Pride Month in San Diego has given financial planner and asset manager Jamie Fleming a very good feeling. Fleming, a 54-year-old native of Ventura, has been in the financial world for 30 years, all of them in San Diego, where she has lived since 1990. During those decades, and particularly in the last decade, she said she has seen progressive change in regard to the LGBTQ+ community.
From her Fleming & Associates LLC office overlooking Petco Park to her home in Mission Hills, she said the support is obvious, and heartwarming.
“It’s really interesting today versus 10 years ago,” Fleming said. “All the pride flags between downtown and where I live, where I work out at Orange Theory Fitness, you can see how much more supportive communities are, and it’s awesome to see that.”
A single mother of 13-year-old twins, one boy and one girl, she said her children’s generation is much more comfortable with the differences in people.
“The whole gay and transgender thing is completely normal for them,” Fleming said. “At least in this little corner of the world, it’s beautiful to see how excited they are seeing rainbows and really positive things.”
Fleming has also been part of changes in the financial world, where women are concerned.
Growing from 5% to 23% in 30 Years
She said when she began her career as a financial planner and asset manager back in 1992, less than five percent of financial advisors, managers and others in the field were women. Today, that number has risen to 23 percent.
“It’s grown, but it’s taken 30 years to go from 5 to 23 percent,” Fleming said. “It’s incredible for that change, but there is much room to grow.”
Fleming started her own financial planning firm on January 2, 2003 –“1-2-3,” she noted – because she was weary of being in a heavily male-dominated industry.
“While I was trained by men and appreciate what they offer, in finances, we speak a different language,” Fleming said. “Women have a different experience with money. The whole psychology of money is different for women than it is for men.”
Fleming said she was frustrated by her male colleagues when requesting to work with female business owners and being discouraged to do so.
“I just wanted to change all that, that was really important to me,” Fleming said.
She said from the start she also wanted to be a financial advocate for those in the LGBTQ+ community, especially before same-sex marriages were legal.
“I wanted to protect people the way they needed to be protected,” she said. “Same sex couples didn’t have some of the same privileges. Things have changed a little but the dynamics are still challenging, especially if families aren’t supportive.”
Fleming has been on the board of the Gay and Lesbian Center since she was in her late 20s. She said it’s important to her to give back the the community, and as part of that, she manages with center’s 401K, and helps educate people at the center about “contributing to their future.”
Fleming enjoys public speaking and also puts on workshops at the Center, offering complimentary consultations to help answer questions to different financial challenges and questions.
A Knack for Numbers
Fleming said she has always been “a nerdy math person” and “numbers for me, I can see them, and they kind of speak to me.”
She said that as a third grader in Ventura, she took a career test and when she answered the questions that were posed, found out that she was a good fit for a career as a financial adviser.
“I had no idea what that was,” Fleming said, laughing. “I just knew I liked math and love people. I saw the potential salary was one of the only ones that had six figures. I went home and told my parents. I never lost that idea.”
She said one of the reasons she wanted to start her own firm was to help clients feel empowered.
Fleming also said that a year-long stay in Spain during college changed the trajectory of her life. Not only did she master the Spanish language, her perspective of the world shifted.
“I was exposed to different cultures and really saw what’s important,” she said. “It was difficult not having hot water in Spain. And then here, people were complaining about their second car. Being in Spain allowed me to understand people’s motivations better and ask better questions. I did not have homesickness going there, but I had a hard time coming back.”
Career-wise, that time away from California gave her insight and knowledge into helping her clients embrace what is required to make changes.
Fleming said one her favorite things to do is public speaking so that she can help out as many people as possible.
“People are sometimes afraid to ask for help and many people struggle with finances… and they don’t have to,” she said. “There are resources available. Most people think having a financial advisor is something only for the wealthy but the reality is everybody needs financial advice and going in the right direction. I want to encourage that.”
Fleming is also a published author and her book “Financial Blind Spots: A Business Owner’s Guide to Creating and Managing Personal Wealth Without Sabotaging Business Success” is due out in the fall.
Fleming & Associates LLC
FOUNDER AND CEO: Jamie Fleming
HEADQUARTERS: Downtown San Diego
BUSINESS: Financial planning and asset management
CONTACT: (619) 839-9136
SOCIAL IMPACT: Delivers her 13-year-old daughter’s crocheted scarves along with backpacks filled with water, food and snacks and gives them out to those to in-need people on the streets of San Diego.
NOTABLE: In 1998, Fleming rode her bicycle from San Diego to Jacksonville, Fla., to raise money for breast cancer research.