William Huston, AIF®, AIFA®

10 Best Women Financial Planners

William Huston, AIF®, AIFA®

William Huston, AIF®, AIFA®

For a long time, the finance industry has been male-dominated but things have slowly changed over the years.

The number of women in finance is increasing despite the many challenges that they face. This is a move in the right direction as it will lead to more career opportunities for women.

In the U.S. it is reported that women control more than half the wealth, and while 70% of female consumers would like to work with a female financial advisor, less than half actually have one. This is because they don't know where or how to find a female expert in the financial industry who understands their needs and can offer them comprehensive advice on tax planning and proper money management.

If you're searching for an excellent female financial advisor, here are some top names of women financial advisors that you should know.

Key Points

  • Despite the finance industry being a male dominated field, the number of women financial advisors is on the rise
  • Women control more than half the wealth in the United States and while 70% of female consumers would like to work with a financial advisor
  • 10 best women financial planners
  • Working with female financial planners is beneficial as they are able to easily collaborate with others in a team setting and they also tend to have great communication skills


The contents of this article are for educational purposes only. They are not intended to be a source of professional financial advice. You will find experts on financial planning, financial management, and real estate here. More on disclaimers here.

10 Best Women Financial Planners

1. Ila Corcoran

Ila is the SVP, Real Estate Operations at Bay Street Capital Holdings and is one of the skilled and experienced advisors on the team. Her specialty in financial planning is in the real estate industry and she has 5 years of experience working in this field.

Her introduction to the real estate world began after her family experienced foreclosure. She then went ahead to become a real estate agent out of necessity to secure housing and develop career capital that would propel her into the opportunities systematically unavailable to her community.

At the start of her career, Ila began as a property manager among a team of 4 others managing more than 300 units across Southern California. At the same time, she obtained her Real Estate License, a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from California State University Long Beach, and a minor in both Business and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

With a strong passion in the residential industry, Ila saw an opportunity to help others create security through housing and homeownership. For 2 years, she worked closely with homeowners and real estate professionals helping them maximize their investments and avoid the threats of discount buyers and/ or foreclosure. In 2021 alone, she led a team to close more than $80m in transaction volume across numerous states, with a laser focus on value-add services for the American homeowner. Over the last five years, she has closed $10.4 million in sales volumes.

During her free time, Ila enjoys serving apartment communities across Los Angeles, and in the non-profit housing space dedicated to solving housing insecurity.

She is now taking new clients in 2023 who are interested in actively working on their real estate needs and/ or financial goals. She is of the belief that financial and housing security is a right that all people deserve. To get in touch with Ila, contact her here.

2. Colleen O'Callaghan

Colleen O'Callaghan is a Managing Director and Wealth Partner at J.P. Morgan Wealth Management. She is also a founding member of The O'Callaghan Thomas Group, where she provides ultra-high-net-worth individuals, multi-generational families, corporate executives and entrepreneurs with comprehensive and tailor made strategies that address their complex financial needs.

Colleen is a highly skilled financial advisor who is very responsive to client needs and her unbiased and detailed approach helps her to cultivate long-lasting relationships.

Colleen has received numerous awards and recognitions for her work in the industry. She has been recognized by Forbes and Barron's as among the top financial advisors in the industry.

3. Deborah Montaperto

Deborah Montaperto is a Certified Financial Planner CFP® who serves as a Managing Director and Private Wealth Advisor at Morgan Stanley Private Wealth Management. She is also a Partner of The Polk Group at Graystone Consulting where she's responsible for strategic business development as well as executing liability management transactions for the clients in their portfolio. She has also developed the family advisory platform to cater to the needs of high net worth families.

Deborah's career started out on Wall Street in 1986 and then she later joined The Polk Group Graystone Consulting in 2008. In addition, she is also a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. She has been recognized by popular publications such as Barron’s and Forbes as a top wealth advisor in the industry.

Deborah is an active member of The Lincoln Center Women’s Leadership Council, The National Arts Club, The Economic Club of New York, and Hunts Point Alliance for Children. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of Teen Cancer America.

4. Gillian Yu

Gillian Yu is a Managing Director, Private Wealth Management and Private Wealth Advisor at Morgan Stanley.

Her main focus as a wealth management advisor is to provide ultra high net worth individuals and families who live in Asia, the United States or a combination of both with complex, holistic cross-border wealth management solutions. She helps them create customized pre-liquidity planning solutions, monetization strategies, asset management strategies, wealth transfer strategies and plans to achieve their philanthropic goals.

Gillian has been recognized by top publications such as Forbes and Barron's as among the best financial advisors in the industry, multiple times.

5. Holly Newman Kroft

Holly is the Managing Director at Neuberger Berman and has been working as a wealth advisor with the firm since 2005.

She works closely with ultra-high net worth individuals and their families to help them create personalized investment solutions that best suit their needs.

She has been recognized by popular publications such as Barron's and Private Asset Management Magazine as among the most influential women in private wealth management.

6. Karen McDonald

Karen Mcdonald is a financial advisor who is based in Palo Alto, CA and has been in the advisory business for 29 years. She is a Managing Director at Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and has $210.1+ billion in assets under management (AUM).

