Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 18

Advisor Profile

Women’s Work
By Ilana Polyak

G Squared Advisory is building its practice around a sometimesoverlooked demographic: women of modest means.

As of this year, women control the majority of privately held financial assets in the United States. Yet for many women, having money doesn’t necessarily translate into confidence about managing it. Laurie Girsky and Cindy Golub—the two Gs after which their firm, G Squared Advisory, is named—are trying to change that. Awarded the Certified Financial Planner designations just a year ago, the two have formed a financial-advice business in the New York City suburbs of Westchester County, and they plan to focus their efforts on helping women manage their money prudently and confidently. “We wouldn’t turn down a man who came to us,” Golub says. “But we think we have a lot of credibility with women because of the work we’ve done in the community.” Much of that has been their work serving on boards in New York City and in Westchester, where they both live. They both sit on the board of UJA-Federation, the largest Jewish philanthropy organization, which provides funding to Jewish social-service agencies. Through that organization, they have worked with agencies serving the needs of women. In addition, they are involved with a domesticviolence shelter, where they conduct financialliteracy workshops and do pro-bono work.

“We both spent a lot of time raising money for various causes,” Girsky says. “So we’re not afraid to ask women for money.” They also plan to focus on the middle market—clients with portfolios of up to $500,000, bucking the trend in the financialplanning profession of chasing high-networth clients. “Rich people have access to advice,” Golub says. “But people of more-modest means are the ones that really need advice.”
Finding a Niche

“What we are trying to do is break things down and make them simpler for women,” Girsky says. They expect that women will find their way to the G Squared office after a life-changing event that brings them face to face with their money issues. That’s a time in women’s lives when they are most vulnerable to being taken advantage of, but it is also a time when they most need solid, independent advice. They have also aligned themselves with the Garrett Planning Network, a group of financial planners organized by Sheryl Garrett of Kansas City, Mo. The network is composed of feeonly planners who mainly bill on an hourly basis. “We totally agree with the philosophy of Garrett,” Golub says. “We knew we wanted to be fee-based-only, and we didn’t want to be selling insurance or stocks to anyone.” In addition to referrals, Golub and Girsky are also accessing Garrett’s Web seminars and the support of seasoned professionals who belong to the network. They can seek business-building advice or more-general opinions about running a financial-planning practice. “It makes us feel that we’re not two people alone,” Golub says. “We’re two people with this great network of hundreds behind us.”

As they begin to articulate the type of firm they’ll eventually create, Girsky and Golub reflect on how they first found themselves in the financial-planning profession. Four years ago, they were both ready for a new challenge. They had worked together enough to know that they could work together full time in their own business. From the start of their conversations about the practice, they knew that women would be their focus. Women often find themselves at the helm of their finances after the loss of a spouse or a divorce, and many of them are unprepared. In fact, 75% of women are widowed at the average age of 56 and one in four of them end up broke within two months of being widowed, according to the National Center for Women and Retirement Research.

18 Morningstar Advisor April/May 2010



Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010

Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010
Contents
New On MorningstarAdvisor.com
Contributors
Letter from the Editor
Our Job: Building Better Investors
What’s Your Biggest Long-term Concern for the Economy?
An Early Start
Women’s Work
Investment Briefs
Markowitz 2.0
Asset Allocation Is King
A Decade of Riskier Assets ...
... but with plenty of Silver Linings
Be Prepared
Facing up to the Economy’s Problems
Levelheaded
Surviving on Conviction
Four Picks for the Present
Pharmaceutical Firms Get the Urge to Merge
Funds That Look Cheaper Than the Market
Finding Dividend Leaders
Mutual Fund Analyst Picks
50 Most Popular ETFs
Undervalued Stocks with Wide Moats
VAs: Assets Rise as New Sales Slip
New at Morningstar
When You Wish Upon a Star
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Cover2
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 1
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 2
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Contents
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 4
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 5
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - New On MorningstarAdvisor.com
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 7
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Contributors
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Letter from the Editor
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 10
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Our Job: Building Better Investors
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 12
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 13
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - What’s Your Biggest Long-term Concern for the Economy?
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 15
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - An Early Start
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 17
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Women’s Work
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 19
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Investment Briefs
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 21
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Markowitz 2.0
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 23
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 24
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 25
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 26
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 27
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Asset Allocation Is King
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 29
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 30
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 31
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 32
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 33
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - A Decade of Riskier Assets ...
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - ... but with plenty of Silver Linings
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 36
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Be Prepared
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 38
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 39
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 40
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 41
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 42
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 43
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Facing up to the Economy’s Problems
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 45
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 46
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 47
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 48
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 49
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Levelheaded
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 51
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 52
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 53
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Surviving on Conviction
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 55
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 56
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 57
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Four Picks for the Present
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 59
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 60
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Pharmaceutical Firms Get the Urge to Merge
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 62
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 63
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Funds That Look Cheaper Than the Market
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 65
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Finding Dividend Leaders
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 67
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Mutual Fund Analyst Picks
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 69
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 70
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 71
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 50 Most Popular ETFs
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 73
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Undervalued Stocks with Wide Moats
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 75
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - VAs: Assets Rise as New Sales Slip
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 77
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - 78
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - New at Morningstar
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - When You Wish Upon a Star
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Cover3
Morningstar Advisor - April/May 2010 - Cover4
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