Going Independent

Information, Resources, and Insights for Independent RIAs

RIA Spotlight: Zaneilia Harris, H&H Wealth Management

Wine, Women & Wealth: How a Newly Established RIA Found True Love

“As women, we give so much to our families, careers and communities. Women deserve to make themselves their greatest investment – especially high-achieving, professional women. Having the right partners is essential.”

When Zaneilia Harris, CFP®, launched her independent financial advisory business in 2009, she made a conscious decision to focus on her community.  Then with guidance from her coach, whom she met at the first TradePMR conference she attended, Zaneilia embraced the idea of focusing specifically on professional and executive women in the Washington, DC area. It fit with who she was and research showed that these were two underserved markets, right in her back yard.1

Former positions at Merrill Lynch, PNC Investments, Edward Jones, PricewaterhouseCoopers and NASDAQ never really provided the full sense of satisfaction Zaneilia longed for as an upwardly mobile professional woman.

“I was on a quest to find the right fit for me,” Zaneilia recalls. “I hoped to find a place where I felt a connection, a place that felt like a family. As I was doing my due diligence on custodians, I came across a series in an industry magazine. This advisor shared his experience transitioning from a big investment management firm to starting his independent firm. That led me to TradePMR.  I’ve been happy with my decision.”

In launching her firm, Harris & Harris Wealth Management Group, LLC, a registered investment advisory firm (RIA) focused on educating and supporting professional women and the community to build and transfer wealth, Zaneilia determined that gaining publicity would be a big part of her marketing plan. She authored a book that set her on the path, Finance ‘n Stilettos™: Money Matters for the Well-Heeled Woman, and later launched The Finance ‘N Stilettos™ Wealth Retreat. “It was all about women, wealth and wine – perfect for me,” Zaneilia laughed.

Today, Zaneilia is a member of the CNBC Financial Advisor Council, a financial educator, blogger and certified financial planner who is passionate about increasing financial literacy and sharing her expertise with other women so they, too, can become financially savvy. In 2017 she was profiled in Barron’s and The Wall Street Journal (Advice to Female Advisors: Just Be Yourself)2, and recognized by The Daily Record newspaper as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women3. In 2013, she was recognized as Washington, D.C.’s People’s Choice for Wealth Management4 and her blog, Finance ‘n Stilettos, was recognized by Investment News5 .

“All of this has created opportunities and allowed me to fulfill the vision for my financial planning and investment management firm,” Zaneilia said. “As women, we give so much to our families, careers and communities. Women deserve to make themselves their greatest investment – especially high-achieving, professional women. Having the right partners is essential.”

To learn more about Zaneilia and how TradePMR has helped her reach her goals, watch this short video. Zaneilia even offers some quick advice for other financial professionals who may be considering their options in today’s hypercompetitive world.

1 The Ever-Growing Gap, Institute for Policy Studies, Aug 2016/Harnessing the Power of Women Investors in Wealth Management, Ernst & Young, LLP copyright 2016.
2 Sound Advice for Female Advisors: Just Be Yourself, Barron’s, Nov 2011/Message to Female and Minority Advisers: Be Yourself, WSJ, Nov 2011
3 The Daily Record
4 People’s Choice for Wealth Management, CNBC 2013
5 Familiar With the Turf, Adviser Courts Female Entrepreneurs, Investment News, Mar 2013, Mark Schoeff Jr.

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