As a financial adviser, Kim Nichols could focus on the numbers. But, she says, her job really is about people.
“In the end, money is an emotional matter,” Nichols says. “It is my role to offer guidance, education and even some handholding in volatile markets to help my clients from making emotional and detrimental decisions.”
Nichols says this is especially true this year.
“It has been more important than ever to be there not only as a financial adviser, but a trusted friend that is there to silence some of the noise and navigate the volatility in the markets,” she says.
Nichols says it’s important for her to be able to wear a wide array of hats.
“Some days I am a portfolio manager. Some days I am a risk analyst. Many days I am more of a life coach helping my clients prepare for a major life event,” she says.
“It is my role to not only help plan for their future and retirement, but to plan for any other goal that might be of importance, i.e. saving for college, a wedding, travel and even creating a legacy after they are gone. Creating financial plans and strategies that allow my clients to meet their goals and needs are the cornerstone of my practice,” she says.
Nichols says one of the greatest advantages of working with a large wealth-management firm is her ability to tap into its intellectual capital. It’s enabled her to help clients with lending and cash-management solutions, retirement planning and business succession plans.
“So many times, a client’s personal wealth is tied up in their company,” she says.
She also helps people take care of their families.
“On an individual level, I have been able to structure income for clients who have a disabled child or a person that has been injured in an accident, and help with the burden of future care,” Nichols says.
And often, helping people care for their families means helping to usher them through some of life’s most traumatic issues – death, divorce and accidents.
“Dynamics vary from one family to the next, but the more I can bring comfort and assurance to them, the easier it is for them to move forward with their lives,” she says.
When not on the clock, Nichols is an active member of a number of trade groups and has volunteered for a variety of civic groups.
Examples include serving on the board of directors for Dickerson Park Zoo; as a Southeast Rotary board member and co-chair of its foundation committee; and a volunteer for Make Promises Happen, a camp for brain-injury survivors in Oklahoma.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in May the all-items inflation index surged 8.6% over the past year, the highest increase since 1981.