What qualifies me to talk to you about your money?

Money is such a personal and important subject. You deserve to know more about me so you can decide if I’m someone you want to listen to.  Below is a summary of my academic, work, and media experience.


I earned my MBA from Harvard Business School in 1997, my BA from Wellesley College in 1992 (spending my junior year abroad studying at Oxford University studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics). I am also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ (CFP). Currently, I sit on Faculty at The Omega Institute working closely with their Women’s Leadership Center.


My entire 25 year career has been spent working in the financial services industry. I started off on the institutional side of the business, working at various points as an analyst, portfolio manager, and client relations executive for institutional money management firms with billions of dollars in assets under management (SG Warburg, Atalanta/Sosnoff Capital Corp, Fayez Sarofim & Co. and Sands Capital Management). At the peak of my institutional career I built out and ran a $6 billion separately managed account business. In 2009, I switched gears to focus on individuals, launching my Financial Education practice. In 2012, I started my own female-focused registered investment advisory firm, MoneyZen Wealth Management as a member of The BAM Alliance.  Today, I serve as the Director of Wealth Strategies for women at Buckingham and The BAM Alliance. Through MoneyZen, LLC  I take on select teaching and keynote speaking engagements. I also sit on the board of The National Endowment for Financial Education.


I am currently a member of Wall Street Journal’s Wealth Experts’ Panel and contributing expert to Women’s Health. Over the years, my financial literacy advocacy work has been featured in a wide range of other national publications including: The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, Real Simple, Glamour, and Cosmopolitan. My national TV appearances on the subject of women and financial independence include: CNBC’s Power Lunch, PBS’s Nightly Business Report, CNN’s Your Bottom Line, The Today Show, The Dr. Oz  Show, Dr. Drew, and Rachel Ray. For a full listing, visit my MEDIA page.

Why I focus on women

While I’m thrilled when my work reaches and helps the widest possible audience, I am extra passionate about helping women joyfully claim their financial power. This is why…

First, I grew up a nerdy, book-loving girl in a Midwestern town where cheerleaders ruled. Lacking the prom queen gene, I learned early on that “a man is not a financial plan.” Thankfully, my wonderful parents gave me the ultimate gift – that of financial literacy. As a result of being financially self-sufficient, a whole world of choices opened up for me. I want more women to have that same opportunity.

Second, while personal finance is important for both genders, it is extra important for women. Statistically speaking we earn less, live longer, and spend more time out of the workforce caring for family. As a result, two-thirds of women over the age of 65 today rely on meager Social Security payments as their primary source of income. To change these gut-wrenching statistics, we must make our financial well-being a priority.

Third, after spending my entire career in financial services, I’d say the default language of the industry is “male-speak.” Whether it’s “winning,” “fighting,” or “beating” the market, the day-to-day financial lingo is alienating and unappealing to many of us women. Through my work at Buckingham, The BAM Alliance, and MoneyZen LLC, I am committed to promoting the positive qualities I observed in the Wall Street world (yes, there actually are some!) with language, values and goals that resonate with me and many other women: Simplicity, Abundance and Freedom. In short, I want women to feel that personal finance is our language, too.

PBS Media

Click here to watch a 30-minute special on Manisha’s work, produced by Houston PBS / Living Smart with Patricia Gras.

Ten things to know

  1. SIGN: Leo
  2. YEAR BORN: 1970
  3. GUILTY PLEASURES:  Ben & Jerry’s “The Tonight Dough”, reading People magazine, sleeping in
  4. INSPIRATIONAL FEMALE ICONSCoco Chanel, Edith Wharton, Katherine Hepburn
  5. HAVE STRUGGLED WITHDepression/anxiety (bipolar2), weight/body image, punctuality
  6. WHAT BRINGS ME EXTREME JOY: Savoring life’s small daily joys, spending time with my nephews & niece, spinnng-swimming-yoga, international travel, jazz, reading in cafes
  7. BEVERAGE OF CHOICE: Tie between a strong Cappucino (6oz, double) & a big Cabernet
  8. HOME BASE: Portland, OR
  9. HOW TO PRONOUNCE MY NAME: Ma-Nish-Ah (rhymes with Patricia)
    Talk-or (“taco” with an r at the end)
  10. DREAM JOB: Helping women become financially empowered so they can live full, rewarding, heart-centered lives