Napa Valley Marketplace Magazine Business Review March 2007.
By Julie Gordon
Marjean Marciniak helps people achieve their financial goals. A senior financial advisor at Waddell & Reed in Napa, Marciniak helps her clients come up with ways to save for retirement or finance their children’s college education.
“I’m a resource for people, sort of a motivator to get people started, and a cheerleader to keep them on track,” she says.
It’s a good idea to save for both retirement and your child or children’s higher education at the same time, says Marciniak. But if you can only save for one, retirement should come first. You can get a loan to help pay for your son or daughter’s college education, but you can’t get a loan for retirement.
Marciniak helps people budget their money and pay off debt. She also helps people make sure their assets are properly allocated and does research for people on mutual fund investments.
“I have always loved investing and watching the power of compound interest,” she says.
Additionally, Marciniak assists people buy life insurance plans and helps them understand how the plans work. She takes family members of those dying or recently deceased to attorneys for estate planning and to change titles on investments, to insure that the changes are appropriate. She holds security licenses to sell mutual funds, stocks and bonds as well as having a license to sell life insurance.
Marciniak is a chartered mutual fund counselor (CMFC) who received the designation from the College of Financial Planning. She’s also a certified senior advisor (CSA), earning that designation from the Society of Senior Advisors. She will hold quarterly seminars on financial and estate and planning with Lori Hunt at the Women’s Club in Napa on March 5, June 18, Sept. 17 and Dec. 3.
Marciniak’s colleagues and friends describe her as caring, honest, trustworthy, detail-oriented, a leader, and someone who is sincere, compassionate and empathetic.
“She really enjoys her work,” comments Marciniak’s assistant, Florie Tangen, in e-mail. “When she can help someone plan their financial future, it makes her very happy. She puts her clients first. She is always thinking about what is best for them. She strives to be honest in all aspects of her business. I feel fortunate to work with her because I know she genuinely cares about my family and me. If I need someone to talk to, she is always willing to listen and help me in any way she can.”
Susan Bushby-Highness with Jacinto Mortgage is another fan of Marciniak. “I worked with her on committees and saw her attention to detail, her entrepreneurial spirit and leadership abilities,” says Bushby-Highness in e-mail. “She is a great friend and colleague.”
John and Louise Anderson have known Marciniak for about 20 years, since they started the Dreamweavers Theater in Yountville with Marciniak’s husband, Paul. John Anderson says he turns to Marciniak when he needs both personal and professional advice.
“She’s probably one of the most sincere people we know,” says Anderson. “You can definitely count on Marjean, as a friend, to look after your best interests. She would drop anything and be the one you would listen to. If you’re looking for professional guidance, Marjean is the person to go to.”
When she’s not at Waddell & Reed, Marciniak enjoys spending time and working on projects with her husband, who works at Genentech in Vacaville. She also enjoys live entertainment, knitting, photography and writing.
Before helping people improve their financial health, Marciniak helped people improve their physical health. She was a nurse for a number of years, working at St. Helena Hospital, John Muir Hospital in Walnut Creek, and Woodland Hospital in Woodland, among others. When she was working as a nurse, she would take co-workers to the human resources office to sign up for retirement plans, she says. Marciniak says she saw healthcare going in a different direction and decided to make a change.
Marciniak holds a Bachelor of Science degree in health science and clinical practice from the University of California-Davis. She also holds an associate degree in nursing from Yuba College.
In May, Marciniak plans to go to Alaska, where she was born. She’s going to venture throughout Southeast Alaska on a 42-foot Nordic tugboat with two of her brothers. She’s looking forward to the family bonding, and watching one of her brothers, who is an artist, work.
“I’m just going to be one of the crew members,” she says.