What All Women Need to Know
I was invited to a “Women of Power” luncheon at a conference for Wealth Management Advisors in Las Vegas, NV. As we ate our salads and salmon, I asked my fellow female financial friends what they as advisors thought was the most important thing that all women need to know. It only took a split second to reach consensus.
My colleagues agreed that women need to become more knowledgeable and more involved in family finances. Each of the advisors at my table had stories to tell about women whom they’ve helped to make some of the largest financial decisions of their lifetime during a time of crisis, namely, death of a spouse or divorce. They went on to say that as advisors, they were grateful that the women reached out for help but also felt sorry for these ladies because they were clearly overwhelmed in dealing with the many aspects of becoming suddenly single. If those ladies would have instead had a baseline of financial knowledge, they would have had less stress to shoulder. One advisor talked about a widow she’d helped recently who didn’t even know where to locate accounts, how much money she had, if it were enough, or even what different account titles meant. Why does this happen? It may be because when some women envision learning about money, they think they need to study the ins and outs of investing, and that sounds complicated and time consuming. It may be because we simply divide tasks amongst ourselves as couples and finances are just not that interesting to some. But wealth is like health: to make the most of what you have, you should at least know your basics. To maintain or improve your health, you don’t have to be a doctor. Likewise, to make the most of your wealth, you don’t have to get a degree in finance. We should at least be able to identify what is important to our own financial health and have a baseline of knowledge as it applies to our own finances.
Our group agreed that we as women advisors have some work to do and progress to make in encouraging other women to expand their knowledge and involvement in their family finances. When it comes to money, that’s what we agreed that all women need to know.
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