As an IRA Specialist at Quest Trust Company, Nicole Bacot says that every day is a new challenge – and a new opportunity – to assist clients through the complicated process of saving for retirement and diversifying an investment portfolio.
After taking time out of her career to focus on caring for her children, Bacot said she is ecstatic to return to her financial roots. When thinking about this new chapter in her career, she added that the lessons learned from her parents have been instrumental in her professional development.
In college, for example, Bacot recounted working for her father, a broker, and attempting to absorb as much information from him as possible. These beginnings, she said, led to ‘a fascination with finance.’
“My dad taught me a lot about analyzing the stock market and delving into investment strategies,” she said. “Watching both of my parents work so hard served as a huge inspiration to me.”
This experience led to positions within many companies, including Regions Financial Corporation, Principal Financial Group, Rodan + Fields, and Quest Trust Company, with whom she has been since 2020.
Paired with her parents’ mentorship, Bacot said she cannot stress enough the importance of having mentors from across the financial sphere. This includes ‘taking a chance’ on a younger professional, as her mentors did early in her career.
“These mentors were incredibly important – and they remain so to this day. I am a firm believer that no one is ever finished learning,” she said. “When I was starting out, my mentors gave me a lot of credibility in rooms that, if I were alone, wouldn’t have yielded the same result. As a 25-year-old woman, you’re seen as ‘some kid’ fresh out of school who doesn’t know anything.”
It is no secret, Bacot said, that the real estate and financial fields are male-dominated. Although easier said than done, she added that it is critical to rise above discriminatory environments.
“I know those kinds of interactions, and I have seen men come into my dad’s office and navigate through problems like times gone by,” she said. “All I know is that I wanted to pursue a career in the financial industry, and help people save for retirement because that’s what my dad did. I have seen so many stories about people starting too late or making bad investments, and regardless of the bad actors who remain, my main responsibility is to my clients.”
This drive to guide clients through the investment process – and her experience in the field – allows Bacot to navigate difficult situations with ease.
“I knew I wasn’t going to advance if I let side comments or sexist attitudes derail me,” she said. “I took stock and figured out how to make it work, and not let anything get in the way of carving a niche for myself.”
In addition to changes in workplace-based gender disparities, Bacot said society at large is evolving.
“It’s not the case anymore where many households have one income and the male figure is the sole breadwinner,” she said. “So many women are entering the workforce and that’s not changing anytime soon. More women, too, are switching from ‘supporting roles’ and instead are stepping up and saying, ‘I can be the boss just as much as you can.’”
One aspect of Bacot’s journey that has been ‘formative’ was having children, she said.
“I think having kids, as much as it took me out of the workforce, really changed my perspective and allowed me to appreciate going back into the workforce,” she said. “Growing up and watching my parents working so hard…when you’re a kid, you really don’t understand that, and the sacrifices they made. Now that I have my own family, I’m trying to instill in them the importance of hard work, education, and dedication.”
Watching her mom work and saying to herself ‘how did she do that?’ transfers into her work ethic, and love for the varied nature of working as an IRA Specialist.
“I would say every day is different, which I love,” Bacot said. “Every day is busy. Because I have experience in the oil and gas world, I can bring that information to clients because it is another asset class that they can invest in. I strive to be number one. Sometimes my husband will say, ‘you know it’s okay to be number two, right?’ But at the end of the day, being number one feels pretty good!”
Looking forward, Bacot said she is perpetually expanding her knowledge base – especially when it comes to emerging asset classes – and looking for ways to assist her clients however she can.
“I’m always striving to learn more and advance my skill set,” Bacot said. “Returning to this field I love so much after taking time off to be with my children has really opened doors for me. I also realize how instrumental my mentors were and am always looking to guide young women through this multi-faceted landscape.”
To learn more about the services offered by Quest Trust Company, visit https://www.questtrustcompany.com. Quest is the premier Self-Directed IRA custodian that administers IRAs to invest in alternative investments, like real estate, notes, oil and gas, private placements, and more.