Monday Morning Quarter-Buck 11/13/17

Monday Morning Quarter-Buck

“Staying silent is like a slow growing cancer to the soul and a trait of a true coward. There is nothing intelligent about not standing up for yourself. You may not win every battle. However, everyone will at least know what you stood for - YOU.”

Shannon L. Alder


A bit of history – did you know that on November 6, 1917, yep one hundred years ago, women won the right to vote in New York.  Read more about this amazing milestone in this New York Times Article.

I can’t believe we are less than 2 weeks away from Thanksgiving! 

So much has happened since the last time I sat down to write this blog!  We’ve been busy recording some interesting interviews for our podcast, “Wine and Dime” with Amy Irvine, so if you have a few moments subscribe via iTunes or head on over to our website to catch up: Wine and Dime Podcasts

Last weekend, on November 4th, 2017, I had the privilege of co-hosting the 4th Annual Southern Tier Financial Conference for Women by Women.  The event this year was held at Corning Community College and I’m pretty proud to announce that we had 80 attendees this year!  If you missed it this year, you missed great topics like:

  • How to Buy a Car
  • Understanding Your Home Owners Insurance Policy
  • Where to Start When Building a Budget
  • How to be Your Best Self
  • How Money Stress Affects Your Physical Well-being
  • And a big one - Smiles Burn 10 calories – so smiling more will help you lose weight!

One of the speakers, Lisa Rustici, is a life coach, and she gave me a beautiful candle holder that was a pink lotus. I was so honored when I read the description of the lotus that was included in the box, I can only hope to live up to this one day:

The general lotus symbolism: The Lotus grows in muddy water, and it is this environment that gives forth the flower’s first and most literal meaning: risking and blooming above the murk to achieve enlightenment.  It is associated with creation, the afterlife, enlightenment, fertility and sensuality, purity, and health.  The Pink Lotus:  This is supreme lotus, generally reserved for the highest deity.  Thus naturally it is associated with the Great Buddha himself.

This was particularly important to me as I’m striving to be aware of how our world seems to be free with mean words.  My heart weighs a little heavy lately.  I've been sitting on the sidelines watching what appears to be a growingly angry country.  I’m not saying we should always agree with each other, but I do believe we can all be “Humble and Kind.”  I have fallen in love with the song by that name, which is performed by Tim McGraw.  If you get a moment, Google it, I think you will be struck by it as well.  Even better, if you can, watch the video. 

In the theme of the conference, I'll forewarn you, this blog is tilted toward women, but men, please don't tune me out, your wife, daughter(s), and granddaughter(s) can also benefit from these thoughts. I realize putting this "out in the world" may irritate some, please understand, that is not my intent, I am only sharing my thoughts and observations.

I commonly asked the question, what would you do if you were independently wealthy? How would your life look? I asked this question to a potential client recently, and they looked at me and said I'm more interested in what you would do. I didn't hesitate to respond to that question. if I were independently wealthy I would do exactly what I'm doing now. The only thing I would do different is I would support the next generation of financial planners by creating a paid residency program.  Part of their job would be to work with those less privileged.  I would share with them all the mistakes I've made in my career, I would coach them and teach them and help them grow, in a safe environment.  Furthermore, I would make every attempt under the sun to grow the diversity of the industry!

A few days after that meeting I was interviewed for one of my favorite podcasts, “You’re Financial Advisor, Now What?” By Hannah Moore and I had an extraordinary conversation, of course I think she's an extraordinary person anyway! If you would like to listen to the interview, click on this link: A Passion for People and Proactive Planning.  During the conversation we specifically talked about bringing more women into the industry, this is something I've been pondering for years, why aren't there more women in financial planning?  Well then, I got to thinking about a presentation that I made to the society of women engineers recently, and their numbers aren’t much better either. So what is holding back women from becoming engineers and financial planners? In my opinion, good role models!

As I think back about my career, the first role model in my industry that I can recall is Jean Chatzky,  I was in my early 20s when I first saw her on TV and I thought, “I could do that, I like finance, I  wonder how you get into this industry?”

It took me a little while to figure it out, but I did.  My next role model was a woman by the name of Donna Denton.  I regret not taking full advantage of her wisdom and knowledge and wish I had spent more time understanding a mentor/mentee relationship! But she was definitely a role model.  She was in a senior leadership position and very few women were at that time.

This fall I had the opportunity to meet another role model, Carolyn McClanahan.  She was originally an emergency room physician turned financial advisor.  She is on a mission to change our healthcare system, and she’s gaining momentum! 

Wanting to be a role model myself and grow the industry, I volunteered to participate in a high school job fair awareness program at Jasper.  One of the students asked me what I do for a job and I said I get to help people. We dug a little deeper on that question and her response was, “probably not the right career for me, I'm not good at math.”  My blood boils every time I hear that from a young women.. So I asked her why she felt she wasn’t good at math?  She said, “I’ve just have never gotten it”.  So, I asked her what do you think we can do to make you good at Math.  She shrugged her shoulders and said I don't know? Not one to give up that easy, asked her what if learning more about math could make you have a half million in the bank? And eyebrow went up.  So I responded to her and said, well that's what I do, I help people figure out how to save money. I hope she continues to think about that conversation!

Here's a little challenge that I have for all of you reading this blog, let's talk about these careers that currently have low diversity!  Let's make sure our youth understand these are wonderful, rewarding careers!  Let's serve as role models!