Deborah Owens calls herself a “financial freedom fighter.”
A close friend conferred that moniker on the financial consultant, coach, and former vice president at Fidelity Investments, and she loves it because she says it fits her to a “T.”
“I’m working to empower people to effectively manage the shift to what I call the new financial normal, a world in which individuals have to take ownership of their financial success,” she says. “The shift from defined benefit to defined contribution plans, coupled with the new dynamics of the workplace, has meant that individuals need to take tremendous responsibility,” and that they need the expertise to “shift their thinking from an income mindset to a wealth mindset.”
This isn’t an easy shift to make, particularly for women and minorities, who are fairly recent entrants to the world of financial planning, Owens says. These two groups are particularly behind the curve when it comes to having the wealth mindset that is required of personal financial planning today, she says, and they are in particular need of both information and advice.
Helping women and minorities achieve financial empowerment and attain a wealth mindset is close to Owens’ heart and she is the creator of the “A Purse of Your Own Campaign,” which aims to financially empower one million women by encouraging them to form “Purse Groups” comprising five to 10 members who meet monthly to provide support and hold each other accountable.
But Owens also believes that financial advisors have a key role to play in getting women and minorities up to speed, and she’s willing to share her expertise with them.
In today’s post-financial crisis world, advisors need to form “lasting partnerships” with all their clients if they want to do their jobs well, she says, but those kinds of deep and enduring partnerships are particularly important to ensuring the financial success of their female and minority clients.