Event Recap: Investing in Life, Career and Organizational Success During Uncertain Times | HBA

Event Recap: Investing in Life, Career and Organizational Success During Uncertain Times

On 28 May 2020, HBA Central New Jersey (CNJ) held an educational event via webinar sponsored by Mariner Wealth Advisors. This was the second event of the 2020 HBA CNJ six-part program series, “Accelerating Your Game: From Personal & Corporate Finance to the Boardroom”.  

The Opening & Keynote
Jana Shoulders, co-founder and managing partner, Mariner Wealth Advisors, opened with an informative presentation by first asking the intriguing question, “Women’s Stock is Rising – Why Aren’t Their Portfolios?” Jana highlighted that even though women continue to manage more spending, a high percentage of those women leave the long-term investment and retirement decisions to men. She also discussed the importance of taking control of your finances, weighing risk vs. reward, the benefits of value-based investing, and understanding that life circumstances change and/or derail your plan, so you need to stay on top of it. She offered resources to help navigate your financial planning and urged those that don’t feel comfortable to stop waiting and find a trusted advisor to help with investing.  
The Panel Discussion

Panel Discussion included the following panelists:

  • Jana Shoulders, co-founder and managing partner, Mariner Wealth Advisors
  • Erin Guignet, VP divisional sales manager, BlackRock
  • Tanehsa Duncan, VP transition services, BMS
  • Moderated by Sharon List, professional coach and founder, All Inclusive You 

The panel discussion covered topics such as the current financial climate, finances and career and financial acumen.  Some highlights of the responses given are as follows:

Current Market Volatility - Thoughts on current market volatility is that while this current market decline is large, it is based on a more finite cause than the 2008 crisis. The 2008 crisis was because of the economic institutions themselves, i.e. loans, banks, etc. This current COVID-19 crisis is more like a natural disaster (although on a global scale), and the recovery will likely be faster than the 2008 market recovery. Advice as to what to do with your investments during this time is dependent on where you are in life, what your life goals are and how close you are to retirement. But the bottom line is to not panic, to sleep on every decision before making it, and decide based on facts, not emotions.

Current Corporate Climate - Thoughts on the current corporate climate was that it isn’t all doom and gloom. Organizations still need to deliver their products and services, so large scale layoffs aren’t necessarily going to happen in all sectors. It depends on whether or not an organization’s offerings are still relevant and/or can be adapted to the current needs. When evaluating an organization for employment or investment opportunities, it is best to look at the services and products being offered and how the organization is pivoting in this current situation. This situation has also “forced” some advancements and innovation, i.e., paper processes that were taking time to go digital have been quickly forced to be online, which is a benefit. Some of the advancements that organizations were pursuing have now been accelerated, which can provide opportunities going forward.

Finances and Career – Finance is the universal business language. If you understand the finances of your organization, you can better understand how your initiatives support its financial goals and what activities are most valuable to the organization’s current and future financial success. Especially as you are promoted up the ranks, understanding the overall financial implications of decisions becomes more important, regardless of what department you represent. By increasing your personal and organizational financial knowledge, you can accelerate your success in both areas.

Financial Acumen – It was stressed that it is never too early or too late to start investing. You cannot leave your money in cash, it will never keep up with your future needs as inflation and other investments rise. You need a mix of cash, short term investments and long term investments. If you have high financial acumen, a great way to give back is to barter your knowledge for someone else’s. Schedule (virtual) coffee with leaders in other departments to learn more about their area, and in exchange, share some your financial insights and knowledge. This sharing of knowledge builds everyone’s skillset and improves organizational knowledge and relationships. It is a win-win for everyone involved.


 “We don’t have to do it all alone.  We were never meant to.” – Brené Brown

You do not have to navigate your finances, life, career or organizational success alone. Utilize your network and the HBA as resources to help you. Connect with panelists and other HBA members via LinkedIn, ask questions and know that we are stronger together. The most successful women know how to ask for help, utilize their network and don’t try to do it all alone.

Stephanie Stevens closed reinforcing the value of our HBA network, and took post-session Q&A.

2020 HBA Central New Jersey six-part program series: “Accelerating Your Game: From Personal & Corporate Finance to the Boardroom”.
Event 1 – 23 January 23, Upping Your Financial Savvy – Maximizing Your Company Benefits
Event 2 – 28 May 28, Investing in Life, Career and Organizational Success during Uncertain Times