Susan Michel started out as a teacher and, although she is now an award-winning financial advisor, she still considers one of her primary goals to be teaching clients––particularly women––about finances.
Michel was recently awarded the 2014 Enterprising Women of the Year Award by Enterprising Women magazine. She also has been honored by other national and state organizations for her leadership and success as a businesswoman.
The Enterprising Women of the Year Award goes to women who demonstrate they have a fast growing business, who mentor or actively support other women and girls involved in entrepreneurship and who stand out as leaders in their community.
Michel attributes her success, and her ability to attract both advisors and clients, to the fact that she has based her life and her business on “faith, family, firm,” in that order.
After graduating from the College of Saint Elizabeth, an all women’s college in New Jersey, she started her working life as a teacher. She switched to financial planning and always worked for independent firms until she founded Glen Eagle Advisors in Princeton, N.J., in 2002.
Starting with just herself, Michel has built a growing business in the male-dominated industry. Glen Eagle is a dual model firm doing business both as an RIA and a broker-dealer. Between the two, Michael says the firm has $350 million in assets under management and custodianship. The firm also handles insurance and is both fee and commission based.
Michel has a minimum requirement of $1 million in investable assets for her clients but the firm as a whole has no minimum. For both advisors and clients, Glen Eagle has a wide range of ages and asset levels. Many of the clients are small business owners or women going through divorce.
“We want to nurture our clients and our advisors,” says Michel.
Part of that philosophy goes back to her training as a teacher and part to fulfilling the mission of faith, family, firm. She says this philosophy helps women in particular, but it is not exclusively gender based.
“You have men who want to be the soccer coach and enjoy their families, just like women,” she says.