Karen has been recognized by publications such as Forbes and Barron’s and as among the best financial advisors in the game.

7. Stephanie J. Stiefel

Stephanie J. Stiefel, is a Managing Director at Neuberger Berman. She is the Head of Client Development for the Straus Group, within the firm’s Private Asset Management division.

As a certified public accountant by training, she has worked as a personal financial planner and a senior tax manager. She serves on several boards including the Board of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at New York University.

As a financial expert, she has been recognized severally by Barron's among the top women financial advisors.

8. Susan Kaplan

Susan is a nationally recognized Certified Financial Planner™ who served as the President and Chairman of the Board for the Institute of Certified Financial Planners in Boston for four consecutive years. She also headed the internship program at Boston University’s Financial Planning program for 10 years. She is holder of an MBA in Finance with high honors from Boston University.

She has been recognized by Barron’s and Forbes as among the most excellent planners in the United States and has been featured in Louis Rukeyser’s Wall Street and Mutual Fund publications, among other financial journals.

She has made appearances on popular news outlets such as CNBC, Bloomberg News, Channels 4, among others. As a speaker, she has been invited to speak on investments at several national meetings. For two years in a row, she was also a presenter at the CNBC Fidelity Money Show.

9. Suze Orman

Suze Orman is a renown certified financial planner (CFP), personal finance expert, author of ten consecutive New York Times best sellers, two-time Emmy Award-winning TV host and among the most successful motivational speakers in the world today.

After being a waitress making $400 a month for seven years, she made a switch and began her career as a financial advisor, working for Merrill Lynch and Prudential Bache Securities. In 1987, she founded the Suze Orman Financial Group, a financial planning firm in Emeryville, California. Currently, Suze serves as a co-founder for Securesave.

For 13 years, she was the host of the award winning Suze Orman Show on CNBC and a contributing editor to O: The Oprah Magazine for 16 years. She currently hosts the extremely popular podcast "Women & Money", serves as the official personal finance educator for the U.S. Army and Army Reserve, is a special advocate for the National Domestic Violence Hotline and also serves on the advisory board of Mogul.

During her free time, she and her wife enjoy spending time wahoo fishing in the Bahamas.

10. Valerie Newell

Valerie is a Principal and Senior Wealth Advisor at Mariner wealth Advisors. Her specialty is in investment management, financial planning and retirement planning for high-net-worth individuals, families and retirees. She also specializes in working with multigenerational families, helping them continue their legacies of planning for their future and managing their wealth successfully from generation to generation.

Valerie has been recognized by Barron's as a top financial advisor multiple times and has also been a guest speaker for Barron’s Australia Summit and Barron’s London Summit.

Benefits of Working With a Woman Financial Advisor

Empathy and Understanding

Women may have a better understanding of some of the unique financial challenges that other women face, such as the gender pay gap, taking time off work to care for children or elderly relatives, and planning for a longer life expectancy. A female financial advisor may be better equipped to empathize with and understand these issues, and offer tailored advice accordingly.

Communication Skills

Women tend to have strong communication skills, which can be especially valuable in financial advising. A female financial advisor may be more skilled at listening to your needs, communicating complex financial concepts in an understandable way, and building a strong rapport with you.

Diverse Perspectives

Diverse perspectives can lead to better outcomes. Working with a female financial advisor can bring a different perspective to the table, which can help you better achieve your financial goals.


Female financial advisors may be more collaborative, seeking input from other professionals, and working as part of a team to help you achieve your financial objectives. This can help ensure that you have a comprehensive financial plan that takes into account all aspects of your life.


Women may be more accessible and responsive to your needs, offering a more personal and client-focused approach to financial advising. This can lead to a more satisfying and productive relationship.

Bay Street Capital Holdings

Bay Street Capital Holdings is a Black-owned, independent investment advisory, wealth management, and financial planning firm headquartered in Palo Alto, CA. They manage portfolios with the goal of maintaining and increasing total assets and income with a high priority on managing total risk and volatility. Although many advisors may focus on maximizing returns, they place a higher priority on managing total risk and volatility.

Our founder, William Huston founded Bay Street after 13 years of supporting the United States' largest retirement plan ($650B) Thrift Savings Plan. He is recognized as Investopedia’s Top 100 Financial Advisors for 2022. In California, Bay Street Capital Holdings is the only Black-owned firm out of the twenty firms that received this recognition.

In Scottsdale Arizona, Ekenna Anya-Gafu CFP, AAMS is recognized among the Best Financial Advisors for his responsiveness, friendliness, helpfulness, and detail. Bay Street was founded to advocate for diverse and emerging fund managers and entrepreneurs.

In 2021, Bay Street was selected as a finalist out of over 900 firms across the US in the category of Asset Manager for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).







Top 100 Financial Advisor - 2021 & 2022

Asset Manager of the Year | Category: Corporate Social Responsibility - 2nd out of 900 firms: 2021

Best Financial Advisors in the Bay Area & Scottsdale AZ - 2021

Channel Futures DE&I 101 Honoree - Recognizing individuals whose words, actions, and leadership are changing the face of the ICT Channel.

Bay Street Capital Holdings - You're Welcome Here.


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