Creating value through education and service featuring Kimberlee Bouska
Driven. Confident. Persistent. Resilient. Even these terms seem inadequate to describe Kimberlee Bouska, who, after 19 years in the financial advice industry, continues to look for ways to learn new skills, improve service to her clients and grow her business, all while helping to encourage and foster the success of other women in the industry.
Kimberlee’s resilience is what enabled her, in part, to become a financial advisor in the first place. She fully understood that to make it in a “60-year-old man’s business” as a young woman, she would just have to take steps to be the best she could possibly be. For Kimberlee, that meant getting the right training, learning from other advisors, and ultimately becoming a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and a Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC).
She speaks frankly about the challenges she faced in the early days, though, saying, “It’s tough to be a young woman in this business because everyone wants you to have experience, and so you have to learn how to sell the fact that you’re new and innovative.”
Of course, Kimberlee knew success would not come quickly or easily. She recalls the toughest years were in the beginning, when she purchased her first house, became a wife and mother of two children, and was suddenly faced with juggling more responsibilities than ever before. But her advice to those just beginning their careers is to “keep going” and to “learn to prioritize,” acknowledging that it’s ok to have dirty dishes in the sink if it means being able to focus on more meaningful activities.
Learn to prioritize.
When asked about her recipe for success, Kimberlee is adamant about the value of excellent service. She recounts having worked with clients who invested as little as $25 a month. Over time, these clients had job changes or received inheritances, and began to invest significantly more money. “They were very loyal to me because they knew that I gave them a level of service they couldn’t get anywhere else,” she says.
Excellent service remains a top priority for Kimberlee. But she knows that service can fall by the wayside if one is stretched too thin. It’s no surprise then that the most important lesson she’s learned is to delegate.
“I learned early on sometimes you have to go through your book and pair that down….Rely on your team to do what they’re supposed to do…. If you’ve done a good job training them, they’re going to wow you.”
In addition to focusing on service, Kimberlee recommends other women advisors do what it takes to stand out. It doesn’t have to mean landing the biggest clients. In fact, she says, “Don’t overlook any client. Some of your best clients can start small and grow from there.”
Don’t overlook any client. Some of your best clients can start small and grow from there.
Kimberlee is passionate about encouraging women in the industry, remembering how much she gained from learning from other advisors 20 years ago. To that end, she actively serves on the Women’s Advisory Council, which helps to connect and foster relationships among advisors. She’s also a board member of the Women’s Leadership Alliance, an organization devoted to increasing the number of women financial advisors by providing mentoring and scholarships.
In the spirit of being the best she can be, Kimberlee plans to delegate more in 2021 so she can focus less on “back-office” duties and more on direct client interaction. She’s also committed to participating in more speaking engagements to help position herself as a thought leader in her community, particularly among prospects in the high-tech sector.
Q+A with Kimberlee
What is your name?
What is your hometown?
How long have you been in the financial services industry?
What’s your theme song?
“‘My Life’ by Billy Joel.”
What or who inspires you?
Follow along on social media with #RJWomen.