A PLACE TO LEARN THE BASICS OF FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT – BY WOMEN FOR WOMEN

Posts tagged ‘Financial Freedom Party for Women’

Gender Lens Investing, Part II

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Let’s continue together on our journey to learn about this option of gender lens investing.

Investing through a lens is not a new concept. I first experienced it as a financial advisor when socially responsible investing became more popular. Some people are more driven by their social conscience than by the overall rate of return on an investment.  For them, using a “lens” or screening process of the companies in which they invest became the solution.

I see gender lens investing as an extension of socially responsible investing. So it helps to first understand the more established investment option called socially responsible investing.

A socially responsible investment is the result of screening publicly traded businesses based on certain criteria which seek both financial gain and social good or benefit.

Companies are evaluated and selected based on certain criteria. Some of the common criteria evaluated through the lens are:

  •  Support of sustainability of the environment through corporate policies and actions.
  •  Corporate commitment to workforce diversity in training and promotion   opportunities as well as to fair workplace practices.
  • Companies which avoid certain industries, such as those involved in weapons, alcohol, tobacco, pornography, and gambling.

I am writing a post for a blog. The intent is to keep it short and stick with the basics. If socially responsible investing interests you, please learn more through your financial advisor or by simply googling it on the web. There are now many companies offering socially responsible investing. Among them is a company called Pax World Funds. They are part of the story of gender lens investing and a partnership with an organization called Ellevate.  More next time!

Debra Hadsall

http://www.ffptalk.com

(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.)

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To order my book, please click here

Welfare a Career Choice–Not Really

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There has been a Facebook posting going around recently which says:

 WELFARE ISN’T A CAREER PATH

I hit the LIKE button because there is so much wisdom in so few words. 

Those of us who haven’t experienced welfare as the family business have to kind of step back and see why young folks might envision long time public assistance as the way to make a living.

Children and youth are highly influenced by their environments, parents, or whoever is responsible for raising and educating them.  So, if a young person comes from a family who accepts public assistance as the norm, how will she or he change without learning alternatives and seeing different behavior modeled?  I believe some of this learning needs to be about finances.  How can no earned income and low-income folks do better if they don’t learn the basics?

Over the last few years, I have been part of a team of women who are lucky enough to do life skills mentoring with a small group of young women who are in high school.  Some of the students come from home situations which involve parents who work many hours at low paying jobs, or who rely on some level of public assistance.  Geographically, they live in an area which has pockets of poverty and an overall cultural acceptance of pregnancy in teens. 

We feel lucky.  These students are smart and willing to learn.  This year we included an enhanced focus on teaching sound bite pieces of financial information.  Topics were as basic as understanding a checking account, using a debit card, or how the little print on credit card applications needs to be carefully understood.  The students read short quotes from my book, Financial Freedom for Women®, A Little Book about Money for Women, and from other writings.  One afternoon we bravely did a short segment on stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.  As with adults, some were interested and some weren’t.

We learned that the concept of saving (except for  purchase of an iphone) was pretty much a foreign idea in general, and that retirement savings and even being able to retire at all were totally unheard of in their community. And for now in this economy, it’s pretty difficult to show how interest can work for you (make your savings grow) instead of against you (credit card debt & student loans). As always, tiny bites work well for everyone.

At the end of the school year we offered to give each student a copy of my book at no cost.  We suggested not asking for one if it was just going to get pitched into the trash (always a possibility with anyone and financial books).  Big surprise, they all signed up to get copies.  It was exciting to know that this group of students has access to basic financial information which teaches about a life choice of creating income and the value of investing.  Will they all read and learn, hard to tell.  At least we took a chance on each other. 

I’m hoping that someday my Facebook page will show postings from one or more of these young women which read something like this:

  MC910215909 I OPENED A ROTH IRA

  MC910215909 I BECAME A FINANCIAL ADVISOR

  MC910215909 TODAY I BOUGHT LIFE INSURANCE

Then I will hit the LIKE button again and again!

Until next time.

 

Debra Hadsall

http://www.financialfreedomparty.com

 

 

Fun and Short Teachings on Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds +

womenmoneyblogOver the last six months I have been reading blogs, reviewing postings from the financial services industry, and really just looking around to understand what we, as women, are offered in terms of financial education.  For the past fifteen years the information I read has been targeted to financial advisory and broker professionals, since that is where I lived professionally. My information resources were probably more sophisticated than those of most of the women in this country.

What I have experienced recently is very nice; however, it seems to be about budgeting, how to save money on consumer purchases, little quotes about life insurance or wills, constant reminders that we don’t earn as much as men, and some new found interest in reaching out to women because we have become more powerful professionally and financially.  I’ve even written some blog postings along these lines, although I have had a long term interest in women and our finances.  Those  non investment topics are just easier to blast out in sound bites.

I have learned that many women are not in the habit of seeking out, and paying for, information about investing basics.  They have never experienced an easy to understand explanation of terms such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, Individual Retirement Accounts, the power of compound interest, market capitalization, etc.  My experience is that most women are curious about these concepts and financial tools, but some  figure they are the only ones who don’t know about them.  To keep from being embarrassed, they just try to ignore the whole conversation.

So, I have extracted sixteen pages from my book, Financial Freedom Party for Women, A Little Book about Money for Women, Workbook Edition.  Ten of these pages concern investing, savings, and much more.  They represent the short and fun way I shared investing basics with women who attended Financial Freedom Parties for Women.  Most party goers said this part of the party was the most challenging to grasp, but  also the most significant. I even had a young woman tell me that she never understood stocks, bonds, and mutual funds until she heard me present this material.  As she explained, that was especially frustrating since she had once worked at a fund company.

So click here to link to the extract.  Please share it with those around you.  Take some time to print out the information and talk about it with your friends.  Learning about finances can be fun!

