“Women, I hear you. And I revere you.
As a woman, and especially as a female CEO, I cherish the dynamic women whose counsel and support have inspired me to persevere throughout my career. And I cherish our own Amy Yoder, who has partnered with me to tell their stories – stories of how women overcame formidable challenges to rise to the top of their respective fields. For this new Copytalk initiative, Amy will focus her incredible talents on interviewing these woman and writing their stories, which we will publish as an ongoing series. Why are we doing this? Because I’m confident that these amazing stories – extraordinary women all – have something of great value to offer you, as well.”
– Maree Moscati, CEO, Copytalk
Partner and Investment Advisor with Archer Investment Management
Share how your career path positioned you to be where you are today
Nina: I started as an advisor just before the financial crisis in 2006, and I was in a training program with a wirehouse. The training program was terminated when they were bought by another firm. I actually felt like I wanted to get out of the business.
I felt pretty beaten down, discouraged. I was new. I was trying to build a book of business, which I lost because I was no longer with a firm. I thought of it as a negative at the time, but it was actually a huge blessing, because that’s when I reconnected with my now-business partner, who was already independent.
It actually turned into this huge positive where now I’m not only a financial advisor. I’m an entrepreneur.
If you had one wish for a "do-over" in your career, what would that be and why?
Nina: Kind of piggybacking off of the first question: In the beginning, when I was independent, I wish that we operated the way that we do now.
In the beginning, we were siloed. My partner had his book and was growing that, and he met with individual clients. I was trying to build a corporate book of business, where I was working with mostly 401(k)s and corporate benefit plans, but after about 18 months, we realized we had different skill sets and interests and that bringing that together and aligning that for each client relationship was actually more effective.
From that point, our business began to grow, and we were attracting the exact people that we wanted. I wish in the beginning, we had started off like that.
What can you share with women just entering the business?
Nina: We’re in the relationship business, and in order to get those relationships, you have to have activity. I think a lot of people get started or get hired as advisors, and they don’t know how to be advisors.
That’s part of why I started the Female Advisor Network, to help women no matter where they are in their career as a female advisor, and it has multiple programs within it.
We have an accountability partner program where women can write in and go through a questionnaire and profile and what they’re looking for in an accountability partner. There’s a 12-month guided workbook, and we’ll partner them and make the introduction.
This is a way for women to make relationships with each other and get to know each other at the beginning, and then maybe build out that relationship.
It opened at the end of April, and we have new members coming in every day, so it’s exciting. We’re getting near, closer to 100 now from all over the country.
Tell us something about yourself that most people aren't aware of
Nina: My first job in finance required me to pass out beers to the traders at the market close. I was 22 and thought it was so cool. It didn’t even cross my mind that it was probably not the best job.
A financial advisor since 2006 and a financial services professional since 2004, Nina O’Neal is an industry veteran. During her career she has been an advocate for female financial advisors and is dedicated to being a voice to help to develop more support, initiatives, and programs for women in financial services. She began her career on Wall Street in New York City and then went on to being a financial advisor with a wirehouse.
Nina O’Neal is currently a Partner and Investment Advisor with Archer Investment Management. She has been featured in multiple industry publications as a sought out national thought leader and commentator on industry topics and trends. Named one of the Investment News 40 under 40 Financial Professionals, Nina also serves as a participant for Investment News Think Tank, “Future of the Financial Services Industry.” In 2019 Nina was named to Investopedia’s Top 100 Financial Advisors. Nina is frequently sought out as a panelist and participant in industry conferences as well as podcast guest. She is a writer on practice management and industry topics for Financial Planning Magazine. She can be found on Seasons 4 & 5 of “Practice Makeover,” an Investment News video series. Nina has also been featured as a commentator in Investment News, US News & World Report, The Washington Post, On Wall Street, Bank Investment Consultant, Investor’s Business Daily, The Street, Citywire RIA Magazine, wealthmanagement.com, and more. She is the host of “The Juggle is Real,” a video series with Investment News that shares the unique challenges of working parents. The Female Advisor Network, a national membership organization for female financial advisors, was founded by Nina in 2019 with the mission to create a community of support, mentorship, collaboration, and education for female advisors. She lives in Raleigh, NC with her husband and two young sons.