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August Edition: Advisor View

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A Lesson Learned the Hard Way

Post 2I told you I was on a journey.  My journey started out a lot like many of yours, thinking that my man was my plan.

Turn back the clock over 25 years ago.  I was just entering financial services as my second career.  I was married, had a four-year old daughter and was under the impression that my husband was responsible for making sure we had a roof over our heads, money in the bank, a growing nest egg to retire very comfortably after he had paid for good private schools and college for our daughter.  Plus, he had to make sure that if he died, I wouldn’t have to worry about the mortgage, the car, or the schools. 

When I got nervous that we weren’t on track, I expected him to work harder.  Not much to expect from the man, after all he was my plan.

There was just one little kink in my “plan”; these issues were important to me but not important to him.

I grew up in a family of eight kids, a stay-at-home mom and a dad that worked twelve hours a day.  Even though I graduated in the 1970’s when feminism was breaking out all over the place, I still believed that men were here to take care of us – after all a “good” man would take care of you and make sure you never had to worry about all that stuff. That is what my father did for my mother. Right?  I mean you could have a job, but it was your husband who was still responsible for “taking care” of the responsibility of the family finances.

So there I was in 1990, starting a career that promised a salary for six months (but not one that would support my lifestyle) but that had “unlimited potential”. 

Then six months later my husband decided he didn’t want the “responsibility” of a family. He had a different plan.

Suddenly I was a single mother, $40,000 in debt (my first year’s salary was $18,000 before taxes), and responsible for me and my daughter.  So much for my pursuit of financial security; a man, indeed, was not a plan.

Epiphany time! 

I sat and took stock and I realized that by ceding that power to someone else, I had hurt myself.  I vowed never to be dependent on a man (or anyone else) for anything.  Not my happiness, my security, my self-respect or my money.

Fast forward to 2015. I am a successful Certified Financial Planner™ practitioner, I have two beautiful daughters, and I am remarried to a wonderful man.  My small business manages over one-hundred million dollars (as of 08/27/15) of other people’s money, and I have met my goal of being one of my own top twenty clients.

It was not easy and there were many challenges but when I EMPOWERED MYSELF, when I took responsibility to meet the goals important to ME, not allowing others to influence me, I found nothing could stop me.

I am fully convinced that I would not have the family I have, the solid marriage or a business that allows me to do all the things I love, without that journey of self-empowerment and discovery.

You can do it too. More to come.

Welcome to: A Man Is Not A Plan

women_empoweredI’m a woman, a wife, a mother, a Certified Financial Planner™ professional, a Certified Yoga instructor and a meditation practitioner and I’ve been thinking about writing this blog for a very long time but I wasn’t sure where to start.  So I decided to take the advice of one of my favorite authors on life and meditation, Pema Chodron. “Start where you are.”

Where I am at this moment is realizing that I want to write this blog to communicate with women (or men who openly admit to accessing their “feminine side” – yes there are lots of them out there!) about the importance of taking control of their lives and that includes their financial future. 

So all of this comes from a purely personal viewpoint, one that has been bolstered by years of working with women and men to help them take control of their own financial futures.  It is also informed by my yoga and meditation practice that upholds my “holistic approach” to my life and my work.

One of the things I know for sure from both my financial services practice and my yoga practice is that women are not good at taking care of themselves and when it comes to money, we not only don’t take care of ourselves, we abdicate responsibility.

So many women look outside of themselves and want someone else to be responsible for their financial well being, their happiness, their success, their validity as a human being.  This is so strange as most of us have read, been told or have heard the very true statement that we only have control over two things in our lives, our own thoughts and our own actions.

So as I stated above, this blog will be about the importance of taking control of your financial life.  What do I mean by that?  It meant that whether you are married, single, divorced, or widowed, a committed parent or a caretaker for a loved one, you are responsible for making sure that you will be as financially secure as possible

It means understanding your financial situation, how your actions and ideas impact your current status and your future; it means looking at your financial issues head-on and looking honestly at the path you are on and what you need to do make sure you are heading in the right direction.

In future posts, I will tell you my story, the stories of other women who have taken control and give you ideas and support on how to do it as well.

This is a journey, an exploration of how you can be in control of your future.  I have been on my own such journey and it is scary but it is also exciting and exhilarating. 

Please join me as we take this journey together.

Holding Equities for the Long Term: Time Versus Timing


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