On the evening of October 31st, 2014 at Morgan Stanley, the women of NYC joined The Newman Group for a talk on personal finance. Newly appointed NY Chapter Leader, Cynthia Hellen, introduced the mother-daughter duo, Morgan and Cynthia Newman and announced that they would be partnering to create a full lineup of finance events in 2015. We sat down for a quick Q & A with the ladies of The Newman Group.
Cynthia Hellen: Cynthia and Morgan what is the mission of The Newman Group?
Morgan Newman: As a mother-daughter duo, our mission is to financially empower women across generations.
Cynthia Hellen: What does a day at The Newman Group at Morgan Stanley look like?
Morgan Newman: We start at 5am to get in our workouts before the craziness of the day begins – Cindy at Physique 57 and Morgan at Crossfit. After that, the day is a balancing act between building our business, servicing our clients and spreading our message of women’s empowerment through financial education. We start our day with a morning huddle to prioritize the day’s agenda and divvy up the tasks. We have defined roles on our team – Cindy does client outreach and strategic planning where Morgan does investment management, social media and marketing. At night, you will find us out on the town at a networking event or hosting a women’s focused workshop.
Cynthia Hellen: Cynthia, you entered Wall Street in '78, words of wisdom for younger millennials?
Cynthia Newman: Over my 30 years on Wall Street much has changed while much has stayed the same. Whether you are discussing how stocks & bonds are traded or how advisors manage clients’ money, the world of finance has been transformed by technology. As with other industries, these changes are not all positive. Yes, you can access your account online 24/7 but is that the best way to handle your investment strategy? A trusted advisor cannot be replaced by a website. Speaking of advisors, Wall Street is still primarily a male dominated industry. I want millennials to spend time to financially empower themselves. I do not want you intimated by advisors who are not sensitive to women & their money. Additionally, consider a career in wealth management. It can be an excellent career choice for women. If successful, you can change people’s lives & be financially rewarded. So together let’s break down the barriers to women & money!
Cynthia Hellen: Morgan, when did you realize you wanted to be part of Wall Street and create "The Newman Group?
Morgan Newman: I was living in DC at the time working for a USAID contractor trying to build a career focused on women’s empowerment through economic development in impoverished countries. However, I was growing increasingly frustrated as I found myself spending more time behind a desk dealing with bureaucratic red tape than actually helping people. I called my mom one day to vent and she said, “You know I work to empower women every day, right here in our own back yard. Have you thought about focusing your work here as opposed to thousands of miles away?” Just like that, the light bulb went off – we were able to align our interests and work towards a shared goal that we are both passionate about. I moved back to NYC over two years ago and the Newman Group was formed.
Cynthia Hellen: You gave us a guideline to our personal finance, what would be the one thing we should take away for ourselves as women?
Cynthia Newman: Don’t be intimidated by Wall Street. We live in the information age – there’s a lot of noise out there about investing and the markets. The media and the industry use fancy words and jargon that can seem scary because you have no idea what they are talking about. Just remember that projecting the markets’ performance is simply predicting the future! The talking heads have no idea what will happen tomorrow or next week or next year. If you stay with the basic principles of investing – diversification, choosing quality investments and staying the course – then you have a sound investment strategy and should expect good returns over the long run.
Cynthia Hellen: Finally, Cynthia and Morgan, with your own personal experiences, how has technology influenced your career?
Cynthia Newman: It influenced my career greatly – I hired Morgan so she could take care of it.
Morgan Newman: Of the 315,000 financial advisors in the United States, only 5% are younger than age 30. The average advisor is a man over the age of 50. Most advisors don’t how to use Twitter, LinkedIn or even just the internet as an effective marketing and networking tool. Being able to understand and leverage technology, particularly social media, has been a differentiating factor in our business. I had a Facebook friend put up a post that said “I have questions about finances and investing, does anyone know a financial advisor?” That’s how referrals and networking is done today. So it’s been great for us but it highlights an issue that financial advisors don’t how to connect with today’s young professionals.