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Wiemann's 'Investing For Women' Seminar Delivers Straight Answers; Boosts Confidence

on February 11, 2016 - 4:55pm

Shelly Wiemann


Los Alamos

Shelly Wiemann, a financial advisor for Edward Jones, hosted a seminar for female investors Feb. 4 at Cottonwood on the Green in Los Alamos.

“I’m interacting with a lot of female investors; women who are in charge of their own financial destiny,” Wiemann said. “We have the only female-run financial services office in Los Alamos. We want to encourage every woman in town to know that there is a resource for you.”

More than 40 women attended the seminar. Whether married, divorced, single, widowed or still in the beginning of their careers, they all had questions and concerns about investing.

Why is it important for women to invest?

The women at the seminar had a variety of reasons for attending. Here are a few:

Some didn’t think they knew enough to invest. “I’m tired of being clueless,” Kay Newnam said. “Investing can be very risky and I want to be able to ask intelligent questions and know what I’m doing.”

A few were going through divorce and needed to learn how to take care of their own money. Wiemann said, “When women are going through a divorce, it can be especially hard to deal with financial planning because there is so much stress and information overload. I help divorcees figure out what their priorities are, getting through the crisis with small steps and setting goals.”

Most wanted to make sure they had enough for retirement. Shelly introduced several statistics that illustrated how urgent it is for women to take an active role in saving and investing:

  • On average, women leave the workforce for 12 years to care for children or other family members. Historically this may result in women accumulating less money toward retirement goals. (Source: "Women and the Workforce: Challenges and Opportunities Facing Women as they age", Older Women's League, 2012).
  • Women generally live longer than men. Statistics show that 50% of women will live to age 90. 25% will live to age 95. (Source: the 2009 Valuation Basic Table, Select and Ultimate Nonsmoker. Based on US insurance company individually underwritten mortality experience). 
  • Since their life expectancy is so high, women need to take health care costs into account.
  • Newly widowed women lose 50% of their household income, but their expenses only decrease by 20%. (Source: LIMRA, MarketFacts Quarterly, Fall 2006).
  • When women lose their spouses they will need to be completely responsible for their finances.
  • In the past, pension payments being guaranteed for life allowed individuals in years past to not need to invest personally for their retirement. The lack of pensions today coupled with fact that the performance of their employer retirement plans is not guaranteed, makes having enough for retirement less secure than in years past. All the more reason to work with a financial professional and have a strategic plan in place!
  • 48% of unmarried women 65 and older rely on social security for 90% of their income (Source: Social Security Administration,, 2010 data).
The guest speaker said, “Women need to know where the money is and how it works. If something doesn’t make sense, just ask. Most women run the household budget. Why not get involved with investments too?”
Shelly Wiemann is a newcomer to Los Alamos who plans to stay. “I started working in Los Alamos in March 2015, I had previously been in Santa Fe since 2011,” Wiemann said. “I'm putting down roots, buying a home, and really enjoying the outdoor activities this area has to offer, like hiking and skiing. I plan to be here for at least 25 years.”
When she first arrived, she used a gutsy approach to reaching out to clients; she introduced herself door-to-door. The plan worked. People feel comfortable around her because she has a warm and friendly personality.
“I met Shelly when she was hoofing it around White Rock last spring when I was working in the flower bed,” said CJ Buckner. “She was really nice. She was just getting started and I thought it was rather ambitious on her part to go door-to-door.”
She is delighted with all the personal connections she has made in Los Alamos. “I’ve never felt these connections with people when I lived in other cities.” Wiemann said “Helping people with financial literacy is my way of giving back.”
Even though she grew up talking about finance and investing with her father, a CPA, she knew she didn’t want to be an accountant. Instead, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor’s degree in psychology and a Master’s degree in industrial psychology.
“I’m fascinated by why people do what they do. I love being able to steer people toward making wise decisions and not acting out of fear and greed,” Wiemann said, “because those two emotions often lead to mistakes.”
At Edward Jones she is pleased to be able to use her analytical skills and people skills at the same time. Her approach is centered around relationships and goal setting rather than choosing stocks. “Helping people is the most meaningful part of my job,” Wiemann said. “I am a very goal-oriented person. I love being able to work on my own goals while helping other people reach their goals.”