Category Archives: Money

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

 

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.

 

 

 

 

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, 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

 

 

 

 

 

My Monkey Mind- Women in Commerce, Marijuana and Shades of Nancy Botwin

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My monkey mind postings relate to Buddha’s description of the human mind as being filled with drunken monkeys, jumping around, screeching, chattering, and carrying on endlessly. These postings come from my monkey mind.

Yesterday my Monkey Mind connected Nancy Botwin (a fictional character), ways to improve financial lives by making more money, and women in commerce in the legal pot industry in Colorado.  I am not posting about whether or not legalized marijuana is appropriate, only about where my Monkey Mind took me recently.

Colorado has legalized the growing and sale of recreational marijuana, with limitations.  I lived in Colorado for most of my adult life and have family and friends there.  Recently I was staying with my  adult son and he opened the freezer, took out a small bag of marijuana, and asked if I wanted some.  Then we laughed.  Pot has never been my deal or his. The bag has been there for six months.  The humorous part was he was having this conversation with his mother and all of a sudden that which was forbidden and usually hidden, was now OK (limited amounts of course) and out for all to see.

He and I have our mother and son bonding over cable TV shows like Sons of Anarchy, Breaking Bad, Nip Tuck, and my all-time favorite, Weeds.  If you don’t know, Weeds is the  fictional story of Nancy Botwin, a widow with two children and a big need for big income.  She is not a perfect person and her decision to deal weed is one of love, violence,  greed, corruption, survival, decisions, sex, and commerce.  It is also the story of a woman in an industry run by men and a mother’s concern for providing for her children.  Quite an interesting combination.

The last episodes show how over time she made the jump from being a criminal dealing drugs to a woman of commerce with a chain of very successful stores selling pot edibles.  How did this happen?  The story line put her in a world where weed had been legalized.  I loved the ending since it showed Nancy as the owner of a very large, very legal, and  very legitimate business.  My son didn’t share my enthusiasm.  I suspect he was looking for the crazy violence prone Nancy to rise again.  Instead it was a story of  closure and commerce .

This week I did a posting titled Three Ways to Improve Your Financial Life.  One of these ways to make more.  I am always fascinated by how we as women find ways to make more for ourselves and our families.  So, when CBS This Morning did a segment on women in Colorado who are in the  legalized marijuana industry, are making money, reaching out to each other, and getting a piece of the action, I thought of Nancy Botwin and the idea of making more money.

In the  CBS video, a woman is shown in a commercial  kitchen  preparing pot goodies.  She is not a Food Network star or a well-known chef, the way most women in kitchens come to us via our television.  I doubt that she is highly paid or wealthy…yet.  She is a woman doing commerce in the legalized pot industry in Colorado. I thought, finally a way for women who can cook and/or grow things and also run a business to make a real living. This is big business and one where women are already finding a way to connect with other women to define the industry and benefit financially from their efforts. The segment can be viewed at http://www.cbsnews.com/news/making-the-marijuana-business-women-friendly

I remember that after I viewed the final season of Weeds, I mentioned to my husband that maybe I should get into the pot business some day when it is legalized more widely.  He laughed and reminded me that most plants I care for die and that although I make amazing cookies, my long-term ability to whip up delicious pot treats doesn’t exist.  So I will just watch from the sideline as those pioneering Colorado women lead the way.

Until next time.

Debra Hadsall

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3 Ways to Improve Your Financial Life

In my book, Financial Freedom Party for Women ®, A Little Book about Money for Women,  I teach the basics of financial management.  Most of us never learn basic concepts and then become frustrated when we aren’t reaching our goals, assuming we even set goals.

Life has become more complicated with each consumer expected to be an expert on all things financial.  In talking to women over the years, a common concern is about wanting to change and do better, but not knowing where to start.  Haven’t we all had (or still have) that conversation with ourselves?

It isn’t magic to create a new lifestyle, but it does take some introspection and then action.  A good place to start is with what I call 3 Ways to Improve Your Financial Life.  They are things we think about, but often haven’t written them down and then figured out which ones will benefit us the best.  So, you can start in the beginning by thinking about any or all which apply to you.

