Today we’d like to introduce you to Shinobu Hindert.
Shinobu, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Pursuing a career in personal finance was such a natural progression for me. Being a first-generation American, I didn’t grow up with extended family in the United States. My father left Kenya in his early 20’s and my mother left Japan at the same time but none of their siblings came with them. My parents instilled financial independence in me from an early age because they were afraid if something happened to them, I would need to know how to take care of myself. At a minimum, they wanted me to be able to think for myself, so I could make the right decisions if something happened to them.
They would include me in most discussions surrounding their finances, including income, debt, etc… so I knew when money was tight and what that meant for us as a family. When I interned at Smith Barney in college, I knew right away, I wanted to pursue financial planning as a career. It was exciting to see the stock market constantly changing and information coming at you fast, the environment was always changing. I loved the idea of having to put pieces of a puzzle together that would positively impact someone’s life.
I worked with high-net-worth clients as a financial planner for about ten years, creating customized financial plans mostly with Fidelity Investments. I then spent about two years with Fidelity Investments working as a financial educator, teaching over 500 personal finance workshops ranging from Budgeting to Investing to Estate Planning. I stepped away from my career to pursue family life and after my second child was born, I knew I needed to start to find a way to fit my career into my overall picture because I missed it so much. I was getting frequent phone calls from friends and family, asking for my opinion on how to make financial decisions and realized there wasn’t an easy place for them to find this information. So Empowered Planning was born. Today I offer live, digital-based courses and one on one financial coaching for women who know what they want in life but just aren’t sure how they can afford it all.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road I’ve taken has definitely come with some bumps. I think being a first-generation female in this business came with certain ceilings early on. I look back and there are situations I handled well and other situations in which I carried a chip on my shoulder that hurt my career. But all of the hiccups or roadblocks made me commit to what I wanted to do and pushed me to become a master of my craft. During those experiences, I had to really ask myself, is this what I want and is this really worth fighting for? The answer was always yes, so I always explored ways to become more knowledgeable, which is what lead me to becoming a Certified Financial Planner TM.
Those experiences also forced me to look at my own actions and how I was being perceived. They taught me how to be diplomatic and always lower my personal judgment. I learned how to ask for help and realized I didn’t need to prove anything to anyone. I just needed to be comfortable and confident in who I was as a person. It was humbling and powerful for my personal growth. I honestly wouldn’t have had it any other way. I am grateful for all of the bad that came with the good.
Please tell us about Empowered Planning.
Empowered Planning is a financial and investing education company. My goal is to simplify the complex world of money and empower women to reach financial freedom. I’ve met so many women who are ambitious and successful but put these self-imposed ceilings for what they can achieve. Many times their decisions stem from simply not understanding what financial planning can do for them. Once you put pen to paper and write a timeline for your goals, you start to see you can achieve them. For many people, financial freedom doesn’t mean retiring at 40 sipping cocktails on a private island. Financial freedom is going on vacations while being able to buy a home and save for retirement. But with so many competing priorities, it’s easy to give in to only thinking about right now and not realizing your financial potential. I change that for my clients.
What sets me apart is my real-life experience as a financial planner and CFP®. I’m not just speaking from my personal success but what I’ve seen work for hundreds of people and what doesn’t work to help my clients navigate roadblocks. I am proud of how many people have a thirst for this knowledge. If you don’t have a million dollars to invest today, it’s difficult to find a professional who will sit down with you and educate you on all things personal finance. I have been overwhelmed with the gratitude from the community for what I’m doing with Empowered Planning!
Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
One of my favorite childhood memories is being in Japan for the summer. All of my cousins were together and we went to the summer festival in my mother’s hometown. There was exotic music, lanterns lit, and a fair full of fun games for all the kids. I remember playing with firecrackers, winning a goldfish, and lots of mosquito bites! It was a time I will carry with me forever!
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