Empowering and Encouraging Women in Finance: an interview with Lisa Conway-Hughes of www.misslolly.com
By day Lisa is a financial adviser at a wealth management firm based in The City, looking after the finances of more than a hundred people in a firm that manages over half a billion pounds of assets. Misslolly.com is a website aimed at helping people to tackle their financial foundations themselves
How did you get into this? Did you train straight out of school/Uni or was it a more roundabout journey?
I never intended to become a financial adviser, in fact after a degree in French and Management I was much keener to pursue a career in the fashion industry. However after a year of travelling and when I was feeling completely broke, I was offered a job with a small financial consultancy after a graduate milk round and things progressed from there.
Can you explain what a typical day for you might be?
When I am working from our central London offices I tend to leave the house at 5.15am and head for the gym for a workout. During the commute I search for interesting subjects to tweet and blog about. I tend to be at my desk between 8 and 8.30. The majority of my time is spent chatting with exiting clients about changes in their personal situation and keeping them up to date on how their investments are performing. It’s great when a client reaches their financial goals. A big part of my job is presenting to companies. Many companies ask me to come into look after their staff and to do lunch time workshops presenting on all subjects from pensions and investments to tax and family finances. I try to leave the office before 5pm to get home to my 6 month and 2 year old. I often do an hour or so once they are in bed to ensure that my to do list doesn’t get out of control for the next day.
What’s your experience from a women’s point of view. Would you say it is a good job for a woman?
When I first joined the industry as a 22 year old it was still very old school and intimidating as a young woman. Things however really have moved on. If anything I think being a woman is a positive thing. Some people actually seek out a female adviser and the soft skills that women tend to have are really an asset when talking to someone about something personal such as their money and their future ambitions.
What would your advice be to someone thinking of entering this profession?
To make sure that you start with the right firm. It is important that you share the same values and ethos. I really believe in the importance of being independent too. I would get as qualified as quickly as possible. I set myself a goal of becoming a Fellow of the PFS before I was 30 and not only does this appeal to clients, but it gives me the confidence to know that my clients really couldn’t be in better hands.
What’s your best financial advice for any woman?
Save a meaningful amount every month and don’t let yourself off! It is really important that you build up different pots of cash, investments and pensions. Start as early as you can and every time you get a pay rise – save more!