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Make Moremakemorepic

 Do Better with What You Have

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Simply write these titles on a piece of paper and make notes over the next couple of weeks about how you can focus on the one which will have the most impact on your life.  Start small, but start.  Talk it over with your spouse, partner, friends or anyone else you feel can give you positive feedback or be a support system.

Until next time.

Debra Hadsall

www.ffptalk.com

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To order my book, please click here

Student Loans Update

 

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In this country we have a love-hate relationship with college, college costs, and student loans.  We value advanced education, dream of a college education for those who desire it; and then become appalled at the impact all that  expense and related debt has on students, graduates, and their families.

For many people, student loans are the major funding source for a college education.  There was a time when scholarships and personal  funding (not by loans or second mortgages on a parent’s home) of college were the only way to make higher education happen.  Massive use of a loan system wasn’t an option.  Things have changed and that change has brought some major financial challenges, along with the rewards, for those who rely on student loans.

Clearly student loan debt and those monthly payments for a long period of time affect the financial lives of students who have loans.  Finding a solution isn’t a quick and easy fix and it is one with huge political and fiscal implications at the legislative level.  However, this week President Obama signed an Executive Order* to expand the reach of a program designed to cap monthly payments of most types of student loans to a more manageable level.   Please click here to learn more.

If you are considering taking on student loan debt, it is important to understand all the details of what will be expected of you along with the benefits of higher education.  Student loans can end up being a long-term commitment and it is your call as to whether or not it is worth it to you.

Until next time.

Debra Hadsall

www.ffptalk
 
 
*Executive Orders (EOs) are legally binding orders given by the President, acting as the head of the Executive Branch, to Federal Administrative Agencies. Executive Orders are generally used to direct federal agencies and officials in their execution of congressionally established laws or policies. However, in many instances they have been used to guide agencies in directions contrary to congressional intent.  Source:  http://www.thisnation.com/question/040.html.com

 

 

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Military Members Find Help from Some Special Financial Advisors

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Today my on-line version of Financial Planning magazine showed up in my email in-box.

As a former broker and financial advisor, I used to read everything in he magazine.  Now I read mainly articles about women and money.  However, the one today is titled “Financial Planners Help Stem the Rate of Military Suicides”. Having spent my first career working for three of the military services and then the Department of Defense, and being aware through news stories that suicide rates in the military are rising, I was curious and clicked through to the article.

Personally, I understand that some financial advisors and planners can do more than just hand out wisdom and match clients up with products.  What they can do better than most anyone else is listen to a client and then use their brains like a search engine to scan all the considerable knowledge they have about the entire financial management process, not just the lucrative and more glamorous investing component.  With their talents, a lot of patience, and a willingness to take the lead in filling out paperwork with the client, they can help make things happen.  People in trouble are too exhausted to do it all by themselves.

The article is worth reading whether you are a military member, a health care professional, a financial services professional, clergy, or just a caring person.  I am excited to learn this story of how a few risk-taking financial professionals have stepped up to the challenge and changed people’s lives.  I’m hoping they have also started a movement to expand how financial professionals are allowed to give clients what they really need.

Please click here to read this story.

Until next time.

Debra Hadsall

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To order my book, please click here

www.financialfreedomparty.com

www.ffptalk.com

Turning Down the Money, Really?

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It never occurred to me that a beneficiary of a life insurance policy or a retirement account could choose not to take the money. As a financial advisor and insurance agent, I found that most people were more concerned about having resources than giving them away. However, I did learn that sometimes beneficiaries may not want or need the money. In these cases the beneficiary can choose to decline payment and allow the money to move on to the next-in-line beneficiary or beneficiaries.

There are a variety of reasons why one beneficiary may wish to defer to other named beneficiaries. Please click here to learn more about disclaiming benefit in a retirement account.

Until next time. Debra Hadsall

financialFreedom_book

To order my book, please click here

www.financialfreedomparty.com

www.ffptalk.com

Great Way to Teach Children about Income and Expenses

Moms are the best and I love it when they teach life skills in a fun way.  Check out how one mom is teaching children about money while making it a fun project.

Just click here to learn more.

 

Debra Hadsall

financialFreedom_book

To order my book, please click here.

www.ffptalk.com

www.financialfreedomparty.com