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Symposium Spotlight: Q&A with Senior Financial Planning Education Consultant for eMoney Advisor Emily Koochel

As we prepare for our Annual Symposium, we sat down with Emily Koochel from eMoney Advisor to discuss diversity in the industry, her career, and advice for her younger self. Koochel is a speaker for our Symposium panel, “Different Career Paths in Wealth Management — Is it Really all Math, Numbers, & Sales?

The upcoming Diversitas Symposium is taking place Wednesday, February 8, 2023. Thanks to our sponsors, the virtual event is free to attend and will dive into the future of the industry and opportunities for young professionals looking to succeed in financial services. Register to attend here.

What can firms and financial professionals do to encourage more women and people of diverse backgrounds to work in the industry?

Walk the walk; it is not enough to say you support women in the industry if it isn’t truly reflected in your actions. In a traditionally male-dominated industry, young females considering this career path lack representation, often creating a more challenging path or, worse yet, never knowing the course existed.

Invest in women. While many firms and organizations are making strides in supporting women, much more work is still to be done. Promote these efforts through the recruiting and hiring processes, and offer mentoring and programming designed to show industry benefits available to women, including growth potential to executive leadership positions and the importance of supporting diverse perspectives.

What attracted you to the industry, and why have you stayed?

I was attracted to the financial planning industry for the same reason many professionals are, to help people. As you dive in, you quickly discover that financial planning is not just about the money but about the person. Money plays an integral role in people’s lives, monetarily and intimately interwoven through all of us. We can change people’s lives through this work, including our own. It’s my ambition to continue learning and understanding more about the relationships we hold with money and sharing that information for the greater good that keeps me here.

What advice would you give yourself when you were starting your career in financial services?

There is no ‘one’ path; we are fortunate enough to be in a field filled with immense opportunity. You don’t have to look too far back in our history to appreciate the pioneers in this field and the strides we have all made together. As you continue to grow and evolve as a professional, be mindful of what drives you and what truly excites you about the industry, and keep pursuing that passion. As a professional who has worked in different facets of financial planning, I encourage people to stay curious and not be afraid of where that curiosity leads them. Each of those interested people leads us to where we are today, and you could lead us to where we go tomorrow.

Dr. Emily Koochel is an experienced financial professional, academic, and researcher. She currently serves as a leader for eMoney Advisor’s Financial Education and Wellness research and initiatives as the Senior Financial Planning Education Consultant.

Prior to her career in FinTech, she served as an Assistant Professor teaching courses in personal financial planning at Michigan State University and working in financial planning. Dr. Koochel’s Ph.D. in Applied Family Science and Master’s in Financial Planning provide a multidisciplinary lens to inform her work, focusing on the impact of financial behaviors and financial backgrounds.

She is a subject matter expert in the field, reviewing and authoring peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters and contributing to public scholarship. Most notably, she served as a co-author for the CFP Board’s book – The Psychology of Financial Planning – and was awarded the 2020 Outstanding Research Journal Article of the Year by the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education. She holds the Certified Financial Therapist – I designation and is an Accredited Financial Counselor and Behavioral Financial Advisor.