Today we are featuring a blog written by J Lynne Stewart:
As a community of investors, we as women need more information, a safe space to talk about building a secure future, experts who can talk to us in a way we understand, and trusted and relatable advisors to help us get personal about our best approach for our lives and goals.
Strides are being taken in the financial services industry to serve women like never before. The industry is providing more education, support and seeking to engage and empower women with advisors and coaches that are more relatable. As women, we now have the opportunity to get informed and clear on our approach to wealth building and how it can provide for us and our families, our communities and our world to create a stable, secure future.
Shifting the Paradigm for a Secure Future
It was said emphatically by Dr Brad Klontz, CFP, Financial Psychologist in the documentary $avvy “All the rules have changed in the last couple decades and we have failed to let people know about it.” Generations before quite often held the same job and worked for the same company their entire career. They had regular deductions taken off their pay, and this became their defined benefit plan for life and for a secure retirement, and little autonomy or acumen was required around wealth preservation or estate planning for the vast majority of people. We are quite likely the first generation that has had to be individually focused on and accountable for how we are saving and investing for retirement.
We are quite likely the first generation that has had to be individually focused on and accountable for how we are saving and investing for retirement.
Thrive in Community
It is amazing to me to look back over the years, surrounded by amazing, smart women, focused on health and happiness, indulging in dreams and pedicures and yet the concept of how we would fund and support all these elements of our life wasn't often part of our overall conversation. As a group of young females, we either assumed everyone was going to be ok, that it wasn't for us to discuss and someone else would take care of it, or that now was the time to live life, build careers, and hopefully there would be time to figure our future out later.
Align Your Life And Values
Consumerism has offered up an image and a connection to a wealthy lifestyle with the notion that we are all going to get there, as long as we are invested in looking the part. This can often lead us down a path of spending beyond our means. Now is the time to take a closer look at how we define success. The opportunity we have today is to create alignment between our values and our lives. The new paradigm emerging is to seek to live a meaningful life, to bring the best version of ourselves to the world and our communities and families, to make better choices, employ best strategies and gain awareness on how to make use of our money, our time, and our energy.
Getting the conversation started around building wealth and a secure future appears to be daunting and not for the faint of heart. But there are several ways to lean in to the conversation on building a secure future. From gathering information and getting educated, to creating a safe space within your community of friends and peers to share goals and strategies, and ultimately to work with a coach or advisor to begin making informed choices and decisions towards the goal of creating a secure, stable future.
Education is the key to getting comfortable with any new topic. Lean into the details, listen to experts, read books and immerse yourself in podcasts to educate yourself on the story of investing, planning and budgeting. Begin to identify where you are at and what is up ahead in your wealth building journey. There is a plethora of exceptional books on wealth building written by women who are intent on empowering women. Here are some of the Best Personal Finance Books by Women. Podcasts are full of content shared at all levels of learning. Have a listen to the 15 Best Financial Podcasts for Women. Feeling like you have the right, the obligation and the capacity to learn about investing can go a long way to building your knowledge.
The discussion around wealth often ties in with the concepts of budgeting, investing and planning. The word budget feels like an exercise that may encroach on our indulgences in life and so we often choose not to look too closely. Investing can be intimidating because there are so many technical and unfamiliar concepts, and we do not often feel invited into the conversation. Planning creates a fear that we will not like the news of how we are positioned, and so we often bury our heads in the sand when these topics come up.
How can we reframe these term in a way that creates a more empowering framework? How can we create our own connection to and vision of a life that is aligned and that honours where we are at and where want to go? We need to better identify what brings us joy, what our future goals are, and identify opportunities and strategies that will support this. The goal is to be more in control of the choices we make day to day. Increasing our acumen, our awareness, and setting small and realizable goals we can achieve and build on - that bring a sense of pride when we stay aligned!
Being empowered when it comes to the choices we make every day with our money is the goal and the method.
Planning for the future can be daunting. There are so many unknowns, so many assumptions being made, and so many things out of our control. Being empowered when it comes to the choices we make every day with our money is the goal. The motivation is seeing how our capacity to follow through on our plans works to improve our stability and financial security, and how it improves our ability to make positive choices in all areas of our lives.
Share With Friends, Peers & Community
As women we thrive in community. It is our nature to gather together and share ideas on health, our families, our relationships. How successful and effective will we be when we finally begin to open up, communicate, share ideas and support each other in understanding our goals for a stable, secure life and future?
For many of us our focus on keeping up with others has impacted our ability to keep up with ourselves.
For many of us our focus on keeping up with others has impacted our ability to keep up with ourselves. We need to know that our peers, friends, and community are also engaging and taking accountability for building a secure, stable life.
Work With An Advisor or Coach
We need to hear from experts their view and unbiased perspective on strategies. Ultimately we need to talk it out with a coach or an advisor who will help us personalize and customize an approach that meets us where we are at, that honours our resources and capacity and goals, and ultimately our desired outcome. An advisor will ensure that we are planning for today and for what is up ahead, and that we are taking advantage of any opportunities to create wealth.
In working with several female clients over this past year, there have been various starting points to our conversations that can be unique to each individual. In so many situations, these women whether married or single or divorced, had made some very smart and savvy choices around their money, wealth building and investing. Our work together centred on bringing their savviness into a more holistic and well rounded plan, to ensure they were taking full advantage of important strategies and opportunities to build and preserve wealth, to create awareness of strategic choices that were most important for their future, and to gain a deeper understanding and comfort with their overall approach.
In our conversations, clients begin to communicate and connect their goals with where they are at today, as we map a path to reach these goals. Together, we have ongoing discussions to ensure strategies continue to be attainable and relevant to their goals and plans for today and tomorrow. We create their Wealth Journey Map so they know what is up ahead and what decisions, strategies and opportunities to stay ahead of.
Clients can design various scenarios that empower them and help them understand how the choices they make today are building their future. There are key questions and stages of life that bring entirely new dynamics. Together we begin to envision what these seasons of life can look like. Clients can design a future around where they might live, what their travel budget could be, how they could consider a need for a new car, renovations to their homes, and what level of support they may need or may be able to offer to their children and elders in their families today and in the future. Together we can create powerful ways to live well today and in the future with contingency plans and strategies for different scenarios around health, the markets, the economy and family.
Keeping in mind the key principles of wealth building which are tax optimization, capital preservation and risk management, we map out where they are at today and up ahead and plan for how their wealth could enhance the next generation of their families now and in the future.
The key element to a successful client - advisor relationship is open and honest conversations. The ability to bring forward wishes you have, goals you have, and concerns and fears so these can all get worked into your plan and inform strategies is key. Ongoing and open communication is key for seeking advice and strategies before taking a leap into that next big adventure or change in your life. Keep communicating with your advisor to ensure you are making informed decisions and are aware of the impact that your choices will have on your future.
Step into the arena of wealth-building, live in alignment, and become part of an empowered community of women living for today and the future.
J Lynne Stewart is an Investment Advisor with RBC Wealth Management and the Creator of The Savvy Sessions, Mapping Your Wealth Journey. Her background in entrepreneurship, investment banking and wealth management positions her to advise all types of clients in the Canadian market. With an MBA in Finance, a certified coach, licensed with IIROC, clients work with Lynne to develop a holistic approach to their wealth building through planning and investing.
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