June 2008

Those of you familiar with my work know this about me: I’m a big fan of using financial advisors.

The reason: we women are so busy, many of us of don’t have the time, interest, or knowledge to manage our own money (and do it well). Of all the women I’ve interviewed, the ones with the highest networths didn’t necessarily earn (or inherit) the highest income. But the whopping majority did work with financial professionals.

The challenge: how do you find a trustworthy financial advisor?

The strategy: Ask for referrals from people who are happy with their advisors. Or go online to find names of advisors near you. Try these sites:

www.napfa.org — National association of Personal Financial Advisors

www.garrettplanningnetwork.com — the Garrett Planning Network of financial advisors who work for an hourly fee.

www.cfp.net — the website of Certified Financial Planners

The solution: Resist the urge to sign up with the first advisor you meet. Interview at least 3. Ask questions such as these, then go with your gut instinct:

1. Would you tell me about yourself?

2. Do you specialize in certain types of investments?

3. Who are your clients?

4. How do you charge for your services, and what costs might I incur working with you?

5. How often do you communicate with clients, and how often might I expect to hear from you?

6. Have you ever been involved in any lawsuits, arbitration, or disciplinary problems?

7. Is there anything you want me to know about you that I haven’t asked?

Need more help? I’ve written a booklet filled with great advice: Finding A Financial Advisor You Can Trust. You can order it on my website.

I’d love to hear your tips about finding an advisor.


I’ve never been particularly interested in politics, but this primary has been riveting. For the first time, a woman was a serious contender for President. You may like Hillary, or you may hate her. But you can’t refute this is has been an historic event that I suspect will change the landscape for women in a myriad of ways.

I was very moved by a recent newsletter from The White House Project (http://thewhitehouseproject.org/). The WHP is a nonpartisan 501(c)3 organization, whose purpose is to support and propel a diverse array of women into political leadership.

I thought it a gorgeous tribute to Hillary, a woman who has made history. I’d love to know what you think.

“When Senator Hillary Clinton declared her candidacy for President of the United States, she embarked upon a journey that forever changed American politics. As the first woman to win a presidential primary – and through the 19 victories that followed – Senator Clinton irrefutably proved to our nation and the world the viability of a woman candidate to lead our country as Commander in Chief. Though she will not gain her party’s nomination for the 2008 presidential election, Senator Clinton has permanently altered the political landscape, and we at The White House Project celebrate her pioneering candidacy as a testament to what will surely follow – a political pipeline swelling with women across the country who are ready and determined to lead. Senator Clinton’s candidacy has taught all of us much about the challenges facing women who lead…the subtle and overt manifestations of sexism in the election. Yet [we also saw the many] positives that this election has unfurled: a greater attention to the diversity and power of women voters; the historic, widespread support of both women and men for a female presidential candidate; and the steadily rising number of women across the country who are running for office. Increasing the numbers of women in politics is a critical step in making our nation the truly representational democracy it endeavors to be. As we say here, when you add women, you change everything – and Senator Clinton has undeniably transformed the place and power of women in politics forever. For that, and for much more, we applaud her historic run for her party’s nomination. “