A Conversation with Cherry Creek Branch Manager Lisa Herhold
Lisa Herhold, CFP®, is manager of Schwab’s Cherry Creek Branch in Denver, Colorado. She has been with Schwab serving retail clients in the branch network since 1996 and has seen a lot of drama in the markets over the years. I interviewed Lisa to get some insight into her particular background, her experience as a woman in financial services, and her views on what’s most important in serving women clients.
SB: How did you get where you are today professionally?
LH: I have a B.A. degree in English from Brown University and actually began my career in technical writing. A move back home to Denver prompted me to pursue a career in financial services; I had a fascination with investing and a passion for education that I was able to put to good use by getting my FINRA series 7 brokerage registration and beginning to work with clients. Fifteen years later, I’ve earned an MBA with an emphasis in finance, and I’ve also earned the Certified Financial Planner ® certification. I still love interacting with clients and seeing their financial dreams become reality.
SB: Tell us about your branch and the types of clients you serve.
LH: We serve clients from all walks of life: young investors just starting out, those in the prime of their careers and money-making years, and retirees. We serve investors who want to do it all themselves; investors who are looking for a trusted partner and coach in financial management; and investors who would like to have their money managed for them.
SB: Are you seeing any trends in serving the financial and investing needs of women?
LH: Women are becoming increasingly more comfortable seeking out financial advice and education. Just like men, women have to handle their own finances at some point in their lives, whether by choice or by necessity and this message seems to be prompting renewed or new interest in investing from women.
We have always tried to be inclusive in our approach to our clients. However, while it might have been the norm to contact the man of the household in the past, these days we ensure that we include both spouses or partners in our communications. We also offer branch workshops focusing on women investors. While we would not give different financial advice to women vs. men, we try to make sure our message reaches people in a way that speaks to some of their unique issues and that resonates with them.
SB: So is there really any difference in how women approach their money versus men when it comes to planning and investing?
LH: It’s been my experience that women tend to focus more on financial planning and the goals they have for their money: retirement, buying a home, sending their children to college. Men tend to focus on performance. Of course, there are exceptions in both cases, but by and large this is what I’ve observed.
SB: What’s the biggest hurdle, if any, in serving women versus men?
LH: Generally speaking, the biggest obstacle is probably the misperception by some women that they don’t need to be involved since the man in their lives, whether father or husband/partner, is taking care of the finances. Becoming involved doesn’t mean becoming an expert on the markets; it means knowing what you have, what you want it to accomplish for yourself, and how it’s being invested. And just as an aside, this is an issue that’s relevant for some men as well, in those cases where they turn over financial decision-making to their wives or partners.
SB: Are there any challenges you faced personally in your financial career in this historically male-dominated industry?
LH: I have been fortunate in my professional career that my colleagues and management have judged me by my ability and performance. Interestingly enough, a few challenges have come from clients who would prefer not to work with a woman. These types of clients are becoming few and far between, but they did exist early in my career. I would simply go out of my way to make sure they knew my qualifications and knowledge were as good, or better, than the next guy!
SB: What role do you personally play in managing your family’s finances?
LH: My husband and I are a team. He handles the day-to-day finances: budgeting, paying bills, saving. We discuss our financial goals together: retirement is a big topic at my house, as is paying for our daughter’s college education. We try to communicate regularly and openly – and calmly – about our money.
Schwabbies on a culture of community giving
A Conversation with EVP Jay Allen on LGBT Equality at Schwab
Sending Your Teen Off to College? Make Sure They’ve Passed Money 101