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4 Women Empowering Women in Financial Planning

Cassandra Smalley March 1, 2023

A businesswoman networking.

Women are becoming increasingly responsible for their household finances. In fact, statistics show that eight out of every ten women are going to end up responsible for managing either their own wealth or someone else’s.1 In my fifteen years in the financial services industry, I have observed that women are often much more impacted by the financial decisions being made earlier on, whether that’s due to a divorce, outliving their spouse, or choices made in their career.

It is incredibly important for women to have a voice at the financial table. As financial planners, we need to build an inclusive environment where women have the confidence to use their voice in financial conversations, can discuss finances with people they relate to, and have their unique concerns addressed.

As women in financial planning, we can work to build that environment by connecting with, elevating, and inspiring each other. That’s why as we celebrate the achievements of women this month, I want to share how a few women in financial planning are empowering other women through networking, education, and inclusion. Read on to learn their stories and get inspiration for your own.

Stephanie Trexler, CFP®: Making Connections in the Financial Planning Community

Since meeting Stephanie, I have been amazed by her involvement in the community and how she supports other financial planners in the industry. In addition to running her own practice, she is heavily involved with the Financial Planning Association (FPA) of Michigan, has chaired their Student Success Summit conference, and is an advocate for helping other women enter the financial planning field.

Shehara Wooten, CFP®: Creating an Impactful Difference on Many Stages

Shehara has an enormous passion to make her mark to help close the wealth gap for women and people of color. She brings her passion for this topic through speaking with audiences about their own personalized financial success story, authoring a book on inspiring financial success in the black community, working with clients around money mindset and values, and offering private group coaching sessions to meet people where they are.

Melissa Walsh, CFA, CFP®, AIF: Expanding Financial Success Through Education

Melissa, who started her own practice a few years ago, is working to elevate women’s financial success. In addition to growing her practice built for women, she is launching educational courses to reach a wider audience. It will be an impactful way to spread knowledge far and wide to people who may not be able to afford traditional financial planning.

Cassandra Smalley, CFA, CFP®: Giving Women a Voice at the Financial Table

I would be remiss to not share my own story. When I launched my financial planning firm, I knew I wanted to focus on the inclusion of women in financial planning and the unique challenges they face. I’m on a mission to empower women to define and use their voices at the financial table to ensure they can enjoy a fulfilling life, both through my firm and my new book, The Why of Wealth: Mastering the Steps to a Wealthy Mindset to Live a Joyful Life.

I hope these stories will inspire you to look for opportunities to empower other women, from your fellow financial professionals to your clients, so we can build an inclusive environment in financial planning together.


1. UBS. 2018. “Own your worth. How women can break the cycle of abdication and take control of their wealth.” Accessed February 2023.

DISCLAIMER: The eMoney Advisor Blog is meant as an educational and informative resource for financial professionals and individuals alike. It is not meant to be, and should not be taken as financial, legal, tax or other professional advice. Those seeking professional advice may do so by consulting with a professional advisor. eMoney Advisor will not be liable for any actions you may take based on the content of this blog.

The views and opinions expressed by this blog post guest are solely those of the guest and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of eMoney Advisor, LLC. eMoney Advisor is not responsible for the content, views or opinions presented by our guest, nor may eMoney Advisor be held liable for any actions taken by you based on the content, views or opinions of the guest.

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About the Author

Cassandra Smalley, CFA, CFP® is the Owner and CEO of Cassandra Smalley Wealth Management, a virtual, fee-only financial planning firm based in St. Petersburg, FL, and works with clients across the country. Her firm takes a modern relationship approach to the financial planning process, focused on inclusion and elevating women’s voices at the financial table. With shifting demographics of who is controlling and making the majority of the purchasing decisions, along with the lack of diversity within the financial services industry, Cassandra Smalley Wealth Management was founded to address this need for personalized planning and attention to every client. In addition to promoting financial education through speaking, Cassandra is the author of The Why of Wealth: Mastering the Steps to a Wealthy Mindset to Live a Joyful Life. The book centers on the unique challenges women face in building wealth and pivots obstacles into action empowering readers to design their best life. Cassandra has been recognized by Forbes and SHOOK Research as America’s Top Women Wealth Advisors 2020-2021, Top Next-Gen Wealth Advisor 2017-2020, Working Mother Magazine, and Top Wealth Advisor Moms 2017-2020, among others.

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