I was training with my Grief Coach Academy associates this past weekend in LA, and the recurring theme that coaches in both the US and Canada relayed were that their particular female clients were very unsure about their financial futures, and were seeking assurances and guidance regarding their investments.
I resonate fully with that in that one of the huge detriments of the advent of the Internet is the overwhelming and thus paralyzing amount of information on any topic—not the least of which is investing. While information CAN prove powerful, the more likely result of blind Google searches is confusion, wasted time attempting to vet the providers’ veracity, and inability to piece the information into one’s OWN intricate puzzle. And even if/when those investment puzzle pieces can indeed be put together into an arrangement that appears coherent, one then has to imagine whether there is an adverse income or estate tax implication to follow, and if so, is it sufficient to warrant an edit of the investment advice, or not.
Ultimately as investors, we need to walk the tightrope of not allowing the tax tail to wag the investment dog, all the while cognizant that investment and taxes are inextricably connected.
For years now, I have been asked to shed some light on investing for beginners, so believing that women and money are also inextricably connected, I thought, where better to start than by defining some terms. As such I wrote Ms. Morrison’s Dictionary of Useful Financial Investment Terms to equip investors with some basic knowledge:
I am committed to empower women about their finances, so that they can pack more options into their lives; using money simply as a powerful tool that indeed can purchase more options/opportunities. If you wish to receive information, please sign up for those topics/information that interests you, here on the pages of my website.
We Can Do It Women!™
As I heard the news of Margaret Thatcher’s passing this morning, I began reading so much of the history of this woman, and her courage to act in a way that she perceived brought renewal and hope to Britain. Of course I am not saying I agree with all she said or did (that’s a tall, if not impossible order for anyone, is it not?) yet I will forever be impressed with her stalwart leadership skills.
One of my favorite Margaret Thatcher quotes is “If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time and you would achieve nothing.” May 3, 1989, commenting on her 10th anniversary as Prime Minister.
I think now of our quick and easy “liking” on Facebook for example, and smile as I realize how ultimately ‘shallow’ a ‘like’ is these days. I mean, it’s now an easy click of the mouse, or touch of our smart-phone, i-whatever screens.
Yet when we have confidence in our actions and in our direction about life matters; that requires FAR more than simply ‘liking’ our strategy, or being ‘liked’ by our friends/co-workers, etc., it requires devising a strategy and then applying a good amount of elbow grease and perseverance to see our goal through.
Confidence is one of the initial ingredients to decisive action. Information and wisdom run a close second to confidence. So, when I speak about Money Confidence for Women, I speak about what I believe to be essential skills for us to move forward; for women and money to be said in the same sentence without blanching, or shrinking.
I urge all women, the world wide, to do whatever it takes to bolster our confidence, and to take the next step towards ensuring that we have adequate income in retirement by saving NOW. Start small if you must, yet START. Your confidence will build as you take action. We Can Do It Women™
I understand many of the high stakes of this election on a whole host of fronts—personally, professionally and financially–and fully acknowledge that no one party or candidate or arm of government or sector of business has the answer NOR has made clear-cut, decisions without consequences, particularly in what many consider to be “emergency” situations.
As a NJ resident (still without electricity) I’ve experienced Sandy, as devastatingly damaging as she was, serve to illustrate that in America, people help people, regardless of politics. I hope that the pictures of Chris Christie talking with, in conversation with, President Obama serve as reminders of what has made America the most enduring nation on earth, and propel us to further conversations, rather than be held up as an anomaly. The wealth we can take from this election and the grueling couple of years leading up to it, is that we are only as powerful as our effective communication. We are only as powerful as our people and ideas; not just our wallets.
That said, we have FAR too many problems atop our heads and way too much healing to do to stand divided longer. Yes, it’s been INCREDIBLY painful to believe fiercely in our views, only to see someone/the media distort truths and spread steroid-powered-fears that swept back and forth, up and down our states like an out-of-control wildfire. We, as women, will continue to sift through the post election media coverage to seek consensus on our future, on our family’s futures, on our country’s futures. Our stereotypical roles combined with our developing powerful roles, will propel us women to lead again (or for some, for the first time) starting within our families and in our communities and in our fragile world.
As Americans, we do have built-in Democratic measures to move forward—voting is just one such freedom. Speaking together to educate ourselves as to the intricacy of our challenges and vetting myriad solutions with our best minds can, God willing, help us to move through the enormous pains we feel, and strategize together as to the best options to repair damage, and seek higher ground, for ALL Americans; that is my prayer today, post election, and for our future.
