Barbara Bernstein, CFP®
& Heather Quinn, ChFC®

With expertise in tax efficiency, risk management, retirement planning, investment strategy, and wealth preservation and distribution, Heather Quinn and Barbara Bernstein guide clients through the complexities of managing their income, optimizing their benefits and realizing a secure financial future. The two are representatives of Northwestern Mutual and own Fortuna Wealth Management. Barbara and Heather both initially worked in the entertainment industry after graduating from college. Barbara transitioned to the field of financial planning in 2012 and maintains the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional certification and holds Series 6 and 7 registrations. In July she was recognized on the 2023 Forbes list of Best-in-State Top Financial Security Professionals. Heather started working in finance in 2019 and holds the Chartered Financial Consultant designation and Series 6 and 7 registrations.

What motivates you to go to work every day?

We get energized by empowering our clients with knowledge. For example, many of the women we work with are executives or run successful companies. They confide in us that although they may be the decision-makers in their families and at work, they feel there is a gap in their knowledge of the stock market and other financial concerns. We get a lot of joy from helping clients feel confident about their financial future.

What are the benefits of having women in an advisor role?

Many women are compassionate, good listeners, great multitaskers—making them well-suited to this role. We believe women are especially adept at creating comprehensive plans by considering all facets of a person’s life—not just their financial picture. In our opinion, that’s the best way to approach financial planning. 

Why are you considered a go-to person in the South Bay community?

While we work with clients from many different industries, we both understand the complexity of working in entertainment and the specific challenges that field brings. We foster this community through a monthly invitation-only salon dinner to help women entertainment executives get their questions answered about finances, negotiating contracts, investing and market concerns.

What concerns of women do you address?

Women have a lifestyle they want, not a dollar amount they want. For example, if our only concern is relaying the exact dollar amount a woman or a family can expect to have when she retires, we miss out on what is most important to her. Does this mean she gets to travel with her children? How will her day-to-day look different? Women tend to be more concerned about the important people in their lives. Will her parents and children be taken care of? We try to hit on every facet of this conversation to make sure each client’s plan reflects their values and lifestyle.

Share a significant accomplishment in your career. 

We recently launched our brand under the name Fortuna Wealth Management, and we are proud to be Northwestern Mutual’s first team on the West Coast founded and led exclusively by women. We’re learning what it means to be a part of a movement to change the face of a large financial institution by creating an environment where women are uplifted at such an important time. Women are not only more involved in financial services than ever before, but women’s control over our nation’s wealth is about to double from where it currently sits at $14 trillion. According to a 2020 study conducted by McKinsey & Co., “By 2030, American women are expected to control much of the $30 trillion in financial assets that baby boomers will possess—a potential wealth transfer of such magnitude that it approaches the annual GDP of the United States.”

What does success mean to you?

Success to us means making strides as the industry evolves to include and prioritize women. Prior to the 1974 Equal Credit Opportunity Act, women could not have bank loans, mortgages or credit cards. We’ve come a long way, but even in the decades that followed 1974, there wasn’t as much emphasis on making your own way. This is changing. 

Disclaimer: Northwestern Mutual is the marketing name for The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (NM) (life and disability Insurance, annuities, and life insurance with long-term care benefits) and its subsidiaries, including Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company (NLTC) (long-term care insurance), Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC (NMIS) (investment brokerage services), a registered investment adviser, broker-dealer, and member of FINRA and SIPC, and Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company® (NMWMC) (investment advisory and trust services), a federal savings bank. NM and its subsidiaries are in Milwaukee, WI. Heather Quinn and Barbara Bernstein use Fortuna Wealth Management, Legacy Strategies & Insurance Solutions as a marketing name for doing business as a representative of Northwestern Mutual. Fortuna Wealth Management, Legacy Strategies & Insurance Solutions is not a registered investment adviser, broker-dealer, insurance agency or federal savings bank. Heather Quinn and Barbara Bernstein are Insurance Agents of NM and NLTC. Investment brokerage services provided as a Registered Representative of NMIS. Investment advisory services provided as an Advisor of NMWMC.

Photographed by Shane O’Donnell