Easter 2017 my life changed, my financial life that is.

I did not lose or make any money, that’s not it.

On Easter weekend in 2017 I attended a 3-day intensive workshop where 600 people learned the basics for managing their money.

Why was I there? Almost by accident.

I had attended a Tony Robbins event and one of the presenters was Phil Town.

This guy was so compelling that when he offered a free workshop I thought this is my chance to learn how to manage my investments.

Oh, I forgot to say that I am not talking about budgeting here. I’m talking about managing money in general and investing it more specifically.

Until I met Phil Town and attended his workshop, I would leave the money matters all up to my partner who is quite good at it and who had an interest for the markets whereas I did not.

You see, I was raised in a family that did not discuss money other than the price of things and the bills that had to be paid.  And, as most of us, I did not get much education in the school system about personal finance.

In essence, I was not interested: I had no knowledge of where our money was invested or even how to access my investment accounts. How bad is that?

I did not care, I trust my husband and he would make special events where he would show me every 6 months how to access the accounts and what was going on inside these accounts/investments.

As soon as he would finish the explanation I would move on to another subject and forget all the details. All I knew is that the “money” was being taken care of.

When I attended the Phil Town workshop, I realized that I was being irresponsible with that part of my life and I was leaving the entire burden to my husband. Money is not just to pay bills and buy the daily stuff for the house like groceries and repairs.

Money also ensures our future and that of our son. So, I made an intensive 3-day effort spending the weekend learning about investing money safely….ugh.

I was not even sure I would understand the language. You know, when you’re not interested, you don’t grow savviness, normal right?

Anyway, at the workshop we learned to invest money based on the Warren Buffett principles called value investing. I don’t want to go into the details except to say that anyone who is not investing their money themselves is paying fees for someone else to do it and those fees even if they seem low, eat away big time at the overall wealth creation potential.

That’s all I will to say for now.

Back to why this 3-day workshop changed my life.

It was so simple to understand and it gave me more than a recipe, it gave me an understanding of how and why to invest money.

I started having conversations with my husband about where the money in my account