealing to me was The WISE Group and their involvement with Women in Insurance and Financial Services (WIFS). The comradery and open-armed spirit of the group gives me the support system I need to keep a thriving mentality, even when things get hard.
The greatest joy of this profession for me is empowering other women to get involved and join the conversation on financial planning. In an industry still dominated by men, the prospect of giving women the education that they need to contribute their perspectives has been particularly rewarding. Elevating other advisors as well as clients not only helps build my support system but also allows others to build theirs.
Succeeding in business as a woman advisor can be challenging, but with the right mindset and support system it is possible to succeed and build a successful career. Relentless and persistent pursuit of your goals is the first thing that you need to accomplish any big dream, and financial advice is no different. Treat your failures as opportunities to improve, and you will excel in your abilities and your client satisfaction. Join communities that can empower you, like The WISE Group, and your support system will help you be relentless.
About the author
Angie Ribuffo was born in Augusta, Georgia, the child of a military family.
After graduating from high school at 16, Angie attended San Francisco State University to pursue her bachelor’s degree in nursing. She was commissioned through the Air Force ROTC program as the first female distinguished graduate.
After her time in the Air Force, she went on to teach at Antelope Valley College and City Colleges of Chicago until the Air Force moved her family to Germany.
In 1993, Angie started a consulting business with the Department of Defense in Capitol Hill, focusing on finances and quality of life issues for the Department of Defense civilians and military.
In 2019, Angie joined Lincoln Financial Securities as a registered representative and established Raion Financial Strategies, LLC. Raion, which means lion in Japanese and named in homage to her Japanese mother, is a comprehensive financial planning firm focused on preparing clients in all facets of life to meet their self-identified goals.
She is passionate about financial planning, advocating for women in the financial services profession, financial literacy, and breast cancer research.