10 Things You Don’t Know About My Finances: Silda Wall Spitzer

Silda Wall SpitzerHere at LearnVest, we don’t shy away from asking all those awkward and fascinating money questions. How much did that cost you? Do you have a big investment account? What’s a secret splurge you haven’t told anyone else about?

In our series, 10 Things You Don’t Know About My Finances, we get interesting people (like Al Roker, Lucky Editor in Chief Brandon Holley and our own extraordinary reader Carla) to reveal their funny, head-scratching and refreshing approaches to finance. 

For this edition, we spoke to Silda Wall Spitzer, a Principal at NewWorld Capital, an environmental opportunities investment firm. She previously was Managing Director at woman-owned Metropolitan Capital Advisors, and was named one of Vogue's most powerful women in 2009. As First Lady of the State of New York, she advanced initiatives promoting the Administration's goal of reducing fossil energy consumption and building sustainable communities. Additionally, she chaired the New York State Commission on Volunteering and Service.

Whew! As if that weren't enough, the mother of three daughters and Harvard Law School grad speaks frequently to advance women's initiatives, including financial empowerment.

Click through our slide show to find out her first splurge, why one of her best purchases ever was a cake pan—and why she and her sister have the same initials for economic reasons. 

View Slide Show

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  • Fauwl

    She is very right about a good pair of boots being a rational investment.  When I was a freshman in college, my mother saved part of her paycheck to buy me a very nice pair of Italian leather boots.  They were several hundred dollars, and I was completely shocked that my practical mother went out of her way to purchase them (especially since I hadn’t even asked for them!).  My mother explained that a good pair of classic boots would last for years and she was right.

    Seven years later, I STILL wear these boots.  For $20 I have them polished and re-soled once a year.  They are a perfect addition to almost any fall or winter outfit and have lasted through many years of snow, ice, and rain.  Better  yet, every time I put them on they remind me of my mother and her thoughtfulness.

  • Anonymous

    After a ten year career in advertising, I became a stay-at-home mom and raised three children. My husband traveled a lot for work, so I pretty much “held down the fort, ” including paying the bills, gathering financial info at tax time, putting together a budget and tracking it all on “Quicken” software.

    Three years ago, at the same time I started Habitudes.info, my household record keeping service, my husband retired. I asked him to handle the finances. 

    Right before the holidays he informed me he wants a divorce. “Matters of Fact” (Things the family should know), Habitudes’ household record keeper is designed for families, not people going through divorce, but it turns out I’m my own best customer. 

    I printed it and gave it to my attorney. She loves the fact that the banking details, etc., are all in one place. Moral of the Story: It may be easier to “let him do it,” but make sure you have access to vital household details. Hopefully you won’t be dealing with a divorce, but if your spouse were incapacitated for some reason, even temporarily, would you know where to find everything?

    • Klara

      You should have been featured in this article instead of this privileged lady.

  • Anonymous

    It’s definitely best to buy really good clothes.  They look fantastic, give you confidence, can be altered, and last forever (these last two are important since you might need to update the style or size – ahem!)  I would much rather have fewer, fantastic clothes than a lot of cheap disposable clothing that wears out or falls apart within a year.  My excellent-quality clothes can be worth 10X as much as the cheap version, (I get them on sale so they don’t *cost* 10x as much) but they last much, much longer and stay great-looking.   When I calculate the cost-per-wear, they actually wind up being more economical.

  • She did all work well and she was named one of Vogue’s most powerful women in 2009.

    • tinking

      so? ‘Vogue’ magazine is what you use to gauge what’s’ important – geesh?!
      Turns out Vogue’s immigrant (UK) editor Anna Wintour is a democrat- wannabe who’ll do anything to get invited to the right dinner on the Upper East Side of New York.

  • Charlotte Orzel

    Wow, she is an interesting  and insightful person. I will try to remember that I “own” my financial power and to not view it as a choice or a chore.

  • Sglezen

    It just goes to show, you can count on a good pair of boots way more than a husband.

  • melissac

    I absolutely love this little series. I want to buy a little cake pan now!

  • May

    Stupid useless article. She omits to admit she married a really rich asshole and that’s how she got to pay off her loans, be a stay-at-home mom without worry, etc. And then stayed with the same rich husband even AFTER he cheated on her with numerous prostitutes so she can keep her lifestyle. Dear LearnVest, please feature real smart and powerful women next time.

  • Bellerita

    I was in the insurance business for several years (I left in 1996) and I was appalled by the number of married people who had no idea how to handle the financial side of their family. You don’t do yourself any favors by being ignorant, female or male.