Kaila Stevenson | Sound Wealth Financial Inc
I have the wonderful opportunity to meet and photograph all kinds of amazing human beings.
While they are in studio, it is a privilege to learn about their businesses, or the work they do, their family, their interests, and hear a little bit about their story.
Kaila Stevenson is a partner of Sound Wealth Financial Inc and partner in Women Empowering Wealth. Kaila is a seasoned financial security advisor in Parry Sound, renowned for her unwavering commitment to helping individuals and families achieve financial success. With a background in finance and a passion for empowering others, she has dedicated her career to providing expert guidance in wealth management, retirement planning, and investment strategies. Kaila's client-centric approach is marked by her ability to demystify complex financial concepts, ensuring her clients feel confident in their financial decisions. Her understanding of the local economy and personalized, tailored solutions have made her a trusted advisor in the Town of Parry Sound community, where she continues to make a significant impact on her clients' financial well-being.
What inspired you to develop your idea of get into your business?
Sound Wealth Financial was set up by my mother many years ago. She has been in the industry for over 40 years. The values of Sound Wealth Financial have always been the same but when I joined I wanted to update a few details. This included a new logo, social media and website. I really wanted to be part of a firm that was truly client focused and nobody felt out of the loop or unsure about what our role is.
How did Sound Wealth Financial Inc get started?
My Mom, Kelly, was introduced to the financial business by her brother Trevor Huff. Over 40 years later, with 20 years at a local bank, and working at a few firms, Kelly embraced her passion for the financial business and founded Sound Wealth Financial Inc in 2016.
How have your priorities changed from when you first started?
We’ve come a long way in a few short years but our priorities and values still remain the same. Very client focused and ensure our clients are our number one priority.
Knowing what you know now, is there anything you would have done differently when you were first starting out?
I can honestly say no. The social media, new logo design, structure of the company and website has been nothing but positive. I have goals and a vision for the future and its only upward from here. Of course, there has been some bumps in the road and I’m sure will continue to have challengers, but it all works out in the end.
What challenges did you have to overcome at the beginning of your journey?
Covid was by far the biggest challenge of my career so far. It was difficult for a couple reasons including balancing the boy’s education, work and the markets. I would go from a crying child who missed his friends, to a nervous client, to 5 loads of laundry. It was a lot but something I learned so much from.
How do you define success?
I would define success as balance. The opportunity to do what you love for work, have the freedom to do as you wish in your personal life (spend time with the kids, trips, or just taking a day for yourself). Having the ability to do all those things, defines success for me.
What is keeping you up at night?
If you ask my husband, nothing keeps me up at night. I could be a professional sleeper. I will say when I have something on my mind, it will usually eat away at me for a few days as I dwell on it. I run every situation through my head and how to handle each one.
Describe some of your key routines or habits that you have to keep you going?
My morning routine consists of coffee (gotta start our right). Usually on my way to work I listen to a few financial podcasts and when I get into the office I start my day. My calendar is my best friend at the office, it keeps me in line but I also like to write out my top to dos for the day. Some are client tasks, maybe a phone call or an email and sometimes its just, get outside. Having those little tasks really helps me stay on track and stay focused.
Do you, and/or, how do you find time to develop your creative process?
I have an amazing social media manager who makes all my visions come to life. Usually it's just a quick message (I’m horrible about sending them early morning or weekends whenever ideas pop into my head) and she makes the idea come to life. Sometime it’s a quick message like “what do you think of this” and together we can make it a successful social media post.
What are some hard choices that you had to make to get where you are?
Finding the balance in the beginning was hard (and sometimes still is). I have to remind myself a lot that its not all about work, family is much more important and to slow down and take the time. Not that it was a hard choice, but getting a phone that was dedicated to work was a huge step. Allowing me to turn that off at night or the weekends was a great way to turn my work brain off for a bit.
What is your relationship like with failure?
I would say I immediately let it get to me, upset, angry, over think it. I get frustrated with myself. I then would do a deep dive and see what went wrong, how can I fix it. Is there an opportunity to correct things? How can I correct it? What is the reason behind the failure? If it comes up that is un-fixable, I see opportunity to learn from it, to have that failure make me stronger in the future.
What inspired you to start a Women Empowering Wealth business?
I truly believe Ravella Wiles, Paula Wilimek, and myself all inspired each other. Women Empowering Wealth came from us just leaning on each other in this role, trying to find some support from other female advisors. This industry is very male oriented, and we found having each other to chat too, run ideas off of and to support when we were having a rough day was huge. It is so amazing to have fellow advisors that you truly know care about you and your business and only want you to succeed. It has been a conversation for awhile now on how can we work together, lift each other up and support more people and that is how WEW came together. We are all independent advisors, part of our own firms but together we will be doing videos, podcasts and speaking arrangements to support clients and non-clients.
How does your business empower women to achieve financial independence and wealth?
Women Empowering Wealth is a safe space for anyone. It’s a place that people can reach out and ask questions, ask for support and learn. We hope that our videos/podcast and speaking arrangements will help relieve some of the financial stress out there by educating clients/non-clients.
In what ways do you believe women face unique financial challenges, and how does your business address them?
I believe knowledge is a huge challenge. In the past, it was very much a male role to handle the finances and in some situations we see that today. We also see the education was never included in our schools growing up. The number of clients we see who does know what an Register Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) is, or doesn’t understand how life insurance works, its heart breaking as we feel this should be a regular class in school. At Women Empowering Wealth we hope to have the conversations (which could be uncomfortable for some people) but it’s a start in the right direction to ensure the client is informed and comfortable with financial decisions that need to be made for now and the future.
Can you describe a memorable success story or moment that reaffirmed your commitment to your business's mission?
This would be a success story from Sound Wealth Financial Inc. I met with a client many years ago who lost her husband suddenly. Right from the first meeting, I connected with her and felt her pain. She was in a situation that he handled all the finances, and she was unsure about the future. We took every stop slowly, ensuring she was comfortable with the decisions we were doing and understood why we were doing them. Fast forward a few years later and this client moved 2.5 hours away. She is still a client and I will continue to support her and visit her a couple of times a year. Every visit is started and ended with a hug. It brings me so much joy that I am a phone call for her when she has exciting news (buys a new home or new car). She is proud and excited, and I love that I can share that with her.
What do you hope your legacy will be in the field of women's economic empowerment?
I hope eventually Women Empowering Wealth will be a program that is not only in place for clients/non-clients but in place for new female advisors. I would like it to be business that works with new advisors from date of hire into there later years. A coaching opportunity that is much different than the standard in this industry.
What message or inspiration would you like to convey to women who aspire to take control of their financial future?
You are not alone and there is support out there, including Women Empowering Wealth. Do not let this be something that you lose sleep over, have the conversations so you can be confident with your goals and future.
What book and/or podcast are you enjoying right now?
My favourite business one is Daily Stock Market News with Mark and Marcus.
What is one thing people would never guess about you?
Baking calms me. When I’m stressed or overwhelmed. Baking something just relaxes me and makes me happy.
What is one thing you wish people knew about you?
I am a sucker for good coffee. I recently had a meeting with a client who served me the best coffee I’ve had in my life. Since that meeting, I told myself that when I hit my business goal, I will buy myself that coffee machine. Just last week, I hit the goal and bought it. Now I have to cut back my Starbucks Coffee, wish me luck!
Anything else you want to add and/or share?
I really appreciated this opportunity to share. I truly enjoyed answering these questions and sharing my visions/stories and goals. Thank you Peter.
Where can you find Kaila