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  • Jacqueline Tran

FinTech Female Fridays: Meet Cameron Rogers, Financial Advisor at Ellevest

Updated: Nov 3, 2023

Cameron's interest in how the world of money works dates back to high school, where she made a little money as a Chemistry tutor and was also enrolled in some Economics classes at her local City College. As a tutor, she recalls being slightly amused that people were willing to pay her for specialty knowledge. In college, she co-led Georgetown’s student-run credit union’s Member Service department, which deepened her interest in the intersection of money and serving people. At the credit union she would hole up in a small office where people could come in and ask questions / present money challenges. She loved that her job involved meeting new people and working through issues in real-time.

Cameron spent the first ten years of her post-college career at J.P. Morgan, where she worked with both institutional investors (pension plans, endowments, and foundations) and wealthy individuals needing investing and investment-related planning. During that time she lived in three different US cities, rose from a Summer Analyst position to a Vice President position, and earned her Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation.

Cameron has always been passionate about financial literacy, so the decision to join Sallie Krawcheck and the team at Ellevest to help build the business was a no brainer. In her current role as Financial Advisor, Cameron oversees high net worth individual, family, and nonprofit investment relationships at the company.

"I love that every day I get to help people think through how their money best works for them. There’s so much inertia and active resistance in this space, where there is little support for women talking about money. I’m proud to be doing my part to change that dynamic."

Ellevest is a women-first investment company that was founded to change the way that people and organizations engage with financial institutions. The financial services industry has historically excluded significant segments of would-be investors, and especially women investors. What began as an idea to make investing more accessible for women is now a mission that permeates everything at Ellevest, where underrepresented groups are overrepresented among their clients, employee base, board, and company backers. Ellevest serves tens of thousands of investors, have a community of more than 3 million, and manage $1.8 billion in assets for their clients. Ellevest’s main differentiator (and competitive advantage) is their singular focus on investing designed for both financial return and to positively impact and advance women.

How are you working and impacting FinTech?

Financial technology is all about inclusivity and accessibility. I strive to foster financial awareness and habits in people so that their time can be spent on higher value activities (versus worrying about money - which is always #1 on the stress list). To me, time is the ultimate (and finite) luxury good. And wealth building is rarely a slam dunk, transactional event. It is instead many steps that add up over time: creating streams of income, earning more than spending, investing excess earnings, operating with a tax-aware lens, taking advantage of retirement structures etc. Rinse and repeat, with conviction and compounding. My work with clients, and our broader work at Ellevest in financial technology, is to create tech-enabled, repeatable financial behavior.

How do you challenge and differentiate yourself in your role?

I strive to be the individual who is thought of when someone in my extended network is working through a financial question. Not sure what to do? “Go to Cam”. This involves not only being skilled in the topics of financial markets, investing, banking services, philanthropy, tax changes, estate structuring etc, but also requires having a network that supports being able to “phone a friend” around lesser-known topics. I continually challenge myself to thoughtfully grow this network so that it can be an extension of myself as a person and an advisor. I find that this is unique in this space, and deeply appreciated by my clients, company, and broader network.

What are you excited about Fintech? What is one trend you are seeing for the sector?

I’m glad that financial technology is being used to instill financial habits at a younger age, and especially like what Tanya Van Court is doing at Goalsetter and what Genevieve Bellaire is doing at Realworld. These companies and technologies bypass the age-old debate around whether these learnings should be instilled via pre-/higher education or a first employer. They are making things happen.

More on Cameron

Where you currently live: New York City

Hometown: Santa Barbara, California

Favorite hobby: Golf and exploring local art scenes

Favorite show to binge: Jack Ryan

Favorite fintech media (blog, podcast, newsletter etc) that inspires you:

Axios - While their coverage extends beyond Fintech, I find that their coverage of news, deals, and thematic topics to be clear, concise and well-researched.

What is one piece of advice someone told you that resonated with you that can give to other women in FinTech?

The cost of a coffee is far cheaper than the value of the learnings from the person you grab coffee with. Take the time to connect. Make introductions. Don’t expect anything immediate and linear, but know that this behavior increases the long-term opportunities that will be available to you.

Can you tell us about a time someone encouraged you to try a task or take on a project you didn’t think that you would know how to do/or be good at?

I had a big gap in public speaking experience between leaving high school and joining Ellevest. In my first few months at Ellevest I was encouraged to give an Investing 101 type of speech, which at the time was a bit scary given my lack of practice. Today, I don’t think twice about it, and strive to always be ready for these types of opportunities with personal anecdotes, relatable stories, and most importantly, data. Getting to this point took time and a lot of idea mapping / iterating, and I am glad that I have been able to reignite this part of my brain.

