Mollie Kaiser is a private wealth advisor with Strategic View Advisors, a wealth management firm that partners with clients to help them Achieve Financial Peace of Mind™. She works closely with prospective and existing clients to understand their goals and develop a strategy to make those goals a reality.
Mollie has worked in the industry since 2007 and joined Strategic View Advisors in 2016. She brings extensive experience from both Bernstein Private Wealth Management and Credit Suisse, where she handled a broad range of advising, planning, investment management and client service responsibilities. She has an MBA from Pepperdine University and holds Series 7 and 63 licenses. She maintains the Chartered Life Underwriter and Retirement Income Certified Professional designations, as well as the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification.
What inspired you to pursue a career in your field?
After earning a bachelor’s degree in psychology, I began my career in the nonprofit world. During that time, I noticed many nonprofits seemed to have trouble with money management and strategic thinking, and it was hurting their ability to accomplish their mission. This eventually led me to pursue a career in finance and earn a master’s degree in business administration with the original intention of going back into the nonprofit sector. I didn’t expect to find a passion for financial planning, but I realized I was doing then a lot of the same things I am doing now—like working directly with clients to identify and achieve their goals. Now, rather than helping people learn to function at a basic level, I have the privilege of helping them protect their loved ones and achieve their dreams.
What qualities should people look for in a financial advisor?
Integrity would be at the top of the list. This business is built on trust, and your financial advisor must put your needs above all else. Sharing financial information is so personal, you need to know that who you are talking to is nonjudgmental, discreet and wants to act in your best interest. Intellectual curiosity is also essential. In this industry, we are exposed to ever-changing laws, rules and strategies, so we have to be committed to lifelong learning.
Why are you considered a go-to person in the South Bay community?
I meet my clients where they are in every conversation and adjust the financial plan or strategy based on their ever-evolving lives. I focus on what is best for them and try to constantly add value to their lives. I also spend a lot of time meeting with other industry professionals to maintain a network of CPAs, estate planning attorneys, property and casualty brokers, special needs and elder care attorneys, etc., as a resource for my clients when they need services my team doesn’t provide. It matters to me that my clients Achieve Financial Peace of Mind™ as a result of the work we do together so they have the energy to focus on what truly matters to them.
What advice would you give your younger self just starting out in business?
Change your relationship with failure! Life is a result of trial and error, and we learn so much from “failures.” With that information, we are equipped to make better decisions on the next try. Give yourself permission to focus on what you find meaningful. Even if a particular job or role feels aimless or doesn’t pay well right away, the exploration is critical to long-term happiness.
How can a discussion with your advisor help clarify your goals?
Take this example: Recently, I was talking to a couple in their 40s whose areas of concern were education for their children and an early retirement at around age 60. At first, they told me that retirement was the primary concern and education was secondary. They wanted to save just enough to cover a public, in-state college. I knew it would be worth it to dig a little deeper before we moved on in our conversation. I asked them, “What if your kids decide to go to Harvard? Would you work until age 65 to be able to pay for that?” They said yes. “What about until age 70?” Also yes. We realized together that we had to put education as the first priority, otherwise they may never retire!
Tell us about a book you’re loving.
There is a book called Four Thousand Weeks, so named because the number of weeks in an average human lifespan is roughly 4,000. This book challenged me to think differently about the things I prioritize, and it helps readers be more intentional about their limited time on earth.
Disclaimer: Mollie Kaiser uses Strategic View Advisors as a marketing name for doing business as a representative of Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company® (NMWMC) and Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (NMIS). Strategic View Advisors is not a registered investment adviser, broker-dealer, insurance agency or federal savings bank. Mollie Kaiser provides investment advisory services as an Advisors of NMWMC, a subsidiary of The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, located in Milwaukee, WI (NM) and a federal savings bank, and provides investment brokerage services as Registered Representatives of NMIS, a subsidiary of NM and a registered investment adviser, broker-dealer and member FINRA (finra.org) and SIPC (sipc.org).