Women have been elected in record numbers this election; We HAVE brought change, We CAN bring more change, we CAN converse, we CAN build confidences, we CAN build alliances, and we Can and MUST contribute to peace-making–here at home and abroad.
We Can Do It Women!™
I realize that if one does not make their living in the financial markets, nor have the occasion to read the financial news, especially amidst so much election news, one might notice the US stock market drop today and automatically correlate it to our elections. For those of us steeped in the financial markets—me for 34 years (it was child labor)—allow me to say that we are but one cog in an international financial footprint and while our US stock market futures indeed trended higher after the US election results were posted, those same US stock market futures began to slide at exactly 3:15 Brussels time, which was when the European Central Bank President Draghi (our equivalent of Ben Bernanke, and regardless of how one feels about either man, when either of them speak the world listens) warned of euro zone economy’s continued weakness, particularly German’s economy—long thought of as Europe’s best financial hope. Our markets have continued to trade lower all day.
Our wealth as Americans and as women, is NOT to be confused with the balances on our bank or brokerage statements however. We’ve known that for years, albeit any 1-day drop in the US Stock market tends to catch our attention and stoke our fears. I want to ground our confidence as women investors in the basic principles of investing, which is to keep saving/keep investing in a smart and diversified combination of stocks and bonds, whose prices will continue to fluctuate and sometimes gyrate in wide swings. It is our discipline to keep investing, and especially to buy when the prices dip in keeping with what our mothers (and fathers) have always advocated; BUY LOW, sell high. So, if you have some monies that have been parked in a very low interest returning bank account or money market, and that money will not be needed for at least another 5 years or perhaps longer, like for your retirement, or child’s education, let today be the day that you begin to invest into preferably mutual funds of US & International stocks and bonds, preferably with the professional help of a fee-0nly Certified Financial Planner™.
I have always loved the word remembering. Our ability to re-member leads us to healing in so many ways.
United States citizens and residents experienced a dismemberment of it’s people, it’s previously-exempt-from-war land, it’s emotions, it’s New York skyline, it’s Pentagon building, it’s Pennsylvania field, eleven years ago today.
We gasped in horror, we swore in vain, we collapsed in pools of tears and guttural pain. In an instant, everyday women became widows, men became widowers, children became orphans.
We were paralyzed in fear, staring at televisions, glued to radios, punching into our cell phones for meaning, for connection, for hope, for answers. Then we subconsciously shifted gears much like we mindlessly do in driving manual shift cars, and searched for ways to help. How could we contribute? We could give blood, we could pray, we could band together and hold each other; we could LIVE through whatever would come next. We would lay down partisanship, race , and socioeconomic distinction, we would see everyone as human and worthy to love or befriend.
Propelled to somehow erase the rage, the bewilderment, and the helplessness, we eventually strove to put one foot in front of the other. The confirmed widowed, the grieving families of missing-and-presumed-dead occupants of each–the towers, the Pentagon and the airplanes–NEEDED the country and the citizens of the world to respond with a sense of re-membering that which had been rendered separate. And while the departed exist on a different plane other than that which we know, we have experienced countless communications with them, assuring us that they indeed remember us, and that they are completing far different missions, including guiding our steps and contributing to the healing of our nation and world.
We know from far lesser loss situations (and from the Indian saying) that holding a grudge against someone is like drinking poison and waiting for that person/those persons to die; it’s senseless and more than that, it is deadly to US. Our personal health depends upon our ability to re-member ourselves, our neighbors, our country, our world.
How can we erase the hurt? We will never forget the hurt. We can, however, help get through the hurt, by remembering what we are grateful for, and writing those down. We can reach out and give something to someone–a smile, a quarter for a parking meter, a knowing, empathic head nod, a hug, a phone call, a card, the gift of our presence. And when you give, you get, have you noticed? When you feel more like a victim than a victor in your life, I implore you to muster the energy and marshall the strength and initiative to GIVE something to someone. If you can’t start with yourself, start with someone near you, yet GIVE.
It is what has saved America and the world from the beginning of time, and it is the formula for our survival and certainly for our thriving. GIVE … and watch what grows. My harvest has often been HOPE, followed by CONFIDENCE, and with CONFIDENCE and HOPE, there is no stopping us; We Can Do It Women!™