Jessica Weaver understands that money has an emotional pull on many people, especially women. For her, that emotional pull went back to childhood, when she kept a stash of cash inside a bin in her closet.
“It was my earliest childhood memory, how if I was mad about something and locked myself in my room, my parents would threaten to come in there and take my money if I wouldn’t come out,” she said. “They knew how I was about that money. I had no idea how much that fear of money being taken from me led me into the life of being a financial advisor.”
Today, Weaver, of Chester, N.J., is a wealth advisor and the founder of the Women’s Wealth Boutique. She is the author of the books Confessions Of A Money Queen, Time To Refine and Strong Woman, Stronger Assets.
She recalled her fears that “if I don’t work hard and if I’m not good, my money is not good either, for money can easily be taken from me no matter how hard I work.”
Early in her life, she witnessed both of her grandmothers struggle with retirement and run out of money. Later, as an advisor, she vowed to take a stand against this happening to any other woman. So in 2015, she began running workshops and events to help women gain control over their money before it was too late.
Now she wants to help women overcome their fears about money and replace those fears with a feeling of serenity.
“What I try to instill is that money is a practice,” she said. “The evolution of our journey with money and how we use it as a tool in our lives is ongoing. And there’s not a wrong way to deal with money. It should be about how you use money to live out your life purpose in the best way possible.”
Attracted By Strategy
Weaver grew up in the financial services industry. Her father has been in the insurance business for about 40 years, and Weaver said she remembers sitting in the living room with him, stuffing “cold mailers” into envelopes when she was 8 or 9 years old. “And then I remember spending my summers working in his office, filing and stuffing envelopes,” she said.
While she was a student at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa., she decided to begin working for her father after graduation. Her brother already had begun working for her father as well. She obtained her first license the summer before her senior year of college.
Weaver described her father as a more traditional, life insurance-oriented advisor. But she was more interested in the financial advising side of the business.
“I think the strategy and the planning behind how money can grow for people really drew me into the business,” she said. “I played basketball through college, so anything involving strategy was right up my alley.”
While conducting workshops aimed at helping women understand their finances, Weaver realized how many women need guidance in making their money work for them. She started a blog, “Not Your Father’s Advisor.”
“Women need the support of women, not their dad’s advisor,” she said.
In 2018, she founded the Strong Retirement Club.
“It was about helping women to get a grasp on that second stage of their lives,” she said. “So often, when we’re building our careers or our businesses, we’re all focused on working and saving money. But I saw my clients begin their retirement, and all of a sudden, they ask themselves, ‘What is my purpose in life? How can I figure out the lifestyle for retirement?’
Because obviously we can’t plan the financial pieces of retirement if we don’t know how you’re going to live, whether you will move to a place with a different cost of living.
“We need all of that to be clear in order to make a strong, reliable financial plan. And then we have to build in planning for health care, because without our health, our money means nothing.
We also discuss all the things they had been putting off because they were working so hard all these years. Now they have the time to do it, and we get them to the financial means to do it.”
Weaver said the Strong Retirement Club also looks at long-term care and its related issues.
“What are the logistics of long-term care and not just funding it? We help women consider things like finding the right place, finding the right help. Who’s going to move you there? Who’s going to pay your bills? Who’s going to sell your house?”
Weaver formed another group, the Money Empire Club, in 2019. That group is focused on women building their wealth, and on helping them obtain the confidence and financial position for a stress-free retirement.
“These are women who are building their businesses, or maybe they are working but they want a side hustle, or they want to get into real estate — they want to build up their wealth,” she said. “The whole idea is how can we embrace this work-optional lifestyle sooner than retirement. I wanted to take the idea of retirement and make it visible for younger women or for someone like me, a working mom of two young kids. I can’t work 80, 100 hours a week. So how do we work smarter?”
The Money Empire Club attracts not only women who are business owners but also women who are thinking about moving out of their current jobs and becoming self-employed.
“They’re thinking ahead and creating their reinvestment fund,” Weaver said. “It’s that bucket of money that they would build, knowing that in five or 10 years they will want to reinvent themselves — they will want to get out of the corporate world or go back to school or start something new.”
The #pinkfix Movement
Weaver’s passion for helping women improve their financial lives led her to found the #pinkfix movement. She described #pinkfix as “a celebration of women and their wealth.”
She said that #pinkfix is a community of women to help other women build their careers and businesses, and build prosperity along the way. Through #pinkfix, she helps women “channel their inner wealthy woman and shift into becoming a significant player in the game of money.”
Weaver said she wants #pinkfix to “help women find their truth, to uncover what ignites them and how to monetize their voice.”
Her website and book covers show her wearing a variety of bright pink outfits and surrounded by pink objects, many of which are given to her by friends and members of the #pinkfix community. “I think the most unusual item I received was a pink coffeemaker,” she said. “And I get pink lip glosses all the time, pink wine glasses and coffee mugs.”
A lifelong Catholic, Weaver loves to bring God, meditations and prayers into the #pinkfix movement’s events and programs. Her latest book, Confessions of a Money Queen, weaves her religious beliefs into her beliefs about money. The book lists 10 money moves that are intertwined with thoughts on faith and gratitude.
“When I wrote the book, I was on a spiritual journey, finding my relationship with God,” she said. “In reading the Bible, I saw so much of it was around money. The more I brought this to my work, the more peace I felt. And the more peace I felt, the more I wanted to schedule more time for God and the more I wanted to bring God into my work.”
A Different Path
Weaver worked with her father and brother for about 10 years and said that although she enjoyed being in the business with them, she believed she needed to take a different path. She formed the Women’s Wealth Boutique at the end of 2021 and plans to create an all-woman firm to serve the needs of female clients.
She works with women in all stages of their lives, but she said they have many things in common.
“I work with a lot of women who are independent or they just lost their spouse or were blindsided by a divorce,” she said. “So they all want to achieve financial independence and understand how to build wealth, how investments work, about passive income or real estate.
“We take the time to educate clients in a safe environment and in a social environment as well. I bring in speakers on various nonfinancial topics, such as improving your health. I want to help women get to a place of serenity with their money. It’s not so much about building millions of dollars; it’s about finding a way to be at peace because you’re confident in what you’re doing with your money.”
Outside of work, Weaver enjoys reading and long-distance running. She also loves to cook for her husband and two young children.
Weaver is instilling her passion for helping women learn all they can about money in her daughter, who is four years old.
“I’m trying to make her aware of money and what we use it for,” she said. “For example, I’ll ask her, ‘If you had 10 dollars, what would you buy?’ and then we would discuss that. Or we’ll be out riding or walking and pass all these houses and I would ask her, ‘Which house do you like? How much do you think it costs?’ Children don’t always see bills and coins because so many of our transactions are done online. So I think it’s good for her to see money actually being spent.
For example, we donate to our church online, but when we’re there, we give her bills to put in the collection basket. So she can see money and that we give back. And I talk to her about my going to work — that I work so that we can have this house, so that she can go to dance class.”
Weaver said one of her goals in working with women is to remove the guilt associated with money.
“This is especially true of women — we feel so guilty about money. We feel guilty when we’re spending it, we feel guilty when we’re saving too much. There’s guilt around not earning enough, about not working enough. I want to strip out that guilt that it needs to be done in a certain way. Money is a practice; it’s a tool in our lives. And there’s not a right or a wrong way to use it.
“It should be about you and how you live out your life’s purpose in the best way possible.”