Jackie Porter is a financial planner who has been serving the Greater Toronto Area for 23 years. She helps small to medium-sized businesses and professionals with cash flow management and tax planning strategies. But it’s her unique perspective and dedication to improving lives that makes her such an inspiration.
“It's really important to be genuine and vulnerable with people because they're entrusting us with so much information about their personal lives that they want to know they're dealing with a real human being at the other end,“ says Jackie Porter.
Why Trust is Critical to Helping People with Their Finances
Porter deals with busy people who are at max capacity. They're executives who have a lot going on or they’re running their own businesses. So part of the problem is simply that they don’t have time to deal with their finances but they also struggle with fear.
That’s why Porter calls herself a “financial confidante.”
She creates a safe space where people can share private information and not feel judged. She believes the most essential piece in helping people feel confident about their finances is trust and she’s built her entire practice around that core principle.
“We need more confidantes in the industry. The thing about money is it's ever changing and there are so many people with needs. We have to help people understand what the changing circumstances mean when it comes to money. Those conversations are important,” says Porter.
The Importance of Leveling the Financial Playing Field for Women
Porter has made it her mission to level the financial playing field for women. In her years of practice, she’s seen how the fear of being judged is a real thing, especially for women. She believes the more relatable, approachable, and human you can come across when you're doing something like planning, the more you're inviting people to be a part of the process.
As she focused on helping women, she noticed a funny thing started to happen: “So many men and couples have reached out to me and said, ‘I want my wife to feel like she's a part of the process. So that's one of the reasons I picked you.’”
Other clients said, “I know you focus on women. I'm the main breadwinner in our family, but I feel I'm ill-equipped to help my wife understand where we are financially. I chose you because you were someone who I feel like my wife could relate to and you could help build her confidence around where we are.”
“You know, at the end of the day I am about justice. That's just who I am. When you look at the numbers, the odds are stacked against women. We live longer. We pay the female tax on everything. We still do a lot of the household responsibilities. Even if we're financially bringing home the bacon, we still have to fry the bacon up. That’s why it's really important for women to feel confident on their own,” says Porter.
From Financial Struggle to Creating Financial Freedom Through Diversity
Jackie’s inspiration to become a financial advisor came from three important women in her life: a friend, a chance meeting with a financial advisor, and her mom.
Porter’s mom was a single woman who came to Canada from the West Indies as a domestic. Jackie recalls that her mother gave her a fantastic upbringing in terms of work ethic but unfortunately lost my mom to cancer when she was 16. “She left me in a very adult situation having to make adult decisions and figuring out how I was gonna pay the bills,” says Porter.
Porter worked three jobs throughout high school and university. She always saved the maximum and budgeted so she’d built up some assets at the company that she worked for. But then her job became “redundant” and she was laid off.
A friend referred her to a financial planner, which was the first time she’d heard of the profession. “And she actually looked like me! She was a woman of color,” says Porter. “I was just like, whoa, this is amazing. That was a pivotal woman in my life because she just captured my imagination and I could see myself being in this role.”
Building Canada’s First Online Interactive Financial Planning Toolbox
Porter is in the process of launching Canada's first online interactive financial planning process. The Legacy Toolbox will benefit her existing clients and, eventually, the entire advisor community.
The big challenge most clients have is organizing their life in terms of important documents, legal documents, and investment information. The Legacy Toolbox will eliminate this problem by acting as a fully integrated financial organizer that works directly with the client’s financial plan through their advisor.
In the future, the Legacy Toolbox will be licensed to other advisors so they can buy the actual organizing system and use it with their clients.
“If you've ever had to be a detective on someone's important documents, you know how important it is to keep it together, keep it organized, and give yourself and your loved ones that peace of mind. Covid brought that to the forefront more than ever so the timing is perfect for a tool like this one,” says Porter.
Bringing Her Ideas and Passion to Kiplinger Advisor Collective
As a speaker, author, and women’s financial advocate, Jackie Porter is looking forward to talking to like-minded people and building community in the financial industry.
“I’m excited to learn more about who's out there, what people are doing, and support fellow community members. I’m also looking forward to opportunities to continue growing the advisor knowledge-base, the advisor community, and build my brand. It’s important to continue leveling up the financial industry as much as we can. It’s great to have Kiplinger Advisor Collective support me in that goal,” says Jackie Porter.