Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Investing in a Bubble Mania Stock Market Trending Towards Financial Crisis 2.0 CRASH! - 9th Sep 21
2.Tech Stocks Bubble Valuations 2000 vs 2021 - 25th Sep 21
3.Stock Market FOMO Going into Crash Season - 8th Oct 21
4.Stock Market FOMO Hits September Brick Wall - Evergrande China's Lehman's Moment - 22nd Sep 21
5.Crypto Bubble BURSTS! BTC, ETH, XRP CRASH! NiceHash Seizes Funds on Account Halting ALL Withdrawals! - 19th May 21
6.How to Protect Your Self From a Stock Market CRASH / Bear Market? - 14th Oct 21
7.AI Stocks Portfolio Buying and Selling Levels Going Into Market Correction - 11th Oct 21
8.Why Silver Price Could Crash by 20%! - 5th Oct 21
9.Powell: Inflation Might Not Be Transitory, After All - 3rd Oct 21
10.Global Stock Markets Topped 60 Days Before the US Stocks Peaked - 23rd Sep 21
Last 7 days
S&P 500 – Is a 5% Correction Enough? - 6th Dec 21
Global Stock Markets It’s Do-Or-Die Time - 6th Dec 21
Hawks Triumph, Doves Lose, Gold Bulls Cry! - 6th Dec 21
How Stock Investors Can Cash in on President Biden’s new Climate Plan - 6th Dec 21
The Lithium Tech That Could Send The EV Boom Into Overdrive - 6th Dec 21
How Stagflation Effects Stocks - 5th Dec 21
Bitcoin FLASH CRASH! Cryptos Blood Bath as Exchanges Run Stops, An Early Christmas Present for Some? - 5th Dec 21
TESCO Pre Omicron Panic Christmas Decorations Festive Shop 2021 - 5th Dec 21
Dow Stock Market Trend Forecast Into Mid 2022 - 4th Dec 21
INVESTING LESSON - Give your Portfolio Some Breathing Space - 4th Dec 21
Don’t Get Yourself Into a Bull Trap With Gold - 4th Dec 21
GOLD HAS LOTS OF POTENTIAL DOWNSIDE - 4th Dec 21
4 Tips To Help You Take Better Care Of Your Personal Finances- 4th Dec 21
What Is A Golden Cross Pattern In Trading? - 4th Dec 21
Bitcoin Price TRIGGER for Accumulating Into Alt Coins for 2022 Price Explosion - Part 2 - 3rd Dec 21
Stock Market Major Turning Point Taking Place - 3rd Dec 21
The Masters of the Universe and Gold - 3rd Dec 21
This simple Stock Market mindset shift could help you make millions - 3rd Dec 21
Will the Glasgow Summit (COP26) Affect Energy Prices? - 3rd Dec 21
Peloton 35% CRASH a Lesson of What Happens When One Over Pays for a Loss Making Growth Stock - 1st Dec 21
Stock Market Sentiment Speaks: I Fear For Retirees For The Next 20 Years - 1st Dec 21 t
Will the Anointed Finanical Experts Get It Wrong Again? - 1st Dec 21
Main Differences Between the UK and Canadian Gaming Markets - 1st Dec 21
Bitcoin Price TRIGGER for Accumulating Into Alt Coins for 2022 Price Explosion - 30th Nov 21
Omicron Covid Wave 4 Impact on Financial Markets - 30th Nov 21
Can You Hear It? That’s the Crowd Booing Gold’s Downturn - 30th Nov 21
Economic and Market Impacts of Omicron Strain Covid 4th Wave - 30th Nov 21
Stock Market Historical Trends Suggest A Strengthening Bullish Trend In December - 30th Nov 21
Crypto Market Analysis: What Trading Will Look Like in 2022 for Novice and Veteran Traders? - 30th Nov 21
Best Stocks for Investing to Profit form the Metaverse and Get Rich - 29th Nov 21
Should You Invest In Real Estate In 2021? - 29th Nov 21
Silver Long-term Trend Analysis - 28th Nov 21
Silver Mining Stocks Fundamentals - 28th Nov 21
Crude Oil Didn’t Like Thanksgiving Turkey This Year - 28th Nov 21
Sheffield First Snow Winter 2021 - Snowballs and Snowmen Fun - 28th Nov 21
Stock Market Investing LESSON - Buying Value - 27th Nov 21
Corsair MP600 NVME M.2 SSD 66% Performance Loss After 6 Months of Use - Benchmark Tests - 27th Nov 21

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

How to Protect your Wealth by Investing in AI Tech Stocks

5 Women Who Made Me Rich and What They Can Teach You

Personal_Finance / Money Making Jun 24, 2014 - 09:23 PM GMT

By: Don_Miller

Personal_Finance

My grandmother refused to share the heart-wrenching details until I was in the Marine Corps. I’d heard bits and pieces about my ne’er-do-well father but didn’t fully grasp the devastation he’d left behind until Grandmother spilled the story with tears in her eyes:

Your father never worked. After you were born he stole all the money in the house, vanished, and was never seen again. Fortunately your mother had gone back to work earning $8 per week.

However, one of the worst parts was: the store repossessed your baby carriage because your father stole the money your mother had saved to pay it off.


This was 1940, and Mom didn’t have the career options women have today. We lived with Grandmother and two unmarried aunts (both born before 1900), and together they raised me. Grandmother assumed the traditional mother role, while my mom and aunts worked so we could all survive.

While Mom eventually remarried, for 16 of the 18 years I lived at home, it was just four women and me. I wouldn’t bond with my stepfather—a true stand-up guy—until years later.

