Tuula Jalasjaa: Empowering Women to make Sound Financial Choices

Tuula Jalasjaa, Founder, The Women's Collection
Tuula Jalasjaa | Founder | The Women's Collection

“Whatever stage of life you are at, make wise financial decisions” is one advice you will always come across. Financial literacy is the ability to understand how money works. It’s understanding how someone makes, manages, spends, and invests money and effectively uses various financial skills including personal financial management, budgeting, and investing. It is important to have some platform that helps to make those choices less difficult.

It is important because as worldwide wealth increases, women’s wealth and incomes are also growing rapidly. Women will increasingly need more financial knowledge (and advice) because their finances are often more complex than men’s. For example, women’s longer life expectancy can result in sudden additional and assumed financial responsibilities relatively later in life. There are many other life events that are unique to women and impact their finances negatively or positively. Because there is a lack of knowledge on how to deal with these situations, financial literacy for women is increasingly in demand and absolutely required.

Tuula Jalasjaa is the Founder of The Women’s Collection. She is a financial services and wealth management senior executive with extensive experience domestically and internationally, spanning 23 years successfully managing various retail, commercial and corporate businesses for a major global financial institution. She has run several key wealth management businesses including HollisWealth, Scotia Private Investment Counsel and Institutional Investment management distribution and, Scotia Asset Management U.S.

Rectifying Financial Issues

After being in the industry for many years and recognizing its complexities as well as seeing very unfortunate situations happen to women due to lack of financial literacy, Tuula wanted to build something that could rectify these issues. The Women’s Collection was the perfect name because although one can find resources in many places, there is no true “collective” of them in one place.

Simply put, The Women’s Collection is a collection of knowledge, resources, and tools supporting financial literacy, financial wellness, and financial security for women making it ‘Simpler, Accessible, and Engaging’.

Increasing Female Financial Literacy

Tuula has pioneered and led several initiatives for women throughout her career and is a tremendous advocate for achieving more diversity in business for women and raising the number of female leaders and board directors globally. She is also passionate about empowering women with their finances and financial futures with a keen focus on increasing female financial literacy rates around the globe.

To this end, she founded The Women’s Collection to empower Canadian women to make sound financial choices to achieve their goals and financial wellness. The program uses a combination of “education, networking, tools, and resources” as well as a digital investment platform (a.k.a. Robo-advisor) “designed for women, by women.” This Robo-advisor, called Smart Money for Her, was recently launched by Tuula and is Canada’s first and only Robo-adviser platform for women.

Strategic Direction of Wealth Management

Tuula is also working with senior leaders to help shape and guide the strategic direction of wealth management across the Caribbean, including how to better serve female investors in all segments as well as business owners, to increase their financial knowledge and empowerment.

Tuula holds the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation and an International MBA from the Schulich School of Business in Toronto. She has also earned the ICD designation from the Rotman School of Management Corporate Directors Program.

Leading by Example

There are many traits of an effective leader but for Tuula, a true leader helps others reach their goals and leads by example. Due to adverse market gaps, it was important for her to champion and lead the development of a platform to educate women on financial wellness to achieve their financial goals.

Assessing Opportunities

Tuula’s journey has been exciting with lots of twists and turns along the way. She says that there was never a dull moment. She learns from her mistakes and celebrates every accomplishment and milestone. The biggest roadblock for her was trying to do everything and capture every opportunity and finding not enough hours in the day. Her biggest learning has been that setting a framework to assess opportunities and sticking with the principles of that framework is uber critical.

Unique Online Investing Platform

Smart Money for Her is a unique online investing platform, the first Robo-advisor designed specifically for women in Canada. It has a goals-based approach, which is an intuitive way of investing that starts with the question, “what are you saving for?”

Women are able to learn investing in a simple fashion because it is index investing,” she said in an interview with The Globe and Mail. “It’s a tool to help women apply their financial knowledge and just get their feet wet when it comes to investing.”

The purpose of Smart Money for Her is to help women by offering a live resource to implement what they have learned through the learning modules offered on The Women’s Collection platform. It is a key component of financial literacy initiative.

Wealth Creation for All Women

The future for The Women’s Collection looks very promising with interest in the platform from other countries growing. Tuula can see herself driving a global platform and mission that democratizes wealth creation for women around the world.

The Women’s Collection develops content that educates women on how to wisely make financial decisions that are right for them and their families. The program offers online and offline educational learning programs; combined with events and additional information sources to support women in building their confidence.

Leaving a Legacy

When starting her own company, there were so many nuances Tuula came across that differ significantly from the corporate world. She thinks she would have taken a course early on how to start a business so she could have been more prepared for all the things that arose.

The most pertinent driving factor for Tuula was to pursue a dream and passion that helped others and to create a legacy that her daughters would be proud of. Her advice to other women leaders is to follow their passions and do not let roadblocks stop them but make them wiser and stronger.