The immigrant experience. Family entrepreneurship. Blue-collar grit. It could be said Boston wouldn't exist if not for those traits. And understanding each intimately has been essential to the success Francesca Federico has enjoyed in the financial advice business.
Young advisers often struggle to communicate what expertise they have that's valuable to their wealthy ó mostly older ó clients. And at 21, Ms. Federico was by far the youngest person in her cohort when starting out in the Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor Associate program.
But she found her way, inspired by her background: Her Italian grandfather moved to the United States as a teenager, and her maternal roots are in Ireland.
Immigrant small-business owners and their families (as well as her own family) are a key constituency of Ms Federico, now a financial adviser at Twelve Points Wealth Management.
"You have a lot of hands in the pot" in a family business, she said. "At some point, someone has to be the decision maker."
As an independent arbiter, a good adviser helps sharpen the important executive skill-set of making tough choices, she said. "The hardest part of my job is telling someone they can't do something they want to do because they can't afford it," she said.
Ms. Federico takes her enthusiasm to help and to make the tough decisions into the broader community. She is a co-founder of the USA 500 club, a network of high-ranking professionals, and assists young women looking to start businesses by helping them with paperwork. She also encourages others to learn about the field by having women from her alma mater, Fairfield University, shadow her.
Noting the strides that women have to make to achieve parity in the workplace, she paraphrased former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in saying, "There's a special place in hell for a woman who doesn't help another woman."
ó Trevor Hunnicutt
President, Finance for Teachers