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Victoria Gutierrez

Wealth manager, Cetera Investors

Growing up in Whittier, California, Victoria “Tori” Gutierrez loved numbers. While she didn’t know precisely how that would translate into a career, she knew that someday her job would involve math and people.

Working as a waitress after college at the University of California, Davis, she attended a job fair in Los Angeles and was recruited by a predecessor firm of Cetera Financial Group. That was nine years ago. Today, Gutierrez continues to serve public school teachers and their families, a specialization she started during her earliest days in practice.

“My team and I made it our job to educate ourselves on all the nuances of teacher pensions and every aspect of their benefits,” says Gutierrez, who created a YouTube series, “Teacher Talk with Tori,” focused on financial wellness.

Of Filipino and Mexican descent, Gutierrez says “I can’t tell you how many times I’ve met with a teacher and gotten steamrolled by a husband who questioned my credibility.” She says her expertise and determination, which extend to encouraging ethnic and gender diversity among advisers, usually wins them over. The certified financial planner designation Gutierrez has been studying for should make that easier. “I take the exam in November, right after I get married.”

Evan Cooper