Author Archives: Debra

The Doubly High Cost of Being Female

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Some of my friends and business associates have been out and about talking to women about business development and financial management.  There are two quotes we bring up to gently gain the attention of the women we meet.

The statistic that really grabs the audience is that the average age of widowhood is 56.  Interestingly, most men and women guess numbers in the 70s or 80s.  Big surprise.   Of course many women are choosing to stay single, but this statistic makes everyone take inventory of their relationships.

Then we talk about how women earn 79 cents for every dollar a man earns.  That’s in improvement over the 72 cents I used to talk about when I first started working with women and finances.  Still, something to think about.

Today as I breezed through my daily news reading on my cellphone, I found this really powerful article titled The Doubly High Cost of Being Female.  Here I found more things that I really hadn’t understood, or even thought about.  Can we fix all of it, probably not.  Can we learn and do better?  Absolutely.

To read the article, please just click here.

 

 

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Financial Freedom Party for Women, Workbook Edition for 2016 Now Available

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I often say that I agree with a well-known author who says she likes                          I wrote better than  I write.

Once something is written, published and out into the world it is a relief and an accomplishment.  For me, going back and updating is something that is really important and a luxury these days because of on-line publishing, but it takes focus and commitment.  This is true for all of us in so many important things we do in our lives.  Focus and finish.

So, I am very excited to tell you that a spiral bound version of Financial Freedom Party for Women, A Little Book about Money for Women, Workbook Edition 2016  is now available.  This version has some updates,  is easier to use as a workbook,  has a new cover to make it more fun, and a tagline of Party with a Purpose!

Just click here to access the private link to purchase the book, or click on the area above on the side of the webpage at the small x.  It will pull up the Lulu tab.

Please consider having a Financial Freedom Party and also ordering a book for your personal use.  This book  makes a great high school and college graduation gift and is a good resource for those getting married or in relationships which involve joint money decisions.  After working with girls and young women and teaching life skills over the last six year, I have learned that it is never too early to teach financial fundamentals.  The audience is pretty limitless!

We women, our families and friends work hard to earn money and spend it.  As Mary Hunt says, The degree of a woman’s financial  confidence greatly determines her success.  Let’s be part of leading women to financial confidence and financial freedom, even in these challenging financial times!

Debra

 

Young Moms and Life Insurance

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Life insurance is a product which creates a lot of negative reactions until we really understand what it can do for those we leave behind.   It ranks right up there with other difficult subjects such as end- of -life documents (including wills) and the decision to purchase long term care insurance.

I know this happens because of my past experiences as an insurance agent,  broker, and financial advisor.  It wasn’t until I read the quote below did I find a way to show parents, spouses, and other family member what the real power of life insurance can be.  It’s not a technical conversation, it’s an emotional one.

The author  is unknown because this wonderful quote was one I wrote down when I saw it hanging in a frame on a wall in a bathroom.  It isn’t one I learned in the insurance licensing materials!  Over time it turned out to be the best education tool I have found to encourage people to consider their life insurance needs.  The quote is included in my book Financial Freedom Party for Women, A Little Book about Money for Women.

I hope it will help you reflect on your responsibilities to others.  If you are a young single mom with an infant or young children, you are included in that category.  Sometimes we forget to teach you the value of preparing for the future when just getting by day- to- day can be a challenge.  Life insurance and end-of-life decisions for moms aren’t restricted to certain ages or based on marital status.  These decisions are based on the needs of others.

Life Insurance
Peace of Mind for Turbulent Times

A life insurance policy is just a time-yellowed piece of paper with columns of figures and legal phrases, until it is baptized with a loved one’s tears. Then it becomes a modern miracle – Aladdin’s Lamp. It is food, clothing, shelter, and undying affection. It is the sincerest love-letter ever written.

It quiets the crying of a hungry baby in the night. It eases the aching heart of the one who remains behind – a comforting whisper, in the dark and silent hours. It is a new hope, fresh courage and strength to pick up broken threads and carry on. It is a college education for the son or daughter – a chance for a career instead of a need of a job. It is a parent’s blessing to a daughter on her wedding day.

