Corinne James Menacho, an Old Greenwich mom of three, is this week’s Meet a Mom! The Greenwich Academy alum now has two girls (9 and 6) at her alma mater, and one son (10) at Brunswick. In addition to being a busy mom, she is a Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley. We spoke to her about the career she loves, advice she gives to moms about finances, being a working mom, and more:

 

Can you please tell us a little about your job?

Sure! I’m a Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley. It’s my job to help people define and achieve their financial goals. In turn, that potentially opens the door to all kinds of other life objectives, like traveling, starting a business, saving for tuition, buying a home, or planning for retirement. I love helping people put money to work in an effort to improve their lives!  I started my career in finance at Morgan Stanley in 2000 then left in ’05 to launch a hedge fund.  I ran investor relations and marketing for several years, which I loved, but I had always wanted to become a financial advisor, so I returned to Morgan Stanley in this role in 2016.  I double majored in economics and fine arts at Vanderbilt – it’s the left brain and right brain combination! I found financial advising very appealing because it combines finance with my love of helping people with their own lives.

 

What advice do you give other women and moms about finance?

I always have been supportive of other women and love that this role allows me to help them with their finances because it can be intimidating. You might not know what questions to ask, and because of that you can miss out on some big opportunities that smart saving and investing can open up. The biggest thing is actually not being afraid to ask questions. You need to realize this is your money and you have every right and should understand it. You need to find someone you trust and you can be open with. Once you share your dreams, as well as your fears, we can work together to help achieve your goals.  The more I can learn about your financial situation, the better equipped I am to help you.  My job is really a problem-solving role. 

 

Great advice. Do you have any other favorite advice, besides asking questions and finding someone you trust?

Keep your mind open to possibilities. You’ve got one life to live and you can accomplish a lot —you just have to ask yourself what you want.  At the beginning of the year, I ask my clients what their goals are and whether there are any changes on the horizon.  We then work together to try our best to make things happen and to make these transitions as smooth as possible. 

  

What else should people expect when they come to see you?

A conversation!  I ask a lot of open-ended questions to get a sense of their goals and where they are in their lives.  It’s a relationship I see as long-term, and I want my clients to be as comfortable with me as I am with them. One of the advantages of being with Morgan Stanley is the wealth of resources available to my clients through our technology and the guidance we provide on a wide range of topics from impact investing to budgeting/financial planning, trust & estate strategies, lending and more.  Also, I don’t charge for a consultation, and I don’t have a minimum to start the relationship — I work with a wide variety of clients.  Again, I believe relationships grow over time.  Our focus together is on the long term. 

 

Why is it so important to meet with a financial advisor in times of financial upheaval—including this current Covid-19 crisis and the effects on the economy?

The COVID-19 crisis has made life uncertain and stressful for all of us on so many levels.  It can be a struggle to stay healthy (mentally, physically, and spiritually).  Those with children are trying to balance distance learning while maintaining a job or a household.  The long-term financial impact on ourselves and our communities from this health crisis will be significant.  Working with a financial advisor, especially during these challenging times, can help you avoid the temptation to act impulsively or emotionally when it comes to finances, and instead develop a customized and realistic plan to stay focused on your long-term goals.

 

As difficult as this period is, I think it’s worth pointing out some silver linings. It’s allowed many of us to slow down, spend time with family, watch the spring arrive, and reflect on what matters most.  It may provide the motivation to finally say yes to a job change, a move, a relationship change, or another major life decision.  All of these are great conversations to have with your financial advisor.  As your advisor, I can provide guidance on what is feasible, especially as so much may have changed since the start of this year.  I try to stay positive and realistic, as I look to find solutions.  One of my favorite Chinese proverbs is: The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now. 

 

I have been so inspired by the kindness and generosity I see here in Greenwich — people making masks for others, donating food, and checking in on older neighbors. Even though we’re staying physically distanced, we have come together as a community. I hope we all keep supporting one another, and our local businesses, while we stay focused on a brighter future ahead!

 

Corinne James is a Financial Advisor with the Wealth Management division of Morgan Stanley in Greenwich, CT. The views expressed herein are those of the author and may not necessarily reflect the views of Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC, Member SIPC. Corinne James may only transact business in states where she is registered or excluded or exempted from registration https://advisor.morganstanley.com/corinne.james.  Transacting business, follow-up and individualized responses involving either effecting or attempting to effect transactions in securities, or the rendering of personalized investment advice for compensation, will not be made to persons in states where Corinne James is not registered or excluded or exempt from registration. The strategies and/or investments referenced may not be suitable for all investors. Morgan Stanley and its Financial Advisors do not provide tax or legal advice. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC does not accept appointments nor will it act as a trustee but it will provide access to trust services through an appropriate third‐party corporate trustee.

 

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC is a registered Broker/Dealer, Member SIPC, and not a bank. Where appropriate, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC has entered into arrangements with banks and other third parties to assist in offering certain banking related products and services.

 

Investment, insurance and annuity products offered through Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC are: NOT FDIC INSURED | MAY LOSE VALUE | NOT BANK GUARANTEED | NOT A BANK DEPOSIT | NOT INSURED BY ANY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY

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