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Member Profile

Laura McDowell   

Charles Schwab
Regional Director, West - Charles Schwab Investment Management

When you were 10 years old, what were your career aspirations?
When I was 10 years old, I wanted to be an actress and a singer. I absolutely loved to perform. My parents like to bring up how I would put on performances several times a summer for our neighbors. I would gather all our neighbors and their kids together, charge everyone 25 cents, and I would put on a show where I would sing and dance for them. By the end of the summer, my parents had to open a checking account for me. I learned the value of money at a very young age!

What's your favorite part of your job?
My favorite part of my job is meeting with people and hearing their stories – how they got to where they are, how they work with their clients, how they view investing, and how they manage client expectations with the current market environment. Everyone has a different background and a different approach. Understanding clients’ backgrounds helps me build more meaningful relationships with them, and being open to different investment approaches allows me to be a better resource for their firm. 

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Given that I wanted to be a singer when I was younger, I would have to say that my greatest achievement was singing the national anthem at Fenway Park…twice. I love what I do and I love the life I have been blessed with, but I sometimes catch my 30 year old self wondering what could have been if I just pursued music more fully instead of following all of my other passions. When that happens, I just think back to when I sang at Fenway Park and I am grateful for every moment of that.

What talent would you most like to have?
I would love to learn multiple languages, but I have always struggled when trying to learn a different language. Some people are gifted enough to pick up on different languages rather quickly. I love to travel and have been to over 30 countries. I have fallen in love with almost every language I have ever heard. I just wish I was a better student when it came to learning another language so that I could immerse myself even more in a culture and their people when I travel.

What trip or hobby delighted you in the past year?
When I was living in New York, I volunteered for an organization called Pursue Your Dreams Foundation and taught financial literacy to young adults and exchange students. I found it so rewarding to learn about different cultures and their beliefs about saving, investing, and financial success. I also found it very rewarding to help educate young adults on financial matters, and provide them with the tools and knowledge to help secure a better financial future for themselves and their families.

A trip that delighted me this past year was to Europe with my fiancé, Kevin. We had just gotten engaged over the Christmas holiday and we were able to share that moment with my whole family. Then, over New Year, we had a trip planned to France, Germany, and Ireland. It was wonderful to share that moment when he asked me to marry him with my family, and all the joy that comes with it. However, it was equally wonderful to then have a romantic getaway to Europe to enjoy that moment - just the two of us.

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