Lindsey Woodward’s first foray as an entrepreneur came when she was about five years old. The financial advisor at Abacus Wealth Partners lived in New Mexico and went to see her grandmother, who kept a little box of trinkets in her living room.



Lindsey set up shop right there, selling the brooches and jewelry right back to her grandmother at a makeshift cash register.

That moment led to a lifelong passion for understanding how the world works financially. Lindsey went from eastern New Mexico to the University of Arizona, as she puts it, a school that had more students than her hometown. She earned an undergraduate degree in economics before studying for an MBA in finance back in New Mexico and beginning her professional journey. 

Economics and business fascinated Lindsey from her first lecture in Tucson. While many of her classmates’ eyes glazed over during Macroeconomics 101, Lindsey was enthralled. The interplay of firms and customers lit something in her, and she realized she had found her path as a professional. 

Following her MBA program, Lindsey found a home at a mutual fund company working on the B2B side, an experience she credits with giving her an exceptional foundation in understanding how investments work in practice. She found herself gravitating to two things that would define her career for years to come: Helping individuals with their financial decisions and focusing on socially responsible investing. 

Her focus on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing helped Lindsey cement her philosophy around authenticity in her role as an advisor. She’s worked to help clients build portfolios that reflect their values, and understanding the best way to construct those strategies takes an authentic understanding and relationship between advisor and client. People might have regular conversations with their advisors about their goals and dreams but rarely talk about their social values. In that gap, Lindsey found an opportunity to use her passion for people and relationships to build a successful practice.

But Lindsey’s focus on ESG didn’t just unlock a door to new relationships with clients; it also forced her to reorient her career around what was important to her. Lindsey’s work around traditional investments had always held her interest. Still, it wasn’t until she connected her clients to portfolios that meshed with their personal values that she found her calling. 

It wasn’t always easy, though. Like many women in the male-dominated advisor industry, Lindsey found herself dealing with impostor syndrome and having to fight through those moments of self-doubt. She won a promotion at her first firm through working harder and longer than her male colleagues—something she attributes to imposter syndrome—and found herself criticized for landing the gig, an incident that sadly won’t sound unfamiliar to many women in the industry. 

Through it all, though, Lindsey has focused on staying true to herself and embracing the skills and values that got her where she is on merit. Knowing industries and strategies is vital, but building authentic relationships with clients through a deep understanding of one another is what differentiates good advisors from great ones. Authenticity has been a guiding light for Lindsey throughout her life, from the moment she set up shop in her grandmother’s living room to her role in helping individuals make sure their values match up with their portfolios.

 

About The Human Advisor

Everyone has a story about what money means to them. When someone sits down in your office, it’s so much more than doing business. Your client comes to you with some of their core beliefs about success, identity, legacy, and relationship.

The Human Advisor Podcast is dedicated to changing the conversation from how big a financial advisor’s book of business is to how well they take care of their clients and actually help people. There’s a new breed of modern advisors who want to make a difference and do something meaningful. And in our series, we’re telling their stories. Watch more episodes.

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