Author Unknown

Not everyone needs life insurance.  However, everyone needs to consider this product and evaluate whether or not it fits their needs.

Sometimes people get confused and think the goal is to buy life insurance on the child.  The conversation we are having today is about purchasing a term life insurance policy on the life of the mom or other person responsible for the child.

Ask a licensed professional for help and keep it simple.  Sometimes your auto insurance carrier sells term life insurance.  There are insurance agencies in most towns that offer term insurance.  Ask around, you can do it!

 

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Withdrawing from Education Savings Accounts

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Page 13 of my book, Financial Freedom Party for Women, A Little Book about Money for Women, covers basic information for types of accounts to consider for funding education expenses.  I enjoyed the article from CBS News about the rules for withdrawing from one of these options, Education Savings Accounts (ESA).

Confused about exactly what can be used when taking distributions from an ESA,  just click here to read the article!

Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday—and all is well.  Corrie ten Boom

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Military – Saving Lives Through Financial Literacy

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In May 2014, I blogged about military members finding help from some special financial advisors.  You can read that post by clicking here.

When a problem involving so many people is identified; usually studies are conducted, articles written, and things stay the same.  It is the nature of the highly regulated and tradition bound financial services industry and government agencies (including the military services and the Department of Defense) to move slowly.  However, something different is going on as a result of Financial Planning magazine’s storytelling about the how the lives of our military members and their families can be greatly enhanced through financial literacy and personal financial analysis.  Change is coming and it seems to be coming quickly!

You can learn more by clicking here to get an update titled House Approves New Planning Initiatives That Could Stem Military Suicides.  The article is on the Financial Planning site, so you may need to click on the advertisement and then look in the upper right corner on the screen to click on “Go to Site”.

My first career was as a civilian employee of three military services and the Department of Defense.  My second was as a  financial advisor, broker, and insurance agent.  I know how valuable it is for those in challenging financial situations to have access to trained professionals who have knowledge about a wide range of topics (not just investing) and who have only best intentions for the client.  Unfortunately, access to this type of service is usually limited to those who have money to pay for advice, or assets to invest. That is not always the case with many people, like military members and their families,  who need  information and services the most.

It is exciting to see leadership in the financial services industry coming from those in the financial services industry who deal with people on a day-to-day basis and from  top level leaders in both the military services and the legislative branch.  I look forward to hearing more.

 

 

 

 

M&M-Moms and Money

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Mother’s Day celebrations and  Mother’s Day cards  mention appreciation for lots of things, but I have never seen much mention about moms, children, and money.

On this day of reflection about mothers, those still with us and those who have gone on, it is nice to add another dimension to how we see the role of a mother (or mother figure) in our lives.  Moms and Money, the new M&M.

I hope you will enjoy this article about how moms have the greatest impact on finances.   Please click here to learn more!  One more thing to appreciate about those women we call moms.

Money, Values and Choices

 Home Sweet Home?vanTo some people making and having a lot of money is about buying things and having stuff.  To others, purchasing or non-purchasing decisions are based on other value systems.  I found this article about a major league baseball player who lives in a van behind a Florida Walmart to be very insightful.

Hoping you read and enjoy it!  Just click here to learn his story.

 

 

 

 

 

Women and Money- Limiting Beliefs

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I used to think anything related to finances is all about the numbers.   After meeting with hundreds of people concerning their personal finances and investing, it became clear that it’s more about feelings and emotions than it is about the math.

There is a really wonderful article on the blog Frugal Confessions by Amanda Grossman titled Do You Have This Limiting Belief about Money?  If you are feeling a little (or a lot) inadequate when it comes to managing your finances, just click here to read what Amanda has to offer, get some confirmation that you are not alone, and learn that there are some simple ways to start doing better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women and Money, The Prospectus

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Have you been in this situation?  You pick up the prospectus for an investment and wonder, what is this?  It looks so boring, why should I even bother reading it?   How can it help me?

This post is to help you find some value in those printed pages and keep from being be overwhelmed by the information provided there.  Yes, it is more fun to look at magazines and catalogs which are colorful and clearly designed to attract our attention to buy, buy, buy.  Just think of the prospectus as part of the process for purchasing a specific investment and try to overlook the lack of pizzazz in the presentation.  Once again, this is an educational blog and not a recommendation to make a buying decision of any particular investment or product.  You may use a prospectus from any fund you wish as a tool to learn more about the investment.

