Women & Wealth

The Empress’s New Clothes

The Traditional Tale:

An Emperor orders a suit of clothes that are invisible to anyone who is incompetent or stupid. The emperor can’t see the clothes, but is so afraid of being judged incompetent or stupid that he pretends to be delighted with the garments and “wears” them in a parade through town. All the onlookers pretend to see them too, until a child yells out, “He hasn’t got any clothes on!”

The Modern Version:

An aging woman, dressed in rags, ambles through crowded streets, feeling invisible, like a second class citizen.

Suddenly, she hears a ruckus from where she just came. Glancing over her shoulder, she sees a little girl, pointing to her in amazement.

“That’s the Empress!” the little girl squeals repeatedly to her mother.

The mother starts to scold the girl until she realizes her daughter is telling the truth.  She passed by this disheveled woman many times, but never before recognized her magnificence. A crowd gathers, whispering beneath their breath, staring at the Empress with awe and admiration.

The Trinity of Trust

Years ago, I trusted my husband with my money. He was a stockbroker after all. But, alas, he lost almost everything. After our divorce, I was terrified to trust anyone again.

Then at some point it dawned on me. I couldn’t just ignore money. I needed to start trusting myself. But how? I was financially clueless.

If you’re in a similar situation, let me introduce you to what I’ve come to call the Trinity of Trust. It’s how I began the journey of reclaiming my power and taking financial responsibility

As I spent time connecting with each point on this triangle, I found myself building a firm foundation of trust in myself, in others who were trustworthy, and in the my Higher Power.

Are You a Victim of Financial Abuse? 10 Red Flags

Financial abuse is a serious form of domestic violence, but no one ever really talks about it.

While financial abuse is devastating, many, like me, may be totally unaware it’s happening to them.

In the beginning, financial abuse can be so subtle it’s easily misinterpreted as a loving gesture.

“I don’t want finances to stress you,” my first husband would say to me. “Let, me take care of the money and I’ll give you what you need.”

However, as in my case, the abuser’s efforts to control will, in time, escalate into intimidation, threats of violence and often, physical harm.

How do you know if you’re a victim? Here are 10 Red Flags. Read them carefully and circle the ones that apply to you:

  1. Your partner refuses to talk about money. They get defensive, angry or accusatory.
  2. Your partner goes on spending binges, buying expensive items you really can’t afford.
  3. Your partner racks up debt on your credit card.
  4. Your partner frequently gambles, at the casino, the race track, or in the stock market.
  5. You get frequent calls from creditors, which your partner dismisses or assures you everything is ok.
  6. Your partner keeps saying you don’t have enough to buy certain items, which doesn’t make sense based on your incomes.
  7. Your partner uses money to control you or restricts your access to money.
  8. You question their financial decisions, and they immediately turns the table and makes you wrong.
  9. You notice how often you excuse, justify, rationalize their behavior to others and yourself.
  10. Your gut tells you something is wrong.

If even one of these red flags feels even remotely familiar, I urge you to call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1−800−799−7233 (SAFE). They are there, 24/7, to give you the help, information and resources you need.

Have you been affected by financial abuse? Share in the comments below. Your story could help someone else.

Negotiation—A Novel Approach

I admit it. When it comes to negotiating—anything—I always lapse into a temporary panic. Words like adversarial, nerve-wracking and intimidating leap to mind.

However, when I met Rhonda Noordyk and was a guest on her podcast, Divorce Conversations for Women, my whole attitude changed. A former financial advisor, Rhonda left the industry in 2014 to become a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst. She created The Woman’s Financial Wellness Center, devoted to ensuring women achieve financial justice in a divorce.

I was instantly impressed with Rhonda’s sunny disposition and her razor-sharp intelligence, so I invited her to speak to my online community, The Wealth Connection.

She completely transformed my view of negotiation by introducing the acronym, ANOT.

“It’s a very powerful acronym,” Rhonda explained. “Our clients have had 100% success rate with it. In fact, it’s great for all kinds of communications, even emails.”

What the Hell is Robo-Investing? And Why Should I Care?

In the beginning, I was skepticalvery skeptical. Now I’m a raging fan.

Robo-Investing is the best thing to happen for investors since index funds were invented.

In Robo-Investing, a computer—not a person—creates and manages a portfolio of index funds and ETFs. What are advantages for you, the investor?

The price is right. Fees are very low (0.15% to 0.50% compared to 1%-2% for human advisors). Plus there’s either no, or a very low, minimum required to open an account.

It’s easy to start. You fill out a short questionnaire to assess your situation, goals and risk tolerance, then choose among suggested portfolios based on your answers. That’s it…you’re ready to invest.

Great customer service, at no extra charge. Offerings include automatic rebalancing so your portfolio doesn’t get out of whack; tax harvesting to offset capital gains; retirement planning; and a variety of educational classes.

Compare Robo-Investing to traditional advisors or managed funds, which require much higher minimums, charge much higher fees, yet consistently underperform indexing (often called passive investing) over time.

No wonder Robo-Investing has experienced explosive growth since it started in 2008.

Interested? Here are my recommendations. Check them out.

Have you tried Robo-Investing? Share your experience.

