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Latino Business Leadership Awards: Karin Alvarado, New Aspect Financial Services

Karin Alvarado of Napa’s New Aspect Financial Services said her mission is educating Latinos on financial wellness.

What is the achievement you are most proud of?

Becoming one of the architects and founders of a highly successful Latino Women-owned financial planning firms in the Bay Area.

What is your biggest challenge today?

As my business continues to grow one of my biggest challenges is maintaining a work life balance.

What are you most proud of regarding the achievements of the area Latino business community and what are the greatest challenges faced by that community?

One of the reasons I decided to do what I do was to advocate financial literacy among Latinos.

I am extremely passionate about helping other Latinos reach retirement readiness. Our community is grossly underserved, and it has personally impacted my family.

Unfortunately, I find that Latinos don’t plan for their retirement as they should. In addition, most employee benefits are explained in English! It is my personal mission to continue to help our Latino community by educating them on financial wellness.

Our firm partners with many organizations comprised of large Spanish-speaking populations because we are able to not only speak the language but also speak the culture and provide bilingual financial education to their employees.

Words that best describe you: FireBall, generous, ethical, caring, thoughtful

As a successful professional, what were the biggest obstacles you faced and how did you overcome them?

When I first came into this industry my biggest challenges was being a woman in a male-dominated industry and earning respect.

Add Latina and petite to that equation and you can only imagine the magnitude effect. I found that by working hard and staying focused on my goals I quickly began to get the respect of my colleagues.

How do you think your profession will change in the next five years?

Our industry has drastically changed in the last several years already. The Department of Labor in the last five years has become more involved in censoring and ensuring that there is fee transparency to our clients.

Our industry is moving towards a more fee-based advisory and fiduciary-based service, rather than transaction commission based. Our firm has always served our clients in a fiduciary capacity as independent advisers we believe in full fee transparency and comprehensive due diligence.

Who was your most important mentor?

My parents have always been incredible mentors. They have taught me to work hard, help others along the way and have a good attitude towards any situation.

My dad always said, “The sun shines for everyone.”

Tell us about your community involvement: One of my favorite parts of my job is working with nonprofits.

I am privileged to work with seven nonprofits throughout the Bay Area and have been involved with financial literacy for their employee base.

What advice would you give to a young person today?

You are the master of your own destiny.

You always have a choice.

Most admired businessperson outside your organization: Mary Sterk is an extremely successful financial adviser out of South Dakota.

Her two-year mentorship made a significant impact in who I am today as a financial adviser. I am therefore a huge advocate of mentoring and now formally mentor another women adviser.

Current reading: “Dare to Lead” by Brene Brown

Most want to meet: Oprah Winfrey. I love this woman.

She inspires me!

Stress relievers: Long walks, yoga, music and wine

Favorite hobbies: traveling, diving, time with friends and family