Woman and daughter for montreal women by vailiki for stockxchng

Don’t Pass the Buck!

I’ve been in the financial industry almost my entire business life, so I suppose I take my financial knowledge for granted. When I worked in private banking, some of my clients were older ladies, widows mostly, who were in the terribly uncomfortable position of finding that they knew almost nothing about the finances that their husbands had handled. Luckily their partners had set them up with professional money management accounts, so they had advisors looking after their investments. But when it came to paying bills and making purchasing decisions, they had no idea where to begin.In addition, they were prey to unscrupulous advisors, who seemed to be able to easily sway them to make financial decisions that were NOT in their best interest. They had no skill set with which to evaluate them. It was heartbreaking.

Young women these days are empowered… Right?

Woman and daughter for montreal women by vailiki for stockxchngI assumed that the fear they felt would not apply to my own generation of women. Sadly, I have since realized that I was too optimistic. I’m at the point in my life now that I’m seeing women – both friends and clients – who are either divorced, or permanently single by choice, and realizing that they have to find a way to look after themselves, by a home, and so on, without the help of a man. They realize that they don’t really understand what they need to know, but they’re not sure where to start. And, they hope they never have to, either.

“I don’t ‘get’ money”

Women who are otherwise smart, capable, driven, and professional, confess to me that they are afraid of having to deal with money, or intimidated by money, or ashamed of past mistakes with money. The general strategy seems to be denial. And it’s hurting them. Women continue to be financially worse off than men, regardless of whether they have kids or not.

Get educated about money: it’s never too late!

If this resonates with you at all, here’s my prescription: get empowered; educate yourself. There are some GREAT financial authors out there who are totally accessible to those of us who are scared that money is too complicated or confusing. Try Canada’s David Chilton or Gail Vaz-Oxlade. I also like David Bach – he’s American, but he has been very good about “translating” his books into Canadian versions.

You can also check out financial bloggers. One of my favourites is Shannon Lee Simmons of the New School of Finance and web-based Coral Television – you can count on her for down-to-earth financial education. And there are lots of other good ones to check out, like Shannon Lee Simmons.

Let me know if you agree or disagree, or if you have some interesting examples from your own relationship with money. I look forward to hearing from you!

  • Maria
    Posted at 18:19h, 12 October Reply

    Love this! So true. Women don’t take charge enough, and eventually it starts to feel like it’s too late to start. Looking forward to your next post!

  • Ingrid McGaughey
    Posted at 09:04h, 13 October Reply

    Thanks so much Maria. It’s never too late!

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