Hi, my name is Laura Isanuk and I am an investment advisor representative of First Affirmative and the newest member of the Sustainable World Financial Advisors (SWFA) team. I am so excited to finally be where I am- working with this great team and helping individuals achieve financial success while also making the world a better place.
I don’t know how you handled this past election, but I had a full-on identity crisis. I was already struggling with climate change, racial injustice, and being alone for the first time in my life. And then there was this big slap in the face that people around me had knowingly chosen. I took a few days to just do nothing, not even feel sadness nor anger, to let it sink in. The realist in me understood there was nothing we could do about it now, so why bother feeling anything? But then, what? I turned to what I could truly contribute directly and immediately to the world, to the change I could truly look at and say I, Laura Isanuk, made. So, the already ruminating idea of becoming an Advisor moved to the forefront of my mind. At the same time, Ken & Renee happened to approach me to see if I wanted to join their team. It seemed transecting courses were due to converge, and so, rather than give up or get angry, I decided to become an Advisor.
My path to becoming an Advisor started early. As a sophomore in High School I started presenting mock monetary policy meetings (where they determine the interest rate) to actual NY Federal Reserve employees. My spare time was consumed by what the latest jobs reports were showing or was there growth in consumer staples spending. Through this, I landed my first summer internship on Wall Street with Standard & Poors. I did take a stab working for the government for a year with the NJ Department of Environmental Protection. The work I did was rewarding, the outcomes, or rather the delay of actually implementing my work, not so much. So, for the following summer I took an internship back in NYC with UBS Wealth Management that turned into a full-time role. This was a tremendous experience where I worked with everything from mortgages to mutual funds to insurance, marketing, and even financial planning with a Barron’s Top 100 Woman Advisor. I experienced so much, and greatly enjoyed it, but needed to be somewhere I could be outside. While the city has much to offer, nature is not one.
See, the other side of me is an 11-year vegetarian (okay, fish occasionally when I am on a coast), avid gardening, and lover of any physical activity, including but not limited to climbing, biking, skiing, trail running, kayaking…seriously it is everything except free jumping. I got my college to start composting, volunteer with the Nature Conservancy and local politics, and often spend my free time at social and environmental justice events at locations such as the Posner Center, Alliance Center, and even REI.
When I had the chance to move to Colorado and work for Jackson National, an annuity company, I took it. I had never lived anywhere outside of the New York area and knew it would be a good life, but perhaps there could be more than just a good career. Jackson was great, but I missed connecting more with clients and found my way to First Affirmative, a SRI investment manager/advisor platform. For the last 1.5 years I have worked in the home office on the business development side helping with our business metrics, marketing, and my personal favorite, shareowner advocacy. It felt amazing to be my age and be working in the industry you connect with.
Now, as an Advisor that focuses on SRI, I get to work every day on impacting companies. And I get to work directly with you, the investor, to make more conscious decisions all while making you feel secure in your financial future. I am excited to be on the front lines, fighting for this type of investing to let people know that there is so much more than an election every four years. Together I believe we can still make a change.