What is the most important lesson you have learned from a mistake you’ve made in the past?

Always have a role in a meeting and go into every meeting assuming that none of your presenting partners can attend: this lesson was “learned” when I was a fairly junior employee at J.P. Morgan, where I showed up to a big multi-person pitch presentation with notes only on the pages that I was slated to present. My boss at the time noticed this during the presentation and expressed his disappointment in me not being prepared to talk through everything. While I was frustrated with the feedback at the time, I’ve come to realize its importance over the years. I now train for big presentations assuming that I am the sole subject matter expert.

Do you have any productivity hacks? What keeps you motivated? How do you maintain a work/life balance?

Understanding the time of day when I think best and have peak energy (early morning) is my main productivity hack. I am deeply motivated by seeing my clients develop greater agency over their money to achieve their personal and professional goals. I also thrive on knowing that I’m catalyzing conversations and connecting the dots for others with consistency. Because friends have become clients and clients have become friends, work and life are invariably intertwined. With that said, I make a point to carve out time for myself to move, rest, and reset.

Daily Diary

5 - 8 am: I am usually up some time between 5-6 am during the work week. I’ve always been an early riser with peak energy in the morning, so I try to tackle time-sensitive tasks and work that requires deep thought during this time. This includes things like creating trade tasks for our Investments team, client follow-up, and longer-form writing. The pandemic shifted how I think about this time, as I used to get up and immediately get out the door for a workout (typically Barry’s Bootcamp or 1:1 work with a boxing or pilates coach). Now, with more control over time, I am able to do high-impact work when I’m most productive, and then get moving. The moving part is important for me in the morning, and I find that it’s often when challenge mapping / brainstorming begins. You’ll often find me writing notes to myself following a workout so that I don’t forget what I thought about. Another activity that I try to do once a month in the morning is a group workout with a couple of friends, followed by a coffee and conversations about what we’re doing and seeing in our investment worlds. We look for workouts that are focused on the mind / body connection (a favorite is Taryn Toomey’s The Class), and find that the conversation following the workout tends to be deeply motivating and thought-provoking.

8 - 11 am: This tends to be a busy time of day for client and prospective client meetings and follow up work. I currently work with ~50 clients, so there are always things in motion on their behalf. This can include making investment portfolio shifts, discussing new investment ideas, bringing more family members into the investment conversation, working through financial planning scenarios, or talking through personal / professional changes. I see myself as an extension of each client that I work with, and I am also often connecting my clients to relevant thought leaders and experts in my network. I also have a wonderful client service partner, MJ Kleinhans, who helps me manage everything in motion. We have a standing appointment on our calendar every week to talk through each individual task we’re working on for our clients, which helps us to prioritize and complete tasks efficiently. I treat my work with those individuals that are evaluating me and Ellevest as an investment advisor with a similar approach, and will typically put together investment proposals on their behalf for a starting conversation. More and more of my prospective client introductions are through my current clients / broader network.

11 am - 2 pm: When I can, I prefer to use this time to grab lunch with a client, friend, or someone in my network to break up the day. I find that this is especially convenient for those who are caregivers and have a hard time getting together in the evening. If I’m not meeting someone during the lunch hour, I will use this time to catch up on reading. Some favorite reads include the Financial Times, Axios, Matt Levine’s Money Stuff, Fortune’s Term Sheet, Puck News, and anything Scott Galloway writes. We have an Ellevest Slack channel called “linksforsharing”, and I’m often sharing things on that channel. I also make a point to log interesting stats / data points in an evergreen Word document. I have always been impressed by how certain business leaders can respond to a question and rattle off relevant information at the drop of a hat. I use this document to help me better incorporate data into my daily conversations.

2 - 5 pm: We have our weekly company and team meetings during the afternoon, typically after market hours. These meetings are where we discuss business updates, new focus areas, and campaigns. Our Private Wealth team will often use our time to meet with one of our private alternative investment managers for an update around that specific asset class and strategy. This is also the part of the day when I’m connecting with my West Coast clients or other advisors in my network (think CPAs, trust & estate attorneys, philanthropic advisors).

5 - 8 pm: We often host Ellevest events during this time, and lately have partnered with other aligned organizations to bring our communities together. For example, we hosted a women in sports event with the Beyond Sport Foundation earlier this year. And in June we teamed up with All Raise for an event around the state of venture capital. Community and connecting the dots is a big focus at Ellevest.

8-11 pm: I will sometimes grab a bite with friends or visitors passing through New York City. If I don’t have plans I often find myself doing email management and logging of required follow up from my work conversations that day. I am trying to be more intentional about ending the day with reading. Just finished Trust by Hernan Diaz - highly recommend!

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