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Q&A: Forbes "Best-in-State Women Wealth Advisor", Jennifer Shydler from Merrill Lynch Wealth Management

A 5th generation Las Vegan, Jennifer was also recognized with one of Merrill’s most esteemed honors in 2019, the David Brady Award.

Courtesy of Jennifer Shydler

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Jennifer Shydler, a Merrill Lynch Wealth Management Financial Advisor based in Las Vegas, was recently named to the 2022 Forbes “Best-in-State Women Wealth Advisors” list. She was also named on the 2020 and 2021 lists.

Jennifer is a 5th generation Las Vegan and earned her B.S. in Finance from San Diego State University. She was also recognized with one of Merrill’s most esteemed honors in 2019, the David Brady Award. The award is given annually to the employee who best exemplifies exceptional commitment to her clients, her team, and the firm.

Jennifer holds the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification. She has also earned the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor and the Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor designations. Within the firm, she is also a Retirement Accredited Financial Advisor.

How did you get into the industry and what do you like the most about what you do?

In the late-90s, I was a law firm runner in high school. When walking by a branch, I saw a sign that said Bank of America was hiring tellers for $9.50 an hour. I always loved counting money and it was a 50% increase in my hourly wage so I jumped on it and applied. That serendipitous moment eventually led me to my dream career as a wealth management advisor. I absolutely love that I can help others alleviate their worries and stresses when it comes to their finances and estate planning. I am here to be of service to others and find the role I play in clients’ lives very rewarding. They look to me as an extension of their family in many cases.  

How will the wealth management industry change in the next decade with more millennial clients hiring financial advisors and the next generation looking at wealth management differently from the previous generation?

The next generation is very self-sufficient and resourceful, but they also recognize that obtaining professional expertise is vital. When my clients mention to their children that they are working with a Certified Financial Planner (CFP), there is a sense of relief knowing the family has a trusted advisor and that their affairs will be in order when assets pass to the next generation. It’s not about beating the market; it’s about planning for your future and using investments as the vehicle to get you there.

What's next for inclusion and diversity in this industry? How do we to help more women financial advisors to break the glass ceiling?

Our firm is very focused on representing the communities we serve and creating an inclusive environment for all our employees that starts at the top and extends to all our teammates. For more women to break the glass ceiling, we need to empower and champion each other. Men also play a role in advancing gender equality. Society is shifting and gender roles are outdated. It’s good to see more men taking paternity leave and sharing responsibilities that were traditionally left to women. This gives women more work-life balance they need to thrive in their careers and at home.

Any advice for students considering wealth management as their career path?

You need to be someone who cares about providing exceptional client service and making a difference in people’s lives. The best wealth management professionals pride themselves on using their knowledge to help clients achieve their financial goals.

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