Welcome to the official blog of WIFS, sponsored by Prudential.

LeadHER highlights hot topics that impact women in the profession, the latest WIFS news, and important industry updates. We invite our members and industry thought leaders to submit articles to be featured in upcoming monthly LeadHER blog posts. Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you're interested in providing an article.

You may not be familiar with the term “servant leadership,” but, as the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously said on a very different topic, you’ll know it when you see it.

Despite its vaguely biblical sound, “servant leadership” was coined a mere half-century ago by Robert K. Greenleaf (1904-1990), who, over a 40-year career at AT&T, became disillusioned with the traditional authoritarian leadership model found in most corporations and institutions.

In 1964 he retired from AT&T and founded the Center for Applied Ethics – now the Robert K. Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership -- to research alternatives, and in 1970 published an essay, “The Servant as Leader,” in which the term “servant leadership” made its debut.

By Quincy Krosby, Ph.D.

Every so often, the famous warning from former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Alan Greenspan on Dec. 5, 1996 — “How do we know when irrational exuberance has unduly escalated asset values, which then become subject to unexpected and prolonged contractions?” — resurfaces in a much simpler form: The market is forming a bubble similar to 1999.

Back then, it was a period of intense optimism, in which profits didn’t matter; it was a dot-com boom regardless of what came before the dot. It was the “New Paradigm” — until it wasn’t. As the Greenspan Fed began raising rates in 1999 and 2000 — Jan. 1, 1999, the 10-year Treasury was 4.72%; Jan. 1, 2000, the 10-year Treasury was 6.66% — in order to ward off potential inflationary pressures stemming from the strong economy, market strategists continued to stress that the technology sector, for the most part, was immune to higher rates.

By Marc Kiner, CPA

We emphasize Situational Social Security in the National Social Security Advisor (NSSA®) Certificate program, as all your clients are unique. Your clients may be single, married with wide age differences, married with narrow age differences, divorced, surviving spouses, eligible to file a Restricted Application, public employees, etc. Advisors (you), must understand the issues and questions that relate to every unique client. You are your clients' trusted advisor and must understand Social Security.

My partner, Jim Blair, worked for the Social Security Administration for 35 years and retired in January 2010. Jim and I began our journey together at that time to help folks to understand and maximize their Social Security benefits. In January 2013, we created the National Social Security Advisor Certificate program. To date, 2,500 advisors across the country have earned the NSSA® certificate.

In this installment of Situational Social Security (SSS), we will discuss Social Security benefits relating to divorced individuals.

By Estella Reyna Kierce

My name is Estella Reyna Kierce and I was born in San Antonio, Texas. I attended the University of the Incarnate Word, where I received my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education. I have been married to Steiner Charles Kierce for 52 years and we have two children and two grandsons: Carolyn (Andy) Weiblen, Blane (13 years old) and Steiner (Diane) Carl Kierce, Steiner Caldwell (9 years old).

I was a schoolteacher in Alice, Texas, where my husband worked as a biologist for Texas Parks and Wildlife. It was there that a State Farm agent introduced me to his manager. Little did I know that in the early ’80s, all of the large insurance companies were recruiting women. So in 1980, I became the first Hispanic female agent for State Farm in Texas, and we moved the family to Laredo where we knew no one, but I spoke Spanish. Remember, I had no sales experience except selling Girl Scout cookies at 50 cents a box.

By Julie Keyes 

Now more than ever, owners of privately held companies need to take swift action to ensure their primary leaders are feeling secure and happy with well-defined roles, whether they are family members or not. Having a generational succession strategy that’s well implemented helps owners sleep better and improves the likelihood of growing stronger adviser relationships, but only when those advisers are closely involved in the process.

The risk advisers have of losing clients in the process of a family business succession is very real, which is why it’s important to understand what your clients are going through and what they need from you. For owners of family businesses, it all starts with open and honest communication and family business governance.