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Meet Trailblazer Shanna Tingom

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shanna Tingom.

Shanna, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ll always remember the day my father introduced me to scuba diving. My brother and I peered over the edge of the boat and were terrified of all the potential dangers lurking under the surface. It was paralyzing and I felt incredibly vulnerable. As I took a deep breath and made the plunge, and all of a sudden my world expanded. As my skills and confidence increased, I became more adventurous. Now, after decades of diving, I find myself being more conservative as I have more at risk. That day, my father gave me a life-long passion that has rippled into my philosophy and process when it comes to finances. For many, the investment world is multi-faceted and can feel even more daunting than shark-infested water! No matter where you are, my commitment is that my clients are empowered in the process and in their decision-making for their financial future.

As a veteran of the financial services industry, I was 19 years old when a meeting with a financial advisor
revealed my purpose and passion. The advisor dismissively reached across the desk patted me on the head, and said, “Don’t worry sweetheart. Your husband will take care of this money stuff for you someday.” Since then, I have built a career out of helping others take charge of their financial future. I’m more likely to draw pictures and use props to counsel clients rather than use traditional methods involving price-to-earnings ratios and mountain charts. I am a life-long learner and keep apprised of changes in the industry through education. I earned a bachelor’s degree in business from William Penn University and a master’s degree in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix. I hold FINRA Series 7 and 66 licenses and the Accredited Asset Management Specialist and Certified Divorce Financial Analyst designations.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Heck no! I “almost” started my business 15 years ago and let fear talk me out of it! Six more years in corporate jobs that weren’t my highest purpose, and I took the plunge and couldn’t be happier! But the first two years were brutal and required 60-70 hour weeks including many nights and almost every weekend. Just as it started to get FUN, I decided to become an independent advisor, leaving the stability of a large, brand-name. And the process started all over! Two more years of blood, sweat, tears, worry and hard work, and I’m now back and the point where it’s finally getting FUN! I’m not looking back now. My advice is, don’t let fear get in the way, and if you need to find a mentor and or a coach to help. I’ve had some great mentors and coaches over the years and they have helped tremendously.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Heritage Financial Strategies – what should we know?
Heritage Financial Strategies is an independent financial services firm devoted to the development of lasting relationships. We believe that everything begins with truly knowing and understanding you. As opposed to the common industry experience of being talked to, our conversations dig into what you desire so that we can always listen to understand, regardless of your account size or investment knowledge.  Our day begins and ends with a commitment to our core values:

Integrity: We believe in always doing what is right for you.
Honesty: We’ll tell you what you need to hear, even if it is not what you want to hear.
Transparency: We provide clear costs and fees for our services.
Fun: We think investing should be fun, we do our best to help you enjoy the process.

Our passion is supporting our clients’ financial interests and goals through life’s transitions both
personally and in business. Our team of seasoned experts provides professional services in:

• Fiduciary Investment Management
• Education Funding Strategies
• Retirement Planning
• Divorce Financial Planning

We’re interested to hear your thoughts on female leadership – in particular, what do you feel are the biggest barriers or obstacles?
I’ve been in financial services my whole career. And while I LOVE not having to wait for the bathroom at meetings and industry conferences, there are not nearly enough women advisors or in leadership in my industry! It’s a big reason I picked Cambridge Investment Research as my Broker-Dealer. Amy Webber, the President and CEO is a shining example of what we aspire to as Women in leadership in such a male-dominated industry. Many women have to choose between their personal and professional lives. Taking care of children or parents or climbing the corporate ladder. It shouldn’t have to be a choice. And with every year that passes, it’s more attainable.

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Image Credit:

Suit and green outfit – Elaine Kessler, Blue dress – Jim Lauvou

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