The Secret to Financial Miracles (for proof it works, read till the very end)

(This was inspired by a discussion last week, in my online community, The Wealth Connection. I listened with awe to women who put this principle into practice and reported miraculous changes.)

You want to create financial miracles? Let me tell you how.

The secret is deceptively simple, incredibly powerful, yet can be so uncomfortable, many won’t want to do it.

But if you’re willing to try, and you’re consistent in your efforts, you’ll experience significant change, often within a very short time.

The secret is this: Stop telling your old story.

Stop talking about your life as it’s been: your flaws, your fears, your sorrows and distress. And start talking about the life you desire to create: who you want to be, what you want to do, how you want to feel, as if it’s already true.

“What you share you strengthen,” A Course in Miracles explains.

The Secret to $uccess No One Ever Talks About

I was mystified. It was 1994. I’d begun researching my first book, Prince Charming Isn’t Coming, by interviewing women who worked in the financial industry—investment advisors, mortgage brokers, bankers, etc.

After all, I assumed, financial professionals were the perfect candidates to illustrate the book’s theme: how women went from being ignorant to smart about money.

Believe me, I never expected how many would tell me: “I do this for a living, but my own finances are a mess!”

How could that be?? Decades later I discovered the reason.  In a word, Self-Efficacy, or rather the lack of it.

Self-efficacy—a psychological concept developed by the Stanford psychologist Albert Bandera—is the belief that I can do whatever I decide to do, trusting I’ll succeed no matter what.

It’s the difference between knowing what to do and actually doing it, between being highly competent and feeling truly confident.

Has It Clicked Yet?

I call it the Click. It’s that ‘aha’ moment when you recognize, with every fiber of your being, that you deserve to earn more for no other reason than you’re worth it

Without the Click, upping your income can be an uphill battle. But once you realize how capable you are, how much value you offer, barriers that once felt insurmountable will begin to disappear.

You see, there is a direct correlation between your level of self-esteem and the amount that you earn.

Virtually every high earner I interviewed for my books swore money was not her primary motivation. But at the same time, she fully expected to be highly compensated because she knew she was worth it.

How do you build that kind of self esteem? How do you access the Click? Simply put: Do
what you dread. 

That’s probably not what you wanted to hear. But trust me, there’s no better way to boost your confidence than by doing what you are scared to do or don’t believe you can do.

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All the Answers Aren’t ‘Out There’

I spent most of my adult life desperately trying to figure out finances. I dutifully went to classes, read books, talked to advisors. Nothing helped.

And then I began journaling about my experience. That’s when I had a realization that, I know now, began the rewiring process in my brain and I finally began to breakthrough my formidable blocks.

That realization led me to create a fundamentally different approach to empowering women financially—the approach I now call the Rewire Process.

I realized that traditional financial education focused almost exclusively on the practical facts. And in too many cases, it still does today.

But my experience taught me that when the facts don’t make sense and all of the practical knowledge makes no difference, the key may be hidden inside you.

As I wrote in my journal, I heard that familiar voice in my head telling me how stupid I was. But instead of letting that voice hold sway, as I always had, I decided to get to know it better. I asked the voice where it came from and what it wanted.

The Timeless Wisdom of Wealth Creation

The year is 1926. Henry Ford announces the 40-hour work week. The first SAT test is administered. And the notorious gangster, Al Capone, is terrorizing New York.

But the real news is this. The Richest Man in Babylon by George Clausen—perhaps the best financial book ever written–hits the shelves.

This quaint parable, filled with timeless wisdom, became a classic because it demystifies wealth building like nothing else I’ve read.

When we first meet the richest man in Babylon, he is telling friends the secret to his fortune.

“I found the road to wealth,” he tells them, “when I decided that a part of all I earn is mine to keep.”

The men look at him incredulously. “Is that all?” one asks, insisting that of course everything he makes is his to keep.

The wealthy man just shakes his head. “You fool, you pay everyone but yourself,” he cries, pointing to the clothing sellers, sandal makers, and wine merchants.

Instead, the rich man counsels them, learn to spend less and pay yourself first. “For every 10 coins thou places in thy purse, take out for use but nine.”

This is the way that Wealth Builders live—a part of all they earn goes into their personal savings on a regular basis. In other words, they pay themselves first.

I’ve watched countless underearners transform small salaries into hefty bank balances by simply socking away small amounts into a savings account every month.

But now, unlike 95 years ago, you can do this automatically. Fill out a form and voila, the bank takes care of everything.

What do you do next? The rich man’s guidance is simple. Once you learn to live on less than you earn, next “seek advice from those who were competent through their own experiences to give it. And, lastly…make gold work for you.”

If you follow Clausen’s timeless wisdom faithfully—pay yourself first, learn from those with experience, and invest for long term gain–you’ll find yourself well on the way to wealth!

What gets in your way to creating wealth? Comment below and let me know

Meet Barbara Huson

When a devastating financial crisis rocked her world, Barbara Huson knew she had to get smart about money… and she did. Now, she wants to empower every women to take charge of their money and take charge of their lives! She’s doing just that with her best-selling books, life changing retreats and private financial coaching.

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