Spotlight: Meet Marianela Collado of Tobias Financial Advisors

The Out & About Blog Spotlight Series elevates insight from the financial service industry’s best and brightest. We cover challenging topics around diversity, inclusion, purpose, and inspiring the next generation. 

Through sharing insights and best practices, together we can shape the future of the financial services industry and support improved access to qualified, ethical financial advice and resources for all.


For this week’s spotlight, we interviewed Marianela Collado, CEO and Senior Wealth Advisor at Tobias Financial Advisors in Plantation, Florida.

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What made you decide to pursue a career in finance?

I was taught early on about the importance of saving and planning. It was drilled into me. My mom would always say, “I don’t care how much you make, you need to save.” I remember seeing my parents struggle at some point. They would always come to me with questions on what to do with this issue or that, and that shaped me. Don’t make fun of me but I started keeping my personal books when I was 15 and buying stocks on my own (without a broker). I realized I wanted to help people solve issues whether that is with tax or overall financial planning. The more complex, the more I enjoy it.

What part of your work gives you the most satisfaction?

I think there are several aspects of my work that provide satisfaction. Hiring and fostering a team of highly-qualified, diverse professionals in an industry that has typically not showcased diversity, is a major point of pride. Our team members collaborate daily with a vested interest in what will best serve our clients. I believe that their diverse perspectives, backgrounds, and credentials are a huge asset to the clients we serve.

As well, working with people to identify their financial goals, being alongside them on the journey, and celebrating the achievement when a goal is met, fuels my passion for financial planning. There is no better feeling than being a part of someone achieving their dream.

What needs to be done to diversify the financial services industry?

First and foremost, I think firms need to make it a priority. Our world and our local community is filled with diversity. Therefore, a firm’s team members should be a true reflection of the individuals it hopes to service. I think when interviewers conduct a job interview with this mindset, it helps to refocus and appreciate the need for diversity within an organization.

What advice would you give financial professionals just beginning their career?

The best advice is to persevere and remain committed to your goals. Follow your passion and surround yourself with people who make you better. Look to work with a team that you can learn from and grow with. There is no substitute for hard work and it does eventually pay off. Take risks as each failure or success will provide essential learning opportunities to further your path in your chosen career. Stay steadfast in your optimism as this positivity is much needed in the financial service industry.

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