Empowerment through education and connection

Caitlyn Salloum is on a mission to give women confidence in financial conversations

Caitlyn SalloumCaitlyn Salloum was dishing financial advice as a teen in high school.

“I remember coming home from my economics class and telling my mom we needed to go to the bank and open an IRA,” she said. “I dragged her to talk to an advisor and learn about mutual funds.”

Educating her mother about finances all those years ago was important to her – and remains part of her practice today, as an advisor and president of Key Wealth Management, in Scottsdale, Arizona.

“Our tagline is ‘empowering investors through education,’” Salloum said. “To me, it’s about educating people in terms that are really simple and understandable.”

She keeps that mission in everything she does.

Feelings over finance

Having been raised by a single mom who was “extremely successful but not good with money” was the catalyst for Salloum’s desire to make women feel more confident having financial conversations and making financial decisions.

“We pride ourselves on women empowering women. Our goal is to really pull women into the conversation.”

She requires both spouses to be present during meetings to ensure they each have a say.

“We often find spouses aren’t on the same page as far as their feelings on the financials, so we help mediate those tougher conversations,” she said. “We address the emotional side as well as the logical side in every meeting.”

That’s because she views these meetings with clients not as purely financial; they center around her clients’ lives.

“There’s a little bit of market education in these meetings,” she said. “But it’s very much goals-based and values-based, so it feels more like a conversation. We talk about what’s important to them and what keeps them up at night.”

If a client brings up a recent headline about the economy, she digs a little deeper to pinpoint the root concern. Typically, it’s fear of not being able to retire on time, not having enough in their emergency fund or not being able to put as much money toward their children’s college fund. It’s never really about what’s contained in the article.

Creating real connections

“Our goal is to make our office a safe space to learn and ask questions, and then we also want to ensure we’re making our clients accountable,” Salloum said. “We are not intimidating about it, but we will remind people of the values they talked to us about and keep them on track to meet those goals.”

This is where she finds purpose in the work she does. She loves nothing more than celebrating these achievements with her clients.

Salloum has learned that people want to connect on a human level. When advising clients, she’s not afraid to bring her whole self to the table. She connects with them on personal topics she’s struggled with herself, such as infertility and balancing life as a working mom. And this is what makes clients comfortable sharing their own stories.

“I want to show other women that they can have it all,” Salloum said. “That’s my focus right now. Just being authentic with other women who are trying to balance it all.”

This piece was featured in Aspire Magazine, a biannual publication from the Women Financial Advisors Network. View the latest.

Follow along on social media with #RJWomen.