Hello SOTGC community,
Over the next few weeks I will be releasing excerpts of my forthcoming book, Every Woman Should Know Her Options: Invest Your Way to Financial Empowerment.
Introduction: Money & Marriage
It was six weeks before my wedding and I was preparing a spreadsheet that listed all my assets in support of the prenuptial agreement I had asked my fiancé to sign. It was his second marriage and my first. Although not the most romantic of gestures, I felt it was prudent.
After subtracting the mortgage liability (the only debt I carried), my assets added up to over $1M There they were…the two individual brokerage accounts, the 401K, the Traditional IRA, the Rollover IRA, the Roth IRA, and the 529 account that I had established for my soon-to-be stepdaughter.
Becoming a millionaire before I turned 40 was one of the proudest moments of my life and I celebrated it privately. It was a sort of “coming of age” for me. Not that long ago I was a 24-year-old young woman who had bought 40 shares of Starbucks with a $1,600 inheritance her poor Grandma Eda from the Bronx had left her and now I was a 39-year-old millionaire about to get married.
When I give speeches on investing and the use of conservative options strategies, I usually share the story of how I built a million dollar portfolio in just 15 years. Everyone wants to know how I did it. After all, they want to pick up tips and strategies in order to build their own wealth.
But what is more important than how I did it is why I did it, which I explain in Chapter 1 of the book.
Women have a complex relationship with money. For many professional and accomplished women, money is the last frontier of empowerment. These women know how to control many aspects of their lives but money remains elusive.
According to a 2012-2013 research study conducted by Prudential, Financial Experience & Behaviors Among Women, “While women are more in control than ever of their finances, the study shows they are facing significant challenges when it comes to financial decision making and admit to a lack of knowledge about financial solutions that can help them. The financial services industry clearly has work to do to support financial education and help women take action toward financial empowerment and a more secure retirement.”
The survey finds that in this economy, the majority of women (53 percent), including single, married or with a partner, are the primary breadwinners in their households. Yet just 23 percent of these women feel “very well prepared” to make financial decisions compared with 45 percent of their male counterparts. Of the women who are primary breadwinners, only 10 percent feel “very knowledgeable” about financial products and services.
As I was reading the study, I was shocked to learn that well over one third of women who are bringing home more bacon than the men admit to having little to no understanding of the very building blocks I personally used to reach millionaire status: mutual funds (in my 401Ks), exchange-traded funds (ETFs), individual stocks, and individual retirement accounts (IRAs).
Achieving financial independence and empowerment was a highly significant milestone in my life and my calling is to help thousands of other women reach the same summit. The reason I founded The Options Lady was to educate and empower women of all ages to become successful investors. In this book I share my personal story, the stories of women who have grown and developed into successful investors, and strategies and guidance for you to also reach financial empowerment.
Sign up for my free monthly newsletter at www.theoptionslady.com and get notified when the book is available for purchase.
Photo credit: www.mitzivines.com