Magdalena “Maggie” Johndrow, Miss Porter’s School Class of 2006, was recently named by InvestmentNews to a list of 40 young professionals with “tremendous potential in the financial advice industry” who are already “doing remarkable things.” Read on for Maggie’s thoughts as she reflects on her journey to where she’s gotten today!
How did your education at Porter’s prepare you for the career that you have today? Young kids sometimes just need someone to tell them that they believe in them in order to achieve greatness. I’ve met many Ancients who echo my sentiment that they found that person at Porter’s. For me, it was my history teacher, Brendan Burns. To this day, Mr. Burns is one of the most engaging teachers I have ever had. Because of this, I found myself in Mr. Burns’ economics class my senior year and really loved it. Mr. Burns pulled me aside after the semester and told me I should consider majoring in economics because “you’re really good at this!” I also remember that each year we had a Financial Literacy Day at Porter’s and that, one year, we received bumper stickers that read: “A man is not a financial plan.” I was interested in exploring what that meant. I entered Providence College as an economics major with a political science minor — a subject Mr. Burns also introduced me to. I then went on to receive my master’s degree from the London School of Economics.
What do you find to be the most rewarding aspect of your career? The personal relationships I develop with my clients is the most rewarding aspect of my career. In my first jobs on Wall Street, I learned that educating clients through clear communication is my strength and that I’m lucky enough to be to able to use that skill every day. I joined my mother-in-law, Lori Johndrow (a Porter’s parent to Kaitlin Johndrow, Class of 2013), at her firm Johndrow Wealth Management (HQ: Farmington, CT), which she has owned for 36 years. Together we’ve strengthened Lori’s existing relationships, bridging the gap between the generations and including all family members in conversations about finance. With Lori’s mentorship, I’ve also strengthened the relationships of my own clients, many of whom are going through a tough transition like losing a parent or spouse. We’ve created a women-owned and -operated practice, which is a rarity in our industry, since only 15 percent of financial advisors in the U.S. are women. While not exclusively working with women, we find that many women — especially those tackling their personal finances alone for the first time — are attracted to our firm, citing our ability to make complex topics understandable and relatable. We want our clients to not only feel comfortable with their investments, but also excited, so we try to find investments that they’re passionate about; for many women, that’s investing in women-owned enterprises. We also try to focus on the entire financial picture — not just investments — providing holistic guidance as individuals and their families go through life. I certainly developed these communication skills at Porter’s. I find that every Porter’s graduate I meet graduates with the ability to look a stranger in an eye, give a firm handshake, and ask intelligent and thoughtful questions. This is taught early on at Porter’s whether during a prospective student’s visit campus or a guest speaker’s lecture on campus.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years? While I already had moved into a wealth management prior to joining Lori at Johndrow Wealth, my move back to Farmington was driven by Lori’s desire for a partner, and ultimately a successor when she decides to retire. Therefore, in 10 years I see myself as owner of Johndrow Wealth, continuing Lori’s legacy. Our practice has drastically grown in my two years at the firm and I hope to continue that growth by expanding locations and hiring new advisors to join our practice. I want to continue our mission of encouraging women to invest and engage with their finances as well as mentoring the new generation of women in our industry. I’d like to see that 15 percent increase!
What is your favorite Porter’s memory? I could list so many great memories, but one that sticks out is the tradition of Senior Banquet my junior year. The dress-up theme was “red carpet,” and some of my friends and I dressed like 50 Cent’s rap group, G-Unit; needless to say our costumes were both ridiculous and also a hit amongst our classmates.
Click here to read Maggie’s full InvestmentNews profile.