QUESTION: Thank you for taking the time to participate in the Q & A session. Before we start in detail. Would you like to share with everyone who may not know, who you are, where you live and what is your current occupation?
VALERIE: Of course! Thank you so much for the opportunity. I am thrilled to be here. My name is Valerie Sanchez and I am a proud Latina, born and raised on the west side of Chicago. I am a mom, I love to volunteer and serve the Lord, I love music, cooking and being with family. My husband and I currently reside in Union County, NJ. I am an advisor; a financial education warrior and I am co-founder of Divine Asset Management.
QUESTION: What is it like being in management at a Wall Street woman owned trading firm. Care to share any positives, as well as negatives you experienced over the years up until the present?
VALERIE: I joined the Capital Markets division of Divine in 2014 and since the first day the experience has been like nothing I have ever experienced during my 29 years in this industry. We are like family. There is a top down culture of inclusivity and true respect and care for everyone at the firm. Any negatives I experienced were before I got to Divine. Starting out incredibly young, I never felt like I had very many female role models while I was growing up in this business. I had a couple exceedingly early on and then It was not until later in my career that I had another female boss who I felt was someone I could emulate. I admired and respected for her work ethic and tenacity. That is not to say that I did not have amazing male bosses and/or role models who guided me along my career, but the women were few. And now of course, my partner, Danielle and I have become like sisters! We have known each other since we both sat on the trading desk at MH Meyerson in 1993! It is wonderful to have such a like-minded and strong partner on this journey. We aspire to be the role models we did not see early on. I have to say that I have been incredibly blessed while on Wall Street because the positives have far outweighed the negatives.
QUESTION: What personal or professional failure/setback have you experienced in your life or professional career that has set you up for later success?
VALERIE: In 2010 I suffered 2 tragic losses back to back. My 13-year-old nephew was shot and killed in Chicago, and 10 days later my grandfather (who had helped raise me) passed away. The pain was unbearable and added to the already tumultuous personal struggles I was experiencing. I had to take a leave from my high-paced career to finally focus on my family and my health. When it was time to return to work, I realized that I could not stay in that position and maintain a healthy lifestyle and home. So, I resigned. At the time everyone thought I was crazy (including me!), but it set me up for the journey I am now on. I would have never joined Divine Capital and I would have never co- founded Divine Asset Management had I not paid attention to the tug on my spirit and stayed on the previous path.
QUESTION: How would you describe what makes a successful Trader. What do you look for in a new recruit at your firm?
VALERIE: I believe a successful trader or sales trader, or any employee, is someone who understands their craft but is still teachable. Whatever you do – do it well but know that you always have room for improvement. Someone will always know more than you and that is ok – learn from them. It does not have to be a competition. It is not a zero-sum game – we can all “win”. When we look for a new hire we want someone who has industry knowledge and expertise, and/or a strong desire to learn. They must be likeable, trustworthy, a self-starter and problem solver.
QUESTION: What do you feel is the role in having a balance all around life in your day to day activities. What hobbies do you enjoy?
VALERIE: I think it is a challenge to have overall balance. I feel like some days I am amazing at my career, some days I am amazing at being a mom, wife, or friend. The days are few and far between when I am killing the game in BOTH. However, I do not beat myself up for having off days at either one. I also must remind myself that self-care is critical. Whether that is reading a good book, reading a devotional, resting, or creating one of my DIY projects. I need me time because I cannot pour from an empty cup.
QUESTION: What advice would you give to your younger self as it relates to your personal life. What about advice for your younger trading self?
VALERIE: Personally, I would tell younger Val – “Trust yourself. You are doing great, keep going!” I am such a detail-oriented person that I can get sucked into a place where I need to know everything about something before I act, or I question myself to death even when I know what I am doing. I realize afterward that my initial gut reaction is always right. I must remind myself that I am an expert at some things and what I say and do matters, it carries weight. I can be confident and stand in that truth.
I would tell my younger sales trader self – “Do not let anyone make you feel inadequate, you are exactly where you belong.”
QUESTION: You are part of an impressive Women in Finance Initiative. Can you share with our readers exactly what this is about?
VALERIE: Absolutely! Divine Asset Management is a full-service financial firm with a focus on women and education around money. We want to guide women to be their best, most enlightened financial self and align with their desires. We want all women to understand that they are the engine of the economy and we have so much financial power. Women are in control of more financial decisions than ever before, but they are also locked out of the bigger picture of wealth. A lot of women feel left out from conversations about financial decisions and isolated because of the shame associated with facing the unknowns in our finances. We work with our clients to change that. Change the narrative and harness our financial prowess. And how we do this is through an online educational program, blogs, Youtube videos, weekly virtual group meetings, one on one planning, and asset management.
QUESTION: Where do you see yourself in 5 years – then 10 years?
VALERIE: Personally – I see myself enjoying all the things I enjoy now. God, family, food, travel, DIY projects and friends. Professionally – I see our firm building our client base, growing investable assets, recruiting amazing advisors, and continuing the mission of transforming people’s relationships with their finances and creating their legacy.
QUESTION: When you have lost your mojo or focus, what do you do to get back on track?
VALERIE: Any time I am out of sorts or need to recalibrate I go to a place of gratitude. I immediately think of 3 things that I am grateful for and it helps realign my mind and spirit.
QUESTION: If you could have a big billboard with your favorite saying or message on it, what would it be?
VALERIE: “If you get, give. If you learn, teach.” -Maya Angelou
QUESTION: Thank you Valerie for taking the time for this interview. How can our readers contact you, including on social media?
VALERIE: Thank you so much for having me!
We can be reached:
Our Website http://www.divineassetmgt.com.
Twitter: @gathergrowgive or @divinevalsan
Readers can also sign up for one of our weekly “WealthWise Wednesday chats with Dani and Val” HERE.
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