Category Archives: Women

Social Entrepreneur & Benefit Corporations

Social-Entrepreneurship

I am learning new words to describe new ways of doing things in our world.

First, I became acquainted with the term “social entrepreneur” when I connected with Molly Barker, founder of Girls on the Run and now the lead advocate Red Book Coalition. I think the concept of social entrepreneurship describes the work of my Financial Freedom Party for Women.

While reading about Kickstarter, I learned about Benefit Corporations. Kickstarter describes it as follows:

Benefit Corporations are for-profit companies that are obligated to consider the impact of their decisions on society, not only shareholders. Radically, positive impact on society becomes part of a Benefit Corporation’s legally defined goals.

As I work on getting my Financial Freedom Party for Women business entity established in Texas, I’m thinking these are the concepts we will be embracing. Things look better for what FFP offers for women and the business community than they did in 1998 when we started this whole FFP thing. We are focused more like Benefit Corporation than a non-profit. Why does teaching financial literacy for women, giving them information to take to the marketplace, and connecting them with the financial services industry  have to be considered a non-business activity? Apparently it doesn’t!

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Financial Freedom Party for Women

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Today’s daunting task, calling the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to figure out what the letter they sent me about the Financial Freedom Party logo actually means.  20 years as a government employee and 15 as a financial advisor, and even I can’t figure it out.  Much prefer meeting with women and sharing financial education than dealing with trademark issues, but being the owner of a “mark” is pretty awesome.  Now to fax off what they want….this time.  Changing how women learn about money is sometimes just a bunch of boring detail work, but so worth it!

Debra Hadsall

www.ffptalk.com

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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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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

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Women Should Plan to Live to 100-Really??

100BirthdayCake_250I read any and all writings about women and money that come my way.  This one makes us think!  Just click here to learn more about the possibility of living to age 100 and how to plan for it.

Enjoy!

Debra Hadsall

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To order my book Financial Freedom Party for Women, A Little Book about Money for Women, Workbook Edition, please click here.

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Women and Divorce, When Emotions Collide with Finances

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Valentine’s Day is tomorrow.  It is one of those marketing opportunities for businesses to encourage us to show our love and affection for the special person in our life by buying gifts, going out to dinner, or doing something celebratory.  It usually involves a couple.  I don’t think Valentine’s Day was designed for singles.  In fact, lots of folks find Valentine’s Day to be less than fun and charming.  Relationships evolve and change, marriage is not as popular as it once was, and for those who do marry,  the divorce rate remains high.

I wasn’t thinking much about Valentine’s Day when I read the article Divorcing Women, Five Signs You Might Need a New Attorney. Please click here.  The article reminds us about the importance of shifting from seeing a divorce purely from an emotional aspect to a practical one.  We need to be conscious and focused when working on the details of how things will work and be settled.

Thinking about how Valentine’s Day isn’t fun for many who are going through divorce and reading the article reminded me of a woman who called me asking for help.  I had a listing in the phone book under financial services and women.  This had an unexpected result.  I often received phone calls from women looking for social services (such as battered women’s shelters), wanting counseling about family matters, looking for help in starting businesses, and a variety of other topics.  This woman  was concerned about how her marriage was ending and she couldn’t understand why someone didn’t make her husband stay.  She and her husband had children.  He had business interests and had been quietly moving the assets with the intent of hiding them from her.  She didn’t work outside the home.  It seemed to her that there was someone else in his life, but she was only guessing.  When I explained to her that she needed to seek legal advice, she told me it wasn’t a problem, her husband had a lawyer and she could talk to him.  I explained that she needed a lawyer to represent her, someone whose interest was in protecting her, not in protecting her husband who seemed to be doing a good job of that already.  It was a heartbreaking conversation.  She wondered why nobody seemed to care about keeping families together and was there  someone who could help fix this.  I suggested seeking out counseling from clergy or a licensed therapist..  That option was rejected.  I took a deep breath and told her that she should talk to a lawyer because he or she would understand the situation without emotion and help her to negotiate as an equal in the situation.  Separating emotions from finances is always difficult, but really challenging when it involves the dissolution of a marriage, children, and denial.

It has been many years since that telephone conversation.  I am hoping  the caller found an attorney who could help her navigate the circumstances of the end of her marriage and move on to a happier time.  It would have been hard for her to see a better future on that day we talked, but I am hoping that tomorrow she will be having a wonderful Valentine’s Day celebration with someone special.

