People have a lot of opinions about money. In our “Money Mic” series, we hand over the podium to someone with a strong opinion on a financial topic. These are their views, not ours, but we welcome your responses.
Karen Finerman is CEO of the hedge fund Metropolitan Capital Advisors. This article is adapted from her new book, “Finerman’s Rules: Secrets I’d Only Tell My Daughters About Business and Life,” which comes out June 4.
All across the financial spectrum, I’m less worried about the glass ceiling and women being too hard on themselves than I am about a glass barricade made of self-imposed excuses cleverly cloaked as legitimate reasons for women not taking control of their money.
Sometimes taking control simply means educating yourself and being an active part of the process.
It doesn’t always have to mean making money.
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Look out for these five money traps that snag women on the road to financial independence.
Trap #1: It’s Unromantic, Impolite, and Inappropriate to Talk about Money
If you and Prince Charming are riding off into the sunset, you may not need to discuss money. In the Magic Kingdom, your palace is unlikely to have a mortgage. For all others, you’re living in a fairy tale if you don’t discuss it.
A great first step out of the money trap: Know what you have. Before you and a partner can become a “we,” you need to know what each of you is bringing to the table.
You must find out what you have on your own, what you have with your significant other, and what you may be responsible for. It’s the basis for all your other planning and decision making.
Trap #2: “Trust Me—I’ll Take Care of You”
In our culture, women are sent the message that we will be taken care of. In reality, we tend to be the ones who take care of others at the cost of neglecting our own financial security. Just watch any of the Real Housewives franchise, and you’ll get an idea of what I’m talking about.
We believe our spouse or significant other who says (or implies) that they are there to take care of us. We believe our parents who often give us a message that they will always be there as a fallback (never thinking that their situation could reverse dramatically and quickly). Even in tenuous economic times, it’s easy to believe messages from our company or boss about how valuable we are and that we’ll be taken care of.