Crystal’s Path to Financial Planning

Crystal’s Path to Financial Planning

A Wealth of Knowledge

A Baltimore native with over 20 years of experience in wealth management, Crystal earned her CFP® designation in 1996, and is also a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst and Certified Retirement Counselor. Currently, Crystal is the Vice President of Planning at Law & Associates in Glen Echo, MD., and a Wealth Advisor for Raymond James Financial Services, Inc.

Mentors Matter

There is a natural sisterhood in financial services,

Crystal says – and she’s living proof. “I have had two mentors in my life. First, there’s my Mom, who raised four daughters as a single parent on a high school education and spent her time building us up so we would feel like we belonged.

“Then, on a professional level, I was blessed to work for a trendsetting pioneer in the industry, the late Sally Law. If you met her, you’d never forget her. She was larger than life and left a huge legacy – not only to me as a female in this industry, but to anyone who came across her path.”

Never Give Up

Crystal urges women to reach out to a diverse set of financial services pros: “Call people, set up meetings, ask them, ‘What do you like about this business? What don’t you like?’ It can be a 15-minute phone call or coffee. Don’t be afraid to ask, don’t be afraid to leverage your contacts.”

Yet more than just helping women explore careers, mentors can inspire them for the long run: “Women in this business need mentors because there’s so many different pathways you can take,” Crystal explains. “If you don’t find what fits you, you might give up. Mentors help us nurture our skill sets, desires, hopes and dreams. They help us to not give up. And we can’t give up. We have to keep going.”

Opportunities, Unlimited

Having taught financial planning classes at Howard Community College in Columbia, MD., Crystal knows that young women are often limited by a narrow vision about what’s possible.

“They might know something from an accounting and finance perspective, but they don’t know what a great opportunity there is in financial services, helping other people to be successful financially. We need to help women go beyond the limits of what they think they can do. We need them to know they can do anything!”

Learn more about how you can help the WLA attract more women into the field of financial advising by clicking here.


Michelle Danielson
[email protected]

Michelle brings nearly 20 years of experience in the financial services industry to the role of executive director of the WLA. She began her career at Northwestern Mutual Insurance, then joined Raymond James as a branch operations manager where she spent seven years overseeing the branch’s operations and compliance activity.