Where To Get Financial Help
- Betterment is a firm that shares my passion for the power of index / passively oriented investment approaches, another solid option for guidance on how to invest your hard earned dollars.
- TIAA-CREF (a firm I am proud to consult for on their Women’s Engagement Initiative), Vanguard, Fidelity, and Charles Schwab are four large, established mutual fund firms and brokerage houses that work with clients of all asset levels.
- NAPFA, FPA and GarrettPlanningNetwork are three associations that maintain searchable databases to help you find a fee-based financial advisor in your town. And Direction$ for Women has some great information on how to find the right financial advisor for you (along with many other useful articles).
- GoGirlFinance, DailyWorth, and LearnVest, are three great sites focused specifically on helping women increase their financial literacy and financial security. I highly recommend signing up for the eList of all three.
- RetirementRevised provides a wealth of information as you plan for (and enjoy!) your golden years.
- Oblivious Investor is a wonderful resource if you are interested in implementing passive investment strategies on your own.
- SavingForCollege. As the name suggests, if you are trying to figure out how best to help fund your children’s education, this is the website for you. For better or worse, these days you’ve got to give yourself a financial education to fund your child’s education. And if you want to help your teens and college-aged kids learn more about money and achieve financial security, checkout this innovative site, FoolProofMe.com.
- Bankrate and Dinkytown provide calculators for everything from estimating your taxes to seeing how long it will take to pay off your credit cards so you can achieve financial security.
- SmartAboutMoney, MyMoney, and NEFE. If you’re eager to improve your overall Financial IQ, these sites all provide a wealth of articles and information about general personal finance, financial security, and financial literacy.
- Spike the Watercooler is a wonderful new community of modern ladies who acknowledge that being a woman can be pretty darn fun and that being “feminine” doesn’t mean being weak (or that we only like pink).
BOOKS ON WOMEN & MONEY
- Overcoming Underearning: A Five-Step Plan to a Richer Life by Barbara Stanny. Written by the iconic and ground-breaking woman and money chronicler, this book helps you overcome the self-imposed condition of underearning (living paycheck-to-paycheck, struggling with debt, and tolerating low pay). Read this time-tested classic book and you will not only learn five essential steps to financial independence, you’ll also feel empowered and confident in your value.
- Woman’s Worth: Finding Your Financial Self Confidence by Eleanor Blayney, CFP. Founder of Direction$ for Women and CFP Board Consumer Advocate Eleanor Blayney has written a classic guide on women & money. Her frank approach intersperses practical advice with easy-to-do exercises that will help you understand your beliefs about money, learn the fundamentals of financial planning, and gain confidence in your financial know-how. This book belongs on every woman’s book shelf.
- Does This Make My Assets Look Fat? by Susan Hirshman. This highly accomplished (MBA, CPA, CFP) & very witty industry veteran argues that the rules of successful dieting are the same rules that apply to successful money management. In this upbeat and informative guide she offers women a 3-phase personalized plan that follows common dieting programs to help them understand their finances.
- Emotional Currency: A Woman’s Guide to Building a Healthy Relationship With Money by Kate Levinson, PhD. In this book author and psychotherapist Dr. Kate Levinson offers fresh approaches to navigating the astonishing range of beliefs about the role of money in our lives, coming to terms with our feelings about being “rich” or “poor,” and exploring our inner money life so that we can put our feelings to work for us in a positive way.
PERSONAL FINANCE CLASSICS
- Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Rubin. Have you ever found yourself asking, “Is this all there is?” If so, this book is for you. Your Money or Your Life is the seminal book on how to think about the trade-off between earning money and having time to enjoy the fruits of your labor. When it comes to increasing your financial literacy and your financial security, this book is the gold standard.
- The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey. Straight-talking advice from the famed TV and radio host. Dave takes a no holds barred approach to explaining how to have a balanced relationship with your money. Dave also oversees an amazing in-person personal finance curriculum through his nationwide “Financial Peace” University. He a true trailblazer when it comes to financial education. Millions have increased their financial literacy and financial security thanks to his work.
