Amy McIlvaine, CFP®, CRPC™
In my first job as a bank management trainee, I was drawn to investments–but back in the day, it was perfectly okay for my superiors to say that women were not considered capable candidates for the investment department. So, I got an MBA in Finance and tried to enjoy working in Institutional Bond Sales. Wasn’t exactly a warm and welcoming world! I left Wall Street in 1988 to raise my first child; moved to London, Chicago, and then settled in Bellingham, WA in 1994.
I have zigged and zagged and dabbled in different elements of finance throughout the years of raising three children. I became a CFP® in 1996, driven by a desire to work with individuals rather than corporate accounts. After six years as an independent advisor specializing in ESG investing and women and divorce, I zagged and put my CFP® license on hold. In my temporary retirement I: gained a Certificate in Sustainable Food and Agriculture; dabbled in local investing; owned and operated a commercial kitchen for small food businesses, and was a founder and president of CASCADIA International Women’s Film Festival (showcasing films by female directors).
What is your favorite part about being a financial planner?
Understanding a client’s relationship with money and how I can empower them to take control of their financial situation and confidently plan for the future they envision.
If you could make up your own job title that best describes what you do here, what would it be?
Financial therapist. I once had a therapist as a client. After working with her for a few months she remarked that our professions were surprisingly similar, as getting to the heart of a person’s financial concerns takes time, patience, and empathy.
What are the best skills that you bring to this job?
A mature life perspective and a strong background in finance and investments.
After a Strategy Session, how do you hope your clients feel when they leave the meeting?
Confident! I hope I have met their expectations for financial planning and they feel empowered to take the necessary steps to achieve their short and long term goals.
If you could pass on only one piece of advice to your clients, what would it be?
Forgive yourself for your past financial missteps! Start with a few simple changes and move on to a new you!
On the weekends, you can find me… Enjoying time with my family, e-biking, hiking with my dog, pickleball, golf, or bingeing crime dramas!
Bucket list travel destination?
So many places to see, so little time: boating through the Fjords in Scandinavia, Machu Pichu, Patagonia, hiking through Cinque Terre for starts!