Before she began a career in financial advice, Akeiva M. Ellis had ambitions to be a teacher. “It’s funny how I ended up doing that anyway,” she said of her current work as a financial education specialist with Ballentine Partners and as co-founder of The Bemused, a personal finance website.

YouTube videos, Instagram posts and blogs are among the range of financial education content Akeiva now produces for clients and the public. She also produces The Ballentine Broadcast: Conversations on Black Wealth to reach a minority demographic and close wealth gaps.

“I focus a lot of my energy and time onto diversifying, not only with the Ballentine Podcast, but the industry at large,” Akeiva said. Toward this goal, she’s developed partnerships with CFP Board, sponsoring their diversity summit and helping establish a scholarship for Black and Latinx aspiring financial planners, among other initiatives.

The key to building a successful financial advising career, Akeiva suggests, is to find a relatable mentor who shares a similar life journey. In her case, it was connecting with other Black professionals and learning about their experiences.

“It was so helpful to me to have those real conversations that maybe I couldn’t have had as comfortably with other people,” she said.

In this episode, Akeiva talks to Ana about how she forged her financial advising career, including how she overcame her introversion to start networking. Learn how her mistakes with buying her first car taught her valuable financial lessons that she now shares through her various outlets. Finally, hear how Akeiva continues to prioritize closing the racial wealth gap and helping minorities with their finances.

Key Takeaways

  • Be in touch with your community. Attend conferences and participate in networking opportunities to foster connections.
  • Turn to your personal experience with money to guide clients in making better financial choices. Using real stories from your past can help you illustrate key points.
  • New financial advisors should be curious with their mentors. Come with questions and topics and honor the time you’ve scheduled with them.


“Everyone around me was struggling with money and, for whatever reason, we just didn’t talk about it. I was like, this makes no sense. So, I took to Google and went down this rabbit hole about teaching myself about money concepts.”


Carson Group is committed to advancing financial literacy. Our coaches work with thousands of FPA members. Schedule a consultation to learn how Carson can help you help your clients and grow your business.

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