I just finished reading the book “Empty Mansions” by Bill Dedman and Paul Clark Newell, Junior. The title says it is about “The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune”.
Any book with the words fortune and spending just calls to my financial education mind. It would seem that a book about wealth would be all about what we call “living the good life”. I learned that the title refers to the empty properties Huguette continued to maintain even though she didn’t live in them. Interesting.
This book is about a woman and her story which revolves around extreme wealth, business, family owned businesses, decision-making, relationships, trust and distrust, and how money can be both a blessing and a curse.
Personally, it took me a long time to learn to deal with money in an unemotional manner. The main character, struggled with that for a really long time as she was born in 1906 and died in 2011. She dealt with a lot of emotions and they often guided her decisions. For Huguette, these decisions usually involved large sums of money. The world changed radically during her lifetime and she also outlived her close relatives. Some of the change was more than Huguette wished to deal with, so she created a lifestyle which was strange and unconventional to most ordinary (and even wealthy) people. Her needs for security and safety as a wealthy person played a big part in how she spent money. As an elderly woman it appeared that those who were caring for her may have taken advantage of her financially, even though the medical professionals found her competent.
It is hard to imagine the majestic homes her father created with his wealth and the mind-set of Huguette who was born into such a lifestyle and never knew anything different. Still, I was struck by the similarity between the decisions she had to make about businesses, advisors, and income management, and those made by the rest of as we manage our personal finances or make lifestyle and financial decisions about the senior citizens our lives.
Was Huguette happy living what most would see as “the good life”? It is hard to tell. That is the mystery which remains in her interesting life story.
Until next time.
Debra J. Hadsall
- Reading is really important to me. If you read blogs, it is probably important to you also. I find that reading is an investment in time which gives my life balance and provides an outlet for intellectual curiosity, Reading is relaxing, challenges my belief systems, and expands my horizons. I acknowledge that not everyone likes to read, so my book Financial Freedom Party for Women, A Little Book about Money for Women is short (78 pages total), fun, and covers financial management basics. Hoping the reader will be inspired to learn even more, my book includes a short reading list of books I have enjoyed and which relate to the mechanics and emotions of the world of money.
- The first book on the list is by Robert Kiyosaki and is titled Cash Flow Quadrant. Personally, I am a fan of Kiyosaki and appreciate how he gives the reader a way to think about what I always described as “rich people”. I mention his Cash Flow Quadrant in my book. I like the way he describes the four ways of making money.
- Sometimes I feel we all spend so much time thinking about what kind of job we will get and the education needed to reach that position, that we skip the first part of the conversation. Logically the conversation should start with determining, what type of lifestyle, level of income, and accumulation of assets we are trying to create. A lot of folks talk about “getting rich”, but do they understand how that differs from being financially comfortable, middle class, or even what is referred to as the “new affluent”? Kiyosaki’s writings give us an idea. He even created a cash flow board game. Some years back, I played it with group of friends and we had a great time while learning about the value of getting into the part of the game where the cash was flowing. Oh, if it had only been real life and not a game.I noticed the Kiyosaki has a new book out which became available in April 2013.
- Will you appreciate Kiyosaki’s writings, I don’t know. But then you won’t know either, unless you try.
- Hope you will read my book first and then pick some from the reading list.
- Until next time.
Today is Monday.
I am not writing in red because it’s Monday, I’m doing it because that is the color of the lettering on the front page of my MORE magazine. I surrounded myself with the words, pictures, and wisdom of MORE this morning. Never mind that I am supposed to be writing about life insurance and wills. That will wait. MORE was more fun and had two great articles which merit mentioning.
First, I think MORE magazine is pretty good at “getting” women. My friend, LKC, subscribes and signed me up to receive a free subscription. Nice deal! Every time I pull the copy out of our post office box I think of her and our friendship. Good friend, good marketing.
MORE is described as being for women of style and substance. LKC told me it is targeted to women 40 and older. Either way, I know I appreciated two articles which reflect on women, money, our roles in the world, and emotions related to all that. One is titled “My Husband Wasn’t Earning His Keep” and the other is “Why the Mommy Wars Rage On”.
If you aren’t 40 and older, I encourage you to read the articles anyway. You can be wise for your age by tapping into the experiences of others. I always had friends who were older and richer in their life experiences. They were women of style and substance. I just didn’t know that was what they were called. Women teaching women, great way to learn.
Finally, tucked in a page between travel and makeup ads, there is a page called Notebook. Right at the top in big letters it states:
NUMBER OF DOLLARS AMERICAN WOMEN ARE EXPECTED TO CONTROL BY THE END OF THE DECADE (NEARLY DOUBLE THE CURRENT AMOUNT).
How do you see your personal financial management as part of this growth? Just something to think about…and then act on.
Until next time.