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The spotlight continues to shine on how to attract and retain more women advisors in the investment industry in recognition of International Women’s Day earlier this month.

A lot has changed over the decades, says Jennifer Tozser, senior wealth advisor and portfolio manager at National Bank Financial Wealth Management in Calgary. Ms. Tozser is also one of just 17 women among the 150 advisors on The Globe and Mail and SHOOK Research’s Canada’s Top Wealth Advisors ranking.

She remembers the days when a new advisor would be given a phone book and told to start dialing to build a client roster. These days, companies have programs that support and offer women flexibility as they grow in their advisory careers.

Ms. Tozser spoke with Globe Advisor about how the industry has progressed, the myths that still surround it, and her top tips for women starting out in the field.

You’ve been in the industry for 20 years. How has it changed for women advisors?

For women who are new to the industry, what’s changed is that there are now many women who’ve had long careers. For some women, they need to see other women doing this, so they know that they can do it themselves.

Corporations have recognized that and now have programs in place to help women to demystify the job and make them more confident.

What’s also happened is very few women work in isolation. When you come into this business, you generally come into a team and instead of just sitting there at a desk trying to learn how to do everything, you’re working with somebody who knows what they’re doing.

You can see how to manage a million-dollar portfolio, see what good processes are, and how other people do things. Then, over time, you have the confidence that you can do it yourself.

What myths still need to be busted?

That there’s an old boys club, and you can’t do the job if you’re not a man. It’s not an old boys club. You just have to get to the work and deal with the rejection. In this job, you’re dealing with rejection all the time. That’s something that you, as a woman, have to find a way to become confident about.

What advice would you offer women looking to pursue a career in this field?

Number one, find someone to mentor you. Number two, know that this is a long-term game and there is very little short-term reward. Finally, know that you can do it.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

– Renee Sylvestre-Williams, Globe Advisor Reporter

Must-reads from Globe Advisor this week

Reverse mortgage popularity jumps with rising house prices

Reverse mortgages are becoming a more popular component in retirement planning despite still being seen as a “last resort” for investors and advisors alike. Originations for HomeEquity Bank’s Income Advantage product more than tripled in 2021 – rising 223 per cent from 2020. Jameson Berkow looks at how including home equity as an asset in a portfolio as a source of retirement income can help limit volatility risks that come from drawing down other securities.

What assets are creditor-protected when seniors file for bankruptcy?

Seniors who have a severe debt situation or are facing bankruptcy often want to liquidate all assets to pay off creditors, but there are some assets that are creditor-proof such as registered retirement savings plans that are more than a year old. Deanne Gage speaks with advisors on strategies used in these scenarios as rising house prices, expenses and inflation make the situation worse for seniors struggling with high debt.

More find it difficult to think about retirement in these times

Two years of pandemic-related uncertainty, the rising cost of home ownership, and an unrelenting appetite for all things crypto is contributing to a troubling new trend of Canadians being unable to plan effectively for retirement, advisors say. A recent poll of financial professionals shows a vast majority blame the “culture of now” mindset for preventing people from planning for retirement. Barbara Balfour digs deeper on what’s holding Canadians back.

What to watch out for when filing taxes in the U.S. and Canada

There weren’t any substantive tax changes in the U.S. in 2021, but the clock is still ticking on other exemptions that the Biden administration could change as part of its proposals. Expiration dates on existing laws could also affect U.S. residents or citizens living in Canada. Brenda Bouw reports on what advisors and their clients need to be aware of this tax season and in the future.

Also see:

Why getting rid of bad clients can help your practice

Industry groups call for support for seniors and small businesses in federal budget

How tax-savvy are clients when it comes to DIY investing?

Once cheap ETFs lose market share as relentless price war continues

China plans audit concession in face of U.S. delisting threat

What you and your clients need to know

Best addiction stock for investors to bet on

The problem with investing in an addictive business such as social media giant Facebook, now known as Meta Platforms Inc., or cigarette maker Philip Morris International Inc. is that they tend to saturate their markets relatively quickly and also invite competition and regulatory retaliation. Meta Platforms now has a lower valuation than Philip Morris. Ian McGugan weighs the pros and cons between the two.

What happens to your pets after your death?

Pet-focused estate plans may be a little eccentric but such provisions are now common – especially among retirees who increasingly consider their furry friends companions. A contingency plan can include an emergency contact for a trusted friend or family member who has agreed to care for the animals. Joel Schlesinger looks at what the experts recommend for animal beneficiaries.

Are variable-rate mortgage fanatics right?

There’s almost a religions belief that the best mortgage is one in which the rate fluctuates with interest rate trends. Variable-rate mortgages have been available with huge discounts in recent months. But Rob Carrick debates what a slower pace of rate hikes from central banks, along with the size of the increases means for a variable-rate mortgage versus a fixed-rate one.

– Compiled by Globe Advisor staff