I am going to make this link available for free for a limited time period only.

Until next time.

financialFreedom_book

Debra J. Hadsall

http://www.financialfreedomparty.com

My Monkey Mind-Twizzlers, Man of Steel, and Marketing

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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.
 

Twizzlers®, those red twisted sticks of chewy strawberry delight, are addictive.  My family calls them red licorice, even though we debate whether or not real licorice can be anything that isn’t black and tasting of licorice extract.

Personally, I think Twizzlers® sell themselves and don’t need to be advertised.  I have given up my other addictions, like chocolate chip cookies, chocolate, and Diet Coke.  Red licorice is my controlled indulgence. Even so, it just doesn’t seem fair that Twizzlers® are now advertised and repackaged in interesting ways to further seduce us into buying them.  For example, today I was walking through a Walgreens store.  It was my first visit there because we just moved to a new city.  I know to avoid the candy aisle, but those tricky product placement folks had Twizzlers® displayed on the main aisle in the middle of the store.  This is the wide high-traffic aisle where we shoppers go to get from place to place. As I glanced at the bags of temptation, I noticed something new.  Now we can buy Twizzlers® in extra-long sized pieces.  I stopped and picked up the bag. Those extra-long pieces look like they are at least a foot long.  Not fair.

I should have known something was going on with Twizzlers® when I saw a TV ad for the movie Man of Steel.  According to the publicity, Twizzlers® has teamed with The Man of Steel movie for an “invincible summer”.  The ad ends with pieces of Twizzlers® woven to create Superman’s emblem. Maybe it took those extra-long sticks of Twizzlers® to make that happen. 

I admire the mighty creative marketing staff who found a way to turn Superman’s chest into advertising for Twizzlers® . Undoubtedly the results will be  consumers heading to the candy counters at the movie theaters, or into the local stores. I am working hard not to be one of them!

The marketing of Twizzlers® is pretty awesome.  However, it is only marketing of a candy product and a movie.  This got me to thinking (a monkey mind thing) about just how powerful the results would be if the financial services industry could be as creative in marketing the information and products it provides. I am ready to be a part of that process. 

For the moment, I am staying away from Walgreens, and trying to visualize the Superman emblem when the focus was on Christopher Reeve’s chest.  Keeping my Twizzlers® consumption down is my version of an invincible summer.

Until next time.

Debra Hadsall

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http://www.ffptalk.com

http://www.financialfreedomparty.com

I Am Celebrating!

Recently I read about a study which tells the story of under-representation of women as financial advisors, and describes the lower level of earnings of women advisors as opposed to that of men.

Clearly I am not celebrating those statistics.  I am, however, so very excited and grateful to see that someone has actually studied the situation and brought it out for all to see.  As part of the development of The Financial Freedom Party for Women, I searched high and low for any type of information about the brokerage and financial advisory industries and the level of representation by women.  Not a successful search at the time.

So, to learn more, please click here to read my article titled “I AM CELEBRATING!”

It is always nice to understand the industries we rely upon to either to provide us with services, or as employers and business partners. I hope you will learn a little about the financial services industry from my article.

Until next time.

Debra Hadsall

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http://www.financialfreedomparty.com

http://www.ffptalk.com

My Monkey Mind

I once attended a weekend retreat for woman.  It was held in a wonderful and rustic meeting place in the Rocky Mountains, outside Colorado Springs. The goal was to spend some time in an environment which would force us out of the big city and free our minds. Easier said than done.

Our group leader was not only an ordained minister, but also a wife, mother, church leader, and highly extroverted woman, who was in demand throughout the country (and later overseas) as a speaker.  Just like us, her thoughts were often still back at home, or work, or with family, or somewhere else which stood in our way of truly retreating and growing spiritually. She taught us about the concept of “monkey mind”.  We all laughed when she described this unfocused and sometimes compulsive mental process.   Monkey mind seemed like a perfect description!

monkeysI don’t remember her exact words, but they were similar to those in a HuffingtonPost article which credits Buddha as describing the human mind as being filled with drunken monkeys, jumping around, screeching, chattering, carrying on endlessly.

We all have monkey minds  Personally I find my monkey mind to be powerful when writing and creating concepts.  That jumping around allows me to link different parts of my life, education, and experiences and create a useful chain.  However, my monkey mind is a negative influence when it fills up too much space in my mind and steals away my spirit while spinning me into circular cycle of tasks, tasks, tasks, and more tasks.

We live in a sound bite world.  Blogging is often most effective when it features sound bite pieces of useful information.   So, I am going to periodically make postings under the title of “My Monkey Mind” to share some of the short and random thoughts from my monkey mind about financial management, women and money, and the topics in the Financial Freedom Party for Women.

Until next time.

Debra J. Hadsall

logownedy (2)

http://www.financialfreedomparty.com

Financially Confident Women

My favorite book of quotes about women and money is called The Financially Confident Woman, 9  Habits That  Build Your Financial Security, by Mary Hunt.  This is a little book, it is probably 4″x6″ in size with about 120 or so quotes.  This version is no longer in print.  I guard my remaining copy like the treasure it is.

My Financial Freedom Party for Women, A Little Book about Money for Women, includes some of the quotes from Ms. Hunt’s book.  When leading Financial Freedom Parties for Women, I learned that a few lines in a quote could be an effective way to interest women in financial management concepts.  The  quotes are fun and allow us to be introspective and serve as the starting point for meaningful conversations about money.

So here, is one of my favorites.

Just like diets, budgets don’t work.  The successful alternative to a budget is a plan, a blueprint for your financial future.  I love the concept of a plan.  With plans cities are built, battles are won, and chaos is turned to order.

Until next time.

Debra J. Hadsall

logownedy (2)

www.financialfreedomparty.com

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