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Until next time

Debra Hadsall

www.ffptalk.com

To order my book, Financial Freedom Party for Women, A Little Book about Money for Women, Workbook Edition, please click here.

My Monkey Mind-Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILIT)

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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.

Something which happened about 10 years ago has been in my monkey mind.  I guess listening to my friends talk about elderly parents must have triggered it.  So here goes….

As part of my financial services business I had a listing in the Yellow Pages under resources for women.  It was the best I could do since there wasn’t a separate listing for women and finances.  The result was unexpected.  I received random calls from women in difficult life situations ranging from physical abuse, unwanted divorce, requests for money to start  businesses, and sometimes just a reality check on some financial decisions a spouse or significant other had made without checking with the woman.  After these calls continued , I became a connection between these women I never met to non-profits, social services providers, free legal advice, and government agencies who could help.  I learned a bunch of things which reached beyond financial advising.

One day I received one of those calls from an elderly woman who asked me what the difference was between term insurance (no cash value) and universal life insurance (which has a cash value).  The real reason for the call had to do with the fact that her late husband had established an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) with a cash value policy and she thought he had made a bad decision.  I was curious to hear all the details so I went to visit with her.

In my Financial Freedom Party for Women®, A Little Book about Money for Women, Workbook Edition, I cover the differences between term and cash value policies.  To put it in a couple of sentences, term insurance is a very cost-effective way of getting life insurance and is appropriate for most people.  The premium goes towards the insurance cost and the policy runs for a certain period of time, such as 10, 15, or 20 years.  A policy with a cash value, such as universal life or variable universal life is more complicated and more expensive.  Some of the premium goes to the cost of insurance and some goes into investments offered through the insurance product.  The policy is considered to be “permanent” life since it is not restricted to a certain length of time.  My experience is that these policies (UL and VUL) are often considered upon guidance from an estate planning attorney when creating ways to provide for beneficiaries and reduce estate taxes.  This is a very generalized overview and to learn more please ask your insurance agent or do your own research on-line.

The control of the ILIT rests with a trustee, not the beneficiary (in this case the lady who called me).  This is done because of the estate tax benefits.  You can learn more by clicking here.  As with most people, she did not like knowing she had “all this money”, yet couldn’t access it when she wished.  I came to learn that was part of the plan.

I shared this insight with the lady. Apparently I was the first person she met who sat down and explained to her how this ILIT all worked. I was also the only woman advisor/insurance agent she had ever met.  She found me through my Yellow Page listing.

I learned that she was unhappy because the ILIT controlled her spending.  She had to ask a young man( who was the trustee) for any money which was needed  in addition to the monthly payment which had been established.  The goal of the plan was to keep her from running out of money.   I learned that her ILIT  did contain a universal life policy, the trust was created by an attorney with involvement by the now-deceased husband, and seemed to be in good order and in her best interest.  The things the trustee had told her were true, if she did not control her spending, she ran the risk of outliving her money.  In this situation, the planning was really in her best interest and when we finished our discussion, she, for the first time, realized it.  We talked about other ways for her to finance the expenses she wanted to incur including having a roommate in her spacious home, moving to a smaller one, or cutting expenses elsewhere.

I never heard from her again, but I learned a lot.  I saw how the appropriate cash value life insurance policy can be an integral and useful part of estate planning and a way to take care of beneficiaries upon the death of the insured.  My passion for working with women to understand their finances was re-kindled.  I knew that if someone had taken time to speak to this lady in language she could understand, her life would have been much better.  Sometimes financial professionals forget that it is not all about the numbers,  it is about how the numbers improve the lives of clients and getting the  clients to understand that.  It also reinforced my belief that the best time to learn about finances is not when your spouse or family member has died and not there to explain things.  Learning the fundamentals as a young person will make things a lot easier throughout her or his lifetime.

This event has stayed with me.  My insurance career involved term life insurance and that worked well for my family and clients. The ILIT was a good example how a cash value policy can be beneficial in estate planning and for beneficiaries who may need some additional structure and measured control over assets.  Each situation is different and this posting is not intended to provide you with personal advice on your estate planning, financial planning, or insurance needs.

Until next time.

Debra Hadsall

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www.financialfreedomparty.com

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