You’d think the importance of women’s financial independence would be a no-brainer for me. But, as my ex-wife and oldest daughter, Dawn, would say, “You meant well, but you were a slow learner.”

When Dawn was close to age 30, she was a vice president at a major bank and managed 200 employees. The women’s movement had blossomed by then, and more and more women were popping up in the sales training courses I taught at the time. When Dawn and I talked this over she made it clear that what I’d learned about women, work, and money from the formidable ladies who raised me was obsolete. She ended our conversation with, “Dad, you just don’t get it.”

Years later I asked Dawn if I finally “got it.” She grinned and said, “You’re doing better!” I never had the courage to ask again.

A Divorce Gone Right

Two of the most important people in my life are my wife Jo and my ex-wife, Sonja—two wonderful ladies. Sonja and I married as teenagers and stayed together for 26 years raising three children. Sad to say, we spent the last ten years of our marriage seeing counselors, trying our best to make it work. During a particularly difficult session, Sonja unloaded on me about all the things she was unhappy with. She came at me with both barrels.

Afterward I felt terrible that I’d unwittingly done so many things that hurt her and never knew it. Finally I asked, “My gosh, if you felt that way, why didn’t you just leave?”

She looked at me, astonished, like I had just asked the dumbest question on Earth. “I was married with three small children, hadn’t worked in almost ten years, and my parents and grandparents were dead. I was trapped. I had no place to go!” I was shocked, devastated, and speechless.

Ultimately, we designed our own divorce agreement, took it to an attorney, and said, “Make it legal.” In her late 40s then, Sonja immediately started college and forged her own path. She had volunteered at the library when our children were small and loved it. She earned her degree in library sciences and worked at the library until she retired. We are still friends and want the best for each other.

Equal Partnerships Equal Better Results

The counselors convinced me that the best marriages are between two independent adults. You stay together because you want the marriage to work, not because you have to. Jo and I are living proof: we’ve been married—in an equal partnership—for 26 happy years and counting. Our families blended; Sonja and Jo share common hobbies and are now good friends to boot!

When Jo and I were married, her father was in the last stages of Parkinson’s disease. He passed away less than three months later and suddenly her mother gave me—her new son-in-law—power of attorney over all of her finances. While I was the most qualified to handle the job, it was an emotional drain.

Jo and I cut a deal. I would take the job, but she would learn as much as she could so that when I passed away she would never have to rely on a son-in-law (no matter how loved) or anyone else. Jo kept her promise; she’ll never be financially vulnerable like her mother.

An Independent Life Lived Fully

Many of our friends are widows and widowers; some lost a spouse who handled most of the money. It’s hard enough to lose your long-term partner; compounding that pain with confusion about how to protect your nest egg creates a double devastation. Even those with well-intentioned adult children cannot always rely on those children’s questionable financial skills. Suffice it to say, I spend a lot of time bringing curious but inexperienced investors like these up to speed.

In that spirit, I’ll leave you with an important tool for your financial toolbox—a tool I wish my own mother and first wife had had.

To be truly financially independent, you need some of your own money. I’m not recommending spouses keep all of their finances separate. Truth be told, I’m more in the “go all in or don’t bother” marriage camp. Real life, however, is full of unknowns and preparing for those unknowns is a critical part of money management.

My mother had to fend for herself and an infant son without a college degree or much earning potential. She was a product of her time. Today, women are 33% more likely than men to have earned a college degree by age 27. When I talk to successful career women now they share a common story: their parents drummed the importance of higher education and financial independence into their heads. As a great-grandparent, I’ve been beating that drum for several generations.

What Does Financial Independence Look Like in Practical Terms?

Some pundits recommend women (and men) hold separate assets equal to at least 3-6 months’ living expenses, and I encourage new spouses to consider holding on to this sort of safety net. Be upfront with your spouse about it and encourage him or her to do the same.

In the best marriages, these emergency funds foster equality and respect for the other’s independence. In less ideal circumstances, they give each spouse a personal life vest should the unexpected occur. In short, it helps ensure that both spouses stay because they want to, not because they have to.

As life unfolds and spouses grow together, perhaps the most important thing women can do is to continue their financial educations. At 74, the widow’s club among my peers is growing much faster than the widower’s club, and older women with plenty of money are finding themselves vulnerable; they don’t have the skills and/or confidence to protect their hard-earned nest eggs, and that’s a damn shame.

One widowed friend told Jo how “the nice young man” at her brokerage firm found bonds paying almost 6% and she bought them. I looked them up, and they were very low-rated bonds with a reasonable chance of default. Now, buying junk bonds may be just fine—if they don’t default. If they do, you can lose a ton of money. A fund holding several well-diversified bonds would have been a better choice for our friend, but she didn’t know that. Ultimately the bonds did pay off, but she acted on terrible advice, particularly for a retiree.

Knowing enough so you don’t rely on bad advice from a “nice young man” or well-intentioned but clueless family or friends is important at every age. Sad to say, these poor decisions often come down to “I didn’t know what else to do.”

I commend you for taking a different road. There’s a mess of conflicting financial information on the Internet, in books, and on television, making it difficult to decipher the best ways to grow and protect your money. Miller’s Money Weekly is an education-driven, free weekly e-letter tailored for conservative investors. To receive unique financial news and insights every Thursday and to learn how to cut through the advice noise, click here to sign up today.

The article 5 Women Who Made Me Rich and What They Can Teach You was originally published at millersmoney.com.

Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

Casey Research Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in