- Pay It Down! by Jean Chatzky. No-nonsense advice from a personal finance veteran on how to dig yourself out of debt. If you are struggling under the burden of credit card or other debt, this gem of a book will show you how, on as little as $10 a day, you truly can “pay it down.” It’s just like your own private personal finance class on debt management. Reading this wonderful book is an investment in your financial education you won’t regret.
- Can I Retire? by Michael Piper. In less than 100 pages and in jargon-free English, this gem of a book nails the key issues of: (1) how to identify your “number” – that amount you must have saved to be able to safely nibble away on your nest egg in retirement with low odds of outliving your money AND (2) exactly how to draw down that nest egg – from asset allocation to what Michael smartly calls ‘asset location’ (what investments to put in which accounts & in what order to access funds from those accounts). If you are trying to get a handle on whether or not you can retire, this book is an absolute must-read.
BOOKS ON INVESTING
- The Random Walk Guide to Investing by Burton G. Malkiel. Legendary Princeton professor Burton Malkiel boils down years of academic research and education into a highly readable primer on the basics of investing. If you read just one book on investing, let it be this guide.
- Investment Mistakes Even Smart Investors Make by Larry Swedroe. If you’d ever doubted the power of evidenced-based (aka “passive”) investment strategies… you won’t after reading Larry’s latest book. Avoid the mistakes outlined in this witty book and you will be well on the path to financial success. It’s been said that common sense is not so common – after reading this book, you’ll have uncommon knowledge about investing.
- Behavior Gap by Carl Richards. In page after page Carl takes meaty (and “seemingly complicated”) personal finance issues and hones in with a laser-like intensity on the handful of components that really matter at the end of the day. And his drawings are absolutely brilliant – I literally can’t imagine a person reading this book and not finding at least one component of their financial behavior changed for the better.
- Investing Made Simple by Michael Piper. This book is a clear, straight-forward discussion on topics like asset allocation, picking mutual funds, frequent investor mistakes, and calculating retirement needs. If you’re looking for a plain-English, non-technical guide to investing, this is the book for you.
THE SOCIOLOGY OF MONEY
- The Feminine Mistake by Leslie Bennetts. This book should be required reading for all women. Veteran Vanity Fair writer Leslie Bennetts presents an exceptionally powerful case for women making sure to take their finances into consideration when making all major life decisions relating to career and family. Much to my surprise, this gem of a book was greeted with outrage by younger women when it first came out… while older woman were mentally high five-ing Bennetts having seen in their own lives the incredible wisdom in her words. I simply can not recommend this educational and eye-opening book strongly enough. To me, it’s the modern version of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own.
- Ask For It by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever. The premise of this book is powerful and straightforward: “Women don’t ask for what they want and need in the workplace and end up suffering financially, earning less than their male counterparts who are more likely to bargain successfully for higher salaries and timely raises.” This book is the antidote. It’s a financial education you won’t want to miss. Read it and learn how to ask for what you’re worth.
- The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley & William Danko. Think the average millionaire wears custom made suits and drives the latest model sports car? Think again. Stanley & Danko blow the lid off commonly held misperceptions about the wealthy with this bestselling book. It’s a fascinating commentary on many things – not the least of which is the state of financial literacy and financial education in America today.
- Money, A Love Story by Kate Northrup. With her trademark authenticity and wit, Kate Northrup shows you how to enrich your life on every level in MONEY: a love story. Reading this gem of a book is an excellent investment of your time. As you turn the pages your shoulders will drop back into place and the quiet but agonizing stress that money can so often create in a life will fall away as you open up to an entirely new way of relating to your finances. You’ll learn the power of what Kate so aptly calls ‘feeling-based financial planning’ to create lasting financial wellness. You will never think about money the same way again – because you will create your own financial love story.