Introduction to Financial Empowerment blog

Posted Friday, May 1st, 2009. Filed Under Financial Empowerment

I have heard that people will rather talk about sex than their finances. This has led to some pretty funny conversations about the former and some very serious situations regarding the latter.

Women today make up a large portion of the workforce. Whether you are a woman who goes to work each day, works from home or stays home and works to raise your family, finance plays a large part in your life and you are a contributor to your family.

Problem
What I have found to be fairly consistent, with some exceptions, is that when it comes to financial matters, women including some of my girlfriends usually defer to their husband, significant other or financial planner. In fact, I just had a conversation with a close friend that reveals this very problem. Both she and her husband earn a comfortable income however she has no idea about the nuts and bolts of their finances. When I asked her why she says, “I trust him”. I told her that knowing the essentials of how much money you have and how it is handled has nothing to do with trust. It has to do with a responsibility of being aware of a critical aspect of your life and knowing where you stand financially especially if something were to happen to one or the other or both of you.

Why I believe women defer…
I feel that most women defer for a number of reasons: traditionally men have been the ones to make the decisions, women are acculturated away from and just don’t understand the terminology, the topic of finance and money scares them, and some women, the truth be told, just plain do not want to know about their finances. I want to empower women when it comes to finances to take accountability and responsibility and change this by taking baby steps!

The “seed” was planted over a year ago
The idea for this part of the blog has been sitting as a seed for over a year. When I began to speak to groups of women sharing my journey and talking about taking my accountability and responsibility for the choices in my life, I did so with the intention to empower and inspire women to take steps for changes in their own life. I invited my financial planner, Warren Blatt, to discuss “women’s relationship to finance and money”. After one of the talks, a woman approached Warren and asked if he would be interested in speaking to a women’s group that she will put together. She recognized that she was one of those women who defer to their husbands and she had no understanding of even the most basic terms and language. This group would comprise of women who wanted to “demystify finances and break it down to the most simplest of terms, covering what is vital and useful for everyday”. This woman shared a powerful story about a relative whose husband recently died and left her in a such financial mess, one that will take years to sort out.

The intention and purpose of the Finance Blog
This site is the extension of these explorations. After many conversations with other women I feel there is both the desire and need for a financial component to the website.

I recently read an article in the life section of the Globe and Mail talking about our lack of financial literacy both at the adult level and for our children. We need to break cycles and begin to teach our children some basic financial concepts: how to save and not live off credit, set strict budgets and follow them, and know the options available to us — RRSP, RESP, MUTUAL FUNDS, COMPOUND INTEREST to name a few.

I am working in collaboration with one woman in particular, Maritza Beltre , Partner, Chief Financial Officer at Balor Capital Management. She and I connected on manly levels as well as holding similar visions. Please see her bio below. We will offer two posts a month. In one of the posts we will feature a new blog post about a financial topic – sharing knowledge and awareness and often recommending a book and introducing different tools. The second blog post each month will answer your questions. We welcome all and every question. There is no question that is too basic.

You can post your questions or comments in the “Share your Thoughts” section.

We look forward to this journey. Please choose to take responsibility and accountability for your finances – know where you are at so that you can make sound decisions for you and your family.

Maritza Beltre’s Bio:
Maritza BeltreI was born in the countryside of the Dominican Republic, where I was raised by my grandparents in a big, wooden, blue house by the mountains, along with my brother, uncles and aunts; all together we were about 13 people in that seven-room house. My parents migrated to the United States when I was just three years old, leaving me in my grandparents’ care. How many of you recognize this from your own lives, watching your parents leave you behind while they searched for a better life in los Estados Unidos? My grandparents, who today are still my role models, taught me at a very young age the value of hard work and perseverance, the importance of family, and most importantly having integrity and values. I remember we prayed every night. At the time I did not know what prayer was but now I realize how valuable praying every night was to my family and to me. This was the foundation that I have always walked with; it has opened many windows of opportunity for me.

From my early girlhood in the countryside of Dominican Republic, then my coming to New York City, working in a bodega “grocery store”, working in a factory, and eventually creating a restaurant from scratch called Much Gusto Spanish Cuisine Inc., to becoming a partner and chief financial officer of a commodity hedge firm on Wall Street. A hedge firm is a private, largely unregulated pool of capital whose managers can buy or sell any assets, bet on falling as well as rising assets, and participate substantially in profits from money invested. As you may know Hedge firms are a power trading vehicle on Wall Street and our clients are very wealthy and powerful themselves. I have well over 16 years experience in the hedge fund industry. This achievement reflects my history of risk taking with imagination and academic expertise.

My pride and joy is to empower and inspire others to achieve their dreams which is my next journey in life becoming an empowering speaker to support others willing to do whatever it takes to accomplish their vision in life. With this blog I intend to empower others in the financial area to overcome their fears about money and empower others to achieve their, “American Dream”.




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One Response to “Introduction to Financial Empowerment blog”

  1. Annetleindini on January 7th, 2011 9:26 am

    Hi,

    I begin on internet with a directory

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