A Career With Purpose: The Story of My Life As a Wealth Manager

A Career With Purpose: The Story of My Life As a Wealth Manager

Like many people, I find myself constantly motivated by a deep sense of purpose—a kind of inner compass that influences my decisions, ignites my passions, and pushes me toward my dreams. As a wealth manager, my career is a blend of ambition and a heartfelt desire to help others. It’s where my quest for financial knowledge meets my wish to support others as they pursue their own financial goals. Today I’d like to share with you the journey I took to becoming a wealth manager and why I remain dedicated to the profession to this day.

Reconciling My Past

Growing up in a community where financial struggles were all too common, I witnessed firsthand the impact of poor financial decisions. Despite my parents’ determination and resilience, the cycle of financial hardship surrounded us. As I recognized the need for better financial literacy, I found myself inclined toward understanding and managing finances from a young age. Little did I know that this would eventually lead me to a life-changing opportunity.

As a college student, I faced the daunting reality of not being able to afford an extended education. While my passion was in finance, the financial hurdles threatened to derail my goals. However, resolute in my goals, I made a bold decision to pursue a career in finance outside the traditional academic route. It was during one pivotal moment that fate intervened and set me on an unexpected path.

As I sought opportunities to transition to the world of finance, I stumbled upon Deerfield Financial Advisors purely by chance. Determined to prove myself, I approached the founder, Dick, with a strong belief in my own potential. Despite my humble beginnings, he welcomed me into an apprenticeship that would shape my entire career trajectory. It was a journey of learning, adapting, and embracing new challenges. Fast-forward to 1991 I proudly assumed the role of a financial advisor, and in 1996 earned the CFP® credential.

A Fork in the Road

As young children, we’re constantly exploring our passions, figuring out what we enjoy doing and what drives us. Then as we grow older and step into responsibilities, these passions evolve into our career choices and our pursuit of professional fulfillment. But what happens when life takes a sharp turn, throwing us into questioning the very purpose of our career path?

That’s the fork in the road that I encountered when I had children. As a wealth manager, I had dedicated myself to a profession that offered tremendous mental challenges and deep human relationships, but motherhood presented a powerful new challenge. Should I stay in my career, motivated by the sense of purpose it gave me? Or should I leave to become a stay-at-home mom?

I knew that in either case, a sense of purpose was essential to both my career and being a mother. I hoped and prayed that I could balance my family and a career with intentionality, dedication, and focus on both—but knew with certainty that I had to try.

A Chance to Make a Difference

Working as a wealth manager allows me the privilege of making a tangible impact in the lives of my clients. Many people come to me with unclear goals or confusion around where to invest, and there’s nothing more fulfilling than helping them identify their priorities and creating a road map that moves them closer to financial stability. 

Because finances affect every aspect of life, guiding my clients through these decisions often results in bringing balance and clarity to their day-to-day lives. Whether it’s navigating career transitions, managing family dynamics, or fulfilling legacy wishes, I’m honored to support my clients through these pivotal life events.

Loving the Challenge

As someone who enjoys solving problems, I relish the opportunity and challenge of piecing together the financial puzzle for my clients. By asking insightful questions and listening closely, I gain a deep understanding of their goals and motivations, which allows me to provide personalized guidance tailored to their unique circumstances. 

Throughout this process, you’ll find me asking questions like: What’s most important to you? What drives you forward? I take the answers you provide, and together, we place the puzzle pieces in the right order to optimize your financial success.

Get Personalized Financial Guidance

I truly love getting to know my clients and serving them like I would members of my own family. If you’d like to learn more about their success, I invite you to read some of their stories here!

Could you use a financial partner dedicated to your success in your corner? We at Deerfield Financial Advisors offer a customized approach to planning for your ideal financial future. Our three-step process helps you optimize your portfolio so you can spend more time doing what you enjoy the most. 

Learn more about how to live your WealthwhileSM by calling me at (317) 469-2455 or emailing ssteel@deerfieldfa.com.

About Susie

Susie Steel is COO, Wealth Manager, and Senior Shareholder at Deerfield Financial Advisors, a fee-only financial advisory and wealth management firm with offices in Indianapolis and Chicago. With over three decades of experience in financial planning, Susie’s approach has always been rooted in a spirit of service, treating each client as an extension of her own family. She simplifies the complex for clients, with the goal of creating a calm, trusting, and nurturing environment. Her unwavering commitment to the principle of “To whom much is given, much will be required” serves as the driving force behind her dedication, diligence, and empathy. 

Susie obtained a business management degree from Ball State University, holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ designation, and held the Accredited Estate Planner (AEP®) designation from the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils (NAEPC) from 2013 to 2018. Susie is actively involved with an extensive list of professional organizations, including NAPFA (The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors), a premier association of fee-only financial advisors, and has served on multiple boards, committees, and councils. Her consistent recognition as one of Indianapolis Monthly’s “Five Star Wealth Managers” for the past decade attests to her outstanding accomplishments (2009-2023).

Outside the professional realm, Susie gives back to her community through her involvement in the Financial Center First Credit Union (FCFCU) to the Indianapolis Children’s Museum Planned Giving Council and Kiwanis Club of Northwest Indianapolis to Junior Achievement. She mentors women through the CFP® Board’s “WIN-to-WIN” program, embodies the spirit of Rotary Club of Carmel, advocates for Indiana Canine Assistant Network (ICAN), and actively serves on the board of the Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center (MRNC).
Susie and her husband, Kevin, reside in Carmel, Indiana, where they raised their three children. Outside the office, her focus centers around family, spirituality, and fostering meaningful connections. Embracing the concept of the body as a temple, her personal growth is nurtured through practices like strength training, yoga, and meditation. In her leisure time, she enjoys strolls with her dog, Lulu, and indulges in movies, podcasts, books, and the theater. To learn more about Susie, connect with her on LinkedIn.

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