Since my earlier posts were about a mutual fund which offers an investment option called gender lens investing, I’m going to refer to mutual funds as the type of investment—or security—for this discussion. There are, of course, other investments, such as individual securities like stocks or bonds, but mutual funds have evolved into a popular investment choice.   The prospectus for the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund  is as good as any to use as an example and was mentioned in my  series about gender lens investing.

First, it is important to remember that the securities industry is highly regulated. The government organization with the main responsibility for setting rules and regulations is the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). The organization which is responsible for setting a framework for firms (such as broker/dealers) and registered representatives (licensed individuals who work in the industry and serve clients), is called the Financial Industry Regulatory Agency (FINRA). Previously it was called the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD). FINRA is not a government agency, but is referred to as a Self- Regulating Organization.  The SEC makes the rules and FINRA members (firms and individuals) implement them through more rules and regulations.  This is a simple explanation.  To learn more, please click here for the SEC website   and  click here for the FINRA website.

When you, as the client, make an investment in a mutual fund, you are given a prospectus. This is a regulatory requirement. The prospectus is supposed to be presented at the time of the investment, but there are some other guidelines which allow a slight delay. For your purposes, you should expect to receive the prospectus when you meet with your representative. It is pretty easy these days as the prospectus is usually readily available on-line.

So what is a prospectus? It is the story of the investment, in this case a mutual fund.  Some companies issue a separate prospectus for each fund.  Others, offer a booklet listing information about more than one fund.  The Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund  is one of seven funds listed in the prospectus we will be reviewing.  So when you look at the prospectus, please go to the index and you will see that  information about the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund starts on page 49.

The prospectus contains a lot of information, but a good way to start is to locate the following information:

  1. The name of the company that manages the fund.
  2. The goal of the fund.
  3. The minimum investment for a lump sum and/or a periodic automatic investment.
  4. When the fund originated.  Information showing the long-term performance of the fund.
  5. Fees. What is the initial front load (cost to the investor) or a back-end load (cost to the investor)? What is are the annual operating expenses paid each year as a percentage of the value of the investment? Are there other fees and restrictions?

The best way to learn is to explore a prospectus and identify the items described above. Please link to the prospectus at   Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund and review pages 49-58 and page 89.  You probably commit a lot of time to making money and spending money.  So, please make a small commitment of time to understanding how to gain some value from a prospectus when considering an investment.

Next time–a review of the details provided by the  prospectus for the Pax Ellevate Global Women’s Index Fund.

 

 

(This information is designed to educate you about basic financial management concepts. Questions relevant to personal finances specific to the individual should be address to an appropriate professional to ensure that the situation has been evaluated carefully and appropriately. The Authors and Publisher specifically disclaim any liability loss, or risk which is incurred as a consequence directly or indirectly from the use and application of any contents of this work.)

Copyright2014©by Debra Hadsall

 

 

 

 

 

Women and Money, Gender Lens Investing

The series of five posts on Women and Money, Gender Lens Investing, has been combined into one article.  For those who didn’t read the series, it is probably easier to read a consolidated version.  So, please go to scribd.com (a publishing website) by clicking on the link below.  Scribd.com not only provides a way to read on-line, but allows you to download the article and even print it.  I am mentioning scribd.com  because it is a great resource for those who like to read and learn.

Just click on:  https://www.scribd.com/doc/245944714/Women-and-Money-Gender-Lens-Investing .  This will take you to my article.

To me, this is an exciting time for women to be learning about how to understand gender lens investing, and see if it fits into their investment needs.

Please pass on what you learn and share this exciting concept with other women!

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(This information is designed to educate you about basic financial management concepts. Questions relevant to personal finances specific to the individual should be address to an appropriate professional to ensure that the situation has been evaluated carefully and appropriately. The Authors and Publisher specifically disclaim any liability loss, or risk which is incurred as a consequence directly or indirectly from the use and application of any contents of this work.)

Copyright2014©by Debra Hadsall