Sarah Baker: Certified Pathways to Financial Freedom

Women in Wealth Management

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Wealth management firms, or fiduciaries have become a vital part of the life of a modern-day citizen. Why wouldn’t they? Our wealth is our most treasured asset after all. We spend our entire lives working to accumulate all the worldly goods we can in order to live a comfortable life, while looking out for the generations after us even after we are gone.

While saving wealth is one thing, developing and transforming it is another. With the endless amount of investment options out there today, it becomes a mammoth of a task for individuals and organizations alike to constantly monitor and manage their wealth.

This is where nationally-renowned fiduciaries such as Mason Investment Advisory Services, Inc, of Reston, Virginia, come to our rescue. Founded in 1982 by William N. Mason, III, this firm provides highly customized financial planning, investment management and charitable advice to private individuals and families as well as to senior corporate executives and large institutions.

Mason provides fee-only financial planning and tax preparation services for private clients.  We also provide investment management services for both private clients and institutional clients,” shares Sarah Baker, Senior Financial Planner at Mason. “Our main goals are to help our private clients meet their personal financial goals and to help them to manage their money effectively based upon each client’s individual objectives.”

Sarah Baker: Certified Pathways to Financial Freedom
Sarah Baker

“The opportunity is endless!! The red carpet is out for ambitious women to advance their careers in wealth management”

Distinguished Wealth Management Services

Mason was founded on the principle that all clients deserve straightforward and independent finance advice, offered by highly experienced and trusted advisors. A boutique investment advisory firm, Mason provides their clients direction based on proven, time-tested principles reinforced by the data they need to make sound financial decisions. “Our organization can best be described as an independent registered investment advisor with over $10.5B in client assets under management. We have two core offerings- financial planning and investment management,” shares Baker.  

What truly places Mason a cut above the rest is their lack of proprietary products, 40 years of client experiences, a highly-credentialed staff, and multi-generational client base. Recently the firm was notably listed #13 on CNBC’s Top 100 Financial Advisors list, in addition to the institutional team #13, on Barron’s Top 100 Institutional Consulting Teams list as well.

Another differentiator of the firm is that at Mason, serving a client is the primary goal and at the heart of each employee’s approach. In the words of William Mason III – “As fiduciaries, we are committed to objectivity, which keeps our focus exactly where it should be—on you.”

At the onset of a new client relationship, the advisors work diligently to understand their client’s investment needs and goals. Furthermore, by maintaining complete transparency and open communication with clients, Mason’s financial experts are always available to promptly address any questions or concerns, implementing quality control measures as and when required.  

Within the organization, teams maintain a collaborative work culture with multiple staff members with different backgrounds and credentials discussing each client’s issues and needs prior to providing advice. “Our team culture is one of care, humility, respect and embracing diversity,” states Baker. “We value our team and have many events throughout the year to connect and engage our team.” 

Dedicating her Life towards Financial Empowerment

Growing up Sarah always wanted to be a cashier because she “loved the idea of counting/handling money while connecting with people.” She started her career as a Retirement Specialist with the Vanguard group, and on clearing her CFP exam in 2007, came into the dynamic world of wealth advising.

As Senior Financial Planner at Mason, Sarah is devoted to empowering individuals and families with the wisdom to make secure and high-yielding financial and life decisions. Through her contributions, she hopes that the individuals and families she serves are able to experience financial peace of mind, regardless of the volatility of the world around us. She says, “I want each client to be understood as an individual so our team can come alongside and connect their heart, goals for the future and financial resources.”

In an ever-evolving financial landscape, Baker likes to stay current and well-informed. A notable figure in finance conferences, she is widely revered for her comprehensive and customized financial planning and investment management expertise. Notably, in 2020, Sarah was featured in the Investment News 40 Under 40 Project.

Additionally, Baker makes sure to allocate enough time to her passion project – financial literacy. “I love my work and serving HNW individuals, families, and businesses, but I also find great balance in helping those who could never afford our services.” Working alongside a local non-profit organization – Britepaths, Sarah utilizes her own expertise in finance to educate and empower low-income working families towards achieving monetary stability.    

In her free time, Sarah enjoys spending time with her family, playing tennis, traveling, and reading. “I find a lot of my free time is filled with my son’s sports- right now this is lacrosse, soccer and swim team,” smiles she.

Sarah Baker: Certified Pathways to Financial Freedom

Closing the Gender Gap in Wealth Management

Addressing the once apparent gender gap in finance and wealth management, Sarah has witnessed how more and more women today are breaking orthodox barriers. Proud to be a part of this change, Baker says, “More women are becoming clients- there is a huge wealth transfer happening over the next decade with funds shifting to women.  Clients more and more are looking for an advisor that looks like them.”

Not to mention, women have brought a fresh and unique perspective to this industry, with wealthy women often seeking a woman advisor’s assistance in managing her wealth. Operating on a different level of empathy than men in general, female leaders of finance such as Sarah, have taken the industry by storm through their distinctive solutions to serve their clients.

A constant motivator and mentor to young ambitious women on their own wealth management journeys, Baker regularly hosts in-person and virtual events specifically curated for women. Via these gatherings, Sarah connects with women that may not understand the nuances of finance management very well, educating them and addressing their queries along the way. “The opportunity is endless!!  The red carpet is out for ambitious women to advance their careers in wealth management,” believes she.  

Scaling New Heights

Guided by their founder’s vision of keeping the customer at the heart of everything they do, Mason has remained on an upwards growth trajectory since its inception many decades ago. By constantly evolving, innovating, introspecting and never losing sight of their collective vision, this firm has only strengthened their roots in finance and wealth management.

In an ever-changing finance environment, Mason continues to thrive and grow. With more events, gatherings and a greater social media presence, the firm continues to add to its diverse client base and its rich heritage in finance. 

Looking to the future, Sarah shares, “We have added new software and technology to improve our financial planning and investment performance reporting processes, enhanced our support, operations, and IT staff, and have sought unique investment solutions for clients seeking private equity and customized ESG portfolio options. Our strategy is to build upon our success and invest and care for our staff.  The future of our industry is constantly changing, and we seek to stay current on future trends.”

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