THEY WANT US TO SHUT UP!
I love this quote from Sallie Krawcheck’s Ellevest newsletter. Although controversial, it is true. I love to repeat it over and over again.
Claiming your FINANCIAL POWER is one of the basic tenets in my workshops. We need to speak up for ourselves – especially about money, our jobs and our relationships. We have powerful examples in the media of women using their voices to bring attention to key issues such as sexism, sexual harassment and NEGOTIATING.
Susan Fowler highlighted the sexist culture at Uber that led to the downfall of the Uber CEO. Co-founders of specific venture capital firms admitted to sexual harassment. Gretchen Carlson highlighted the sexual harassment at Fox Network that led to the downfall of Roger Ailes.
WHY? These women were bold enough to go public with their claims.
This week I add examples of USING YOUR VOICE for Negotiating. I use Hollywood actresses as highly visible examples of the challenge involved in negotiating for equal pay.
Robin Wright asked for equal pay with Kevin Spacey. When she was refused, she threatened to go public as her ratings showed she was just as popular and had just won a coveted Golden Globe for the role. The network came back and offered her equal pay to her co-star. Robin then shared her story at a Gala reception – thank you Robin!
Charlize Theron sparked controversy when she asked for equal pay of $10 million with her co-star in The Huntsman. She was viewed as greedy. Charlize also negotiated for higher pay for Mad Max – way to be an example!
Here’s the caveat: there is always RISK in using your voice. In one of my favorite TV shows growing up, Three’s Company, Suzanne Somers played Chrissy Snow and gained national popularity. She asked for a pay raise…and they wrote her off the show! She ended up going on to build a multi-million dollar empire and still appears on the TV show’s homepage.
Let’s focus on using our voices for raises, promotions and key assignments. They want us to shut up….WE WILL USE OUR VOICES.
I spent the week in India and held live workshops in India – Mumbai, Delhi, Bangalore. In 2011, I lived in Bangalore for four months as an MBA exchange student at IIM Bangalore, one of the premiere business schools in India. It was great to be back to talk about the mandate for women to invest. I was delighted to see and hear that one of India’s key marketing and advertising messages is Female Empowerment.
I was invited as a speaker by the US Consulate as part of the Road to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, a global conference that is held in a different country each year. India will host the event next week and the theme is “Female Entrepreneurship.”
Here are three key takeaways:
1. Indian banks offer women-focused programs 2. Shift in focus on cash to investments 3. Confusion about investment providers
1. Indian Banks Offer Programs Tailored to Women
It was a pleasant surprise to learn that Indian Banks provide dedicated programs to women with benefits such as higher interest rates. (Top 8 Bank Accounts for Women in India.) Women in my workshops said these programs made them feel included in the financial system. I told them that women in the US often are overlooked by the banks and investment firms (a trend likely to change with a business focus on women over the next decade).
Notably, India passed a policy in 2015 (SSY) in which parents can create a fund for daughters for education and expenses (including weddings). Savvy urban women talked about how costly weddings are and that families are focusing more on the trade-off between costs for weddings and education. That’s the dialogue to encourage so there is choice! Twenty years ago in the US, it would be a shock to the family if you decided NOT have a family wedding. In 2017, there is so much more flexibility with choice and family expectations.
2. Cash is Queen – Shift Mindset to Investing
Like most of my workshops, women talked about a preference for cash. Here in India, there is a Cash mindset. There was plenty of talk about the after-effects of Demonetization one year ago when certain currency bills (500 and 1000) were removed from the system, ideally to combat corruption. While the topic remains controversial, the conversation about investing is welcomed and more popular due to the disruption in the holding of cash. Demonetization also opened the door to the electronic payments trend that is sweeping the country. Click & Go with a card is the way here — while in China/HK it is Click & Go with your phone. The US has been slower to adopt Click & Go.
Here in India, the interest rate on cash is 4% (inflation is 4% as well) and some investment programs pay a guaranteed 8-9%. Guaranteed. My workshops focused on this shift from cash to investing to obtain a higher rate of return over several years.
Thanks to US Consulate for the opportunity to speak about Women & Investing in support of the Road to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) with more than 70 people!
3. Where Do I Buy Investments – It is so Confusing!
While I focus on the approach to Investing rather than products, it was clear that there is confusion with investment providers. Banks, investment providers, mutual fund providers, wealth management firms and robo-advisors all offer products here in India. There was concern about the lack of transparency and how these companies make money from them as clients. (These ladies are no fools!)
Overall, these local trends in India support the importance of financial education. In the US, we can learn from India’s women-focused initiatives to make women feel more included in the financial system. I am grateful to be part of the conversation and to offer online programs to educate women about personal finance.
BONUS TREND: Just like entrepreneurs in the US, India-based entrepreneurs need to create retirement plans as entrepreneurs. We have to pro-actively create these accounts since we are not provided with them when we go off on our own. This was a reminder to many women who are now pursuing entrepreneurship as a departure from the corporate path. We discussed the tax benefits of saving money for retirement — just as a fallback in case your company doesn’t have a financial exit.
I spent the week in Hong Kong and held three Women & Investing Workshops. In 2012, I worked in Hong Kong for a year as a research analyst and loved it! It continues to be fascinating to watch the dynamism, the rapidly evolving finance landscape and China’s closer financial ties with Hong Kong.
It was great to return and speak to Citi Women’s Network and Naked Hub entrepreneurs and hear from these savvy professional ladies! Here are the key takeaways:
1. How to Afford Real Estate: #1 Priority 2. How to Pay for Education: #2 Priority 3. Who Has Time: So Many Investment Options including China
1. Real Estate: Should I Stay or Should I Go?
Hong Kong’s real estate market is legendary for being one of the most expensive in the world. (Think $2500-3000/square foot for desirable location.) The units tend to be small so the vibrant, scenic backdrop is one of the main draws for Hong Kong. Add a 50-60% down payment requirement (!) and you have a lofty amount to save. Often the question is: Do we stay or do we go? People love Hong Kong though – including mainland Chinese who also continue to buy real estate in Hong Kong for diversification (currency and geography as starters).
2. Education: Pre-School Interviews Start at age of 2
If you thought certain places in the US were obsessed with education (NYC, SF), Hong Kong is a fair competitor. I heard about pre-school interviews at age of 2 as the status quo. The view is that the child needs to be in the system to qualify for other desirable schools. While playgroups are free, “playdates” are pay-to-play programs that are popping up all over Hong Kong (just like profitable co-working spaces in the US). Meanwhile, investment firms are capitalizing on the fear of affording education and offering various investment vehicles to help pay for education.
3. Who Has Time to Focus on Investments?
Starting with a savings-based culture in Hong Kong, the preference for real estate, and busy work schedules (to pay for real estate), investments tend to fall off the priority list. Moreover, with China offering multiple investment vehicles, it is more challenging for HKers to assess high quality investments. In HK, residents have access to funds from around the world. There is also a currency component to consider. It is easy to say: who has time to think about all these investments?
BONUS TREND: There is only one digital platform in Hong Kong – Chloe (part of 8 Securities) – and it launched this year. The digital platform market is in a nascent phase in Hong Kong and China. This will be a trend to monitor over time.
When it comes to managing personal finances, many women may feel apprehensive. It’s so important to learn how to make important financial decisions when it comes to managing day-to-day finances and your investments.
Listen in as I discuss the 10 financial tenets every woman should know.
“Ambition is not a dirty word.” Reese Witherspoon, Oscar Award winner and producer, shared with a female audience how tough it had been for her to launch her own production company in spite of being a famous A-list celebrity. It was not until several of her projects had been financially successful, including Wild, Gone Girl and Big Little Lies, that she gained respect from other studios.
So what do the rest of us do?
I created a research project called Claim Your Financial Power and interviewed 20+ female experts in order to learn from top thought leaders. Authors of best-selling books, podcast leaders and thriving entrepreneurs shared best practices on how to develop the mindset to make key financial decisions, how to navigate career advancement and how to invest to build wealth, including starting your own company.
Based on these interviews, here are five ways for women to claim their financial power:
1. Learn – Could the blogs you read and the podcasts you listen to be the key to conquering your financial fears? Manisha Thakor, host of The MoneyZen Podcast, and Laura Adams, host of the Money Girl Podcast, share the importance of keeping up with industry changes—and that valuable information is available online.
2. Invest – You’ve likely heard how important compound interest is in growing your wealth. But, did you know many women still hold much of their savings in cash—losing the benefits of that compound interest? Alice Finn, founder of PowerHouse Assets and author of Smart Women Love Money, discusses her Five Rules of Investing.
3. Negotiate – Women are paid 77 cents to the dollar for similar work to a man—and unfortunately many professional women do not know how to build the business case for their next raise, promotion, bonus or key assignment. Melissa Hereford, negotiating expert and founder of Negotiate with Confidence, shows us how.
4. Create a Personal Brand – What does it mean to create a “personal brand?” And is it even needed if you have a corporate job? The resounding answer is Yes! Catherine Kaputa, branding expert and author of You Are a Brand, talks about the importance of letting others know about your expertise and leveraging it outside of your workplace to build wealth and influence.
5. Network – Does “networking” give you the chills, or are you a natural connector? Either way, you’ll want to listen to the conversations with Kristy Wallace, CEO of Ellevate Network, and Georgene Huang, CEO of Fairygodboss. They present views on building long-term economic opportunities based on the people you know and sharing policies that support women in the workplace.
If you want to learn more from these thought leaders, register for the free Online Women’s Summit that starts October 2. More than 20+ female experts share their perspective and actionable ideas on ways to Claim Your Financial Power. Register Here.
I’m EXCITED to share the project I have been working on all summer. It’s a free online event that arrives right in your emailbox. It provides you with valuable resources to claim your financial power.
Are you ready to Shift Your Mindset, Take Action And Increase Your Wealth?
Join the Claim Your Financial Power Summit!
It is a FREE 21-day event where you will receive a video everyday for 21 days from 21 female experts across finance and business. Again this is a FREE event!
I believe that every woman has the ability to invest, actively manage her personal finances and increase her wealth. Increasing your wealth means increasing your power. I am a stand for more women to claim their financial power.
I watched my mother who was raised as a homemaker give away her financial power to my father. They divorced and she was left to rebuild her life with her children from scratch and without any resources. She taught me the importance of financial independence. I want to share this with you!
Why is the valuable online event free? I created this Summit to share valuable speakers, ideas and resources with you so that you can overcome your fears of managing your finances, shift your mindset, and take action to increase your financial power!
List of Topics
This amazing list of national speakers will share their expertise on topics that put money in your pocket, shift your mindset into abundance, and present actionable ideas to implement today to build wealth. They are authors, media thought leaders, thriving business owners and most importantly female role models.
Each interview will leave a lasting impact!
• Overcome your fear of managing your finances
• Learn how to invest
• Get out of debt
• Create a personal brand
• Identify your passion
• Consider starting your own business
• Generate multiple sources of income
List of Female Experts
• Manisha Thakor – Author of On Your Own Two Feet and MoneyZen podcast
• Marci Shimoff – Author of Happy for No Reason and Love for No Reason
• Alice Finn – Author of Smart Women Love Money
• Cary Carbonaro – Author of Money Queen’s Guide
• Laura Adams – Expert behind Money Girl Podcast
• Catherine Kaputa – Personal Branding expert
• Kate Levinson – Author of Emotional Currency and Money Relationship expert
• Melissa Hereford – Negotiation expert
Each speaker offers a free unique gift to take action in her area of expertise and to further engage with her and her community. Many offer complimentary consultations. The opportunity is for you to take action!
Financial Power Facebook Community
There is an active community to post questions, comments, reactions to the different speakers each day. I will participate and post messages daily.
Are you ready to Claim Your Financial Power? Do you want to take ownership of your money, your earnings and ways to increase your wealth?
Join this Online Summit today! Event starts Monday October 2! Mark Your Calendar!
It is a beautiful beach day here on the East Coast as I write…
Coldplay is also playing at Gillette Stadium…
This week I did a short video on the question of Renting vs. Buying. It qualified for my Freaky Finance Friday topic as I was SHOCKED when I asked this question to a group of professional women. They thought buying a place was too far out of reach! This group of gainfully employed women had jobs in finance, tech and management and they thought buying was out of reach.
Time to shift your mindset for money!
I am here to be an advocate for you to THINK about owning a place, to CREATE THE GOAL of owning a place and to PLAN to own a place. I understand you may have loans, expenses, even a relationship and you’re not sure about the next step.
Time to shift your mindset and focus on growing your wealth!
When I was in my 20’s in San Francisco, women frowned upon buying a place as it might hurt them in their dating life. Sigh!!
I want you to think about OWNING a place – a condo, a 1-bedroom, a property. There are options for first time buyers to put down just 5% for a down payment. If you need to put down 20%, I talk about strategic ways to aggregate a down payment in my 8-week Warrior Workshop.
My Condo Story
I have to be honest, when I bought my place, it was not how I expected. I was flying back to Boston on a business trip in the middle of a BLIZZARD — as in the whole eastern corridor was shut down — and only OUR FLIGHT was given clearance to take off and land. (Was Lady Gaga on our flight?!) That is how BAD the storm was.
A bit traumatized, I took the next day off from work to appreciate I was alive, and then declared I was moving to San Francisco. (Previously I had lived in SF for 5+ years.) I made this declaration on Friday night and by Sunday at 5pm, I was a condo owner. (Remember the blizzard – winter is a great time to buy a property!) The universe had its own way of telling me I was not ready to move back to San Francisco.
This weekend, if you are sitting on the beach, I want you to IMAGINE buying a place. Owning a place that APPRECIATES in value over time. Managing a place that generates PASSIVE INCOME.
I want to plant the seed for ownership. It is a key pillar in creating wealth.
In a few weeks, I am hosting a 5 Day Finance Challenge to inspire you to take action!
Enjoy the beach this weekend and thanks for being a Personal Finance Warrior!
What are your FAVORITE personal finance websites? I wanted to share my FIVE favorite websites. Let me know what you think and if you have others to share.
This planning tool is a one-stop shop to keep your accounts, credit cards, loans in one safe place. This is an anchor for your financial planning!
Different authors write daily emails about various topics of personal finance from money, savings, investing, loan repayment and discussing money. It is a great daily reminder!
While you may need to pay for membership, you will benefit from the VAST RESOURCES from article, videos, jam sessions on topics relevant for professional women. I love it and listen to 3-4 videos each month!
If you have a Women’s Professional Network at your company, ask if they have a corporate membership or if your company will pay for it.
Daily emails provide advice on negotiating – one of my favorite topics. They highlight tactics and success stories to remind you about ASKING FOR IT.
5. Barrons.com – *Industry favorite* – Subscription
Weekly journal that highlights investment ideas, trends, top portfolio managers and funds. This resource answers a popular question form my audience: Where do I look for ideas and an outlook on investments?
What are YOUR FAVORITE sites?
*A bonus favorite: MarieForleo.com. She provides inspirational talks about entrepreneurship and overcoming challenges on Marie TV. *