A practical, step-by-step guide for getting your financial house in order.
When it comes to managing their money, women face much more daunting hurdles than men. With lower lifetime earnings, longer life spans and higher expenses in old age, women not only start out with less but must make what resources they do have last longer and pay for more. How can you overcome these obstacles? Where shoud you begin the process of getting your finances in order? The Myth Of the White Knight is a common sense, easy-to-understand guide to personal financial planning, geared especially toward women. Written in a straight-forward, conversational tone, the book discusses one of the most important aspects of a woman's well-being in a way that is both informative and entertaining. Learn why financial planning is especially crucial to women, discover the "white knights" who may or may not help, and learn how to take control your financial destiny today.
A few years ago, after a successful career in institutional investment management and constant badgering by friends to help them with their investment portfolios, I decided to become a personal financial planner. Since the financial needs and constraints of individuals are different from those of multi-billion dollar pension funds, I knew I needed to do some research to better understand my potential client base. One of my first goals, then, was to meet with as many people as possible and talk about financial planning. The purpose of these conversations was to determine the areas most needed or desired by clients so that I could tailor my services accordingly.
As a new advisor, I was willing to work with anyone who needed my help; however, I was especially interested in helping women. While part of this desire sprang from a natural sense of sisterhood, my greater compulsion was to go where there was the most need. Compared with men, the financial hurdles that women face are much more difficult to overcome. There are two primary reasons for this: first, women earn less than men, and second, women live longer than men. Thus, not only do we start out with a lower standard of living, we also must take what resources we do have and stretch them out over a longer time horizon.
In seeking out female clients, I learned a great deal about the differences in how men and women view money and their own abilities to determine their financial fates. As you might expect, men tended to be more confident in using finance as a tool to achieve their goals, more technical in their understanding of specific financial instruments, and more willing—perhaps too willing—to take a great deal of risk in their investment portfolios. Women, on the other hand, were more cautious about investing and more concerned with managing risk—or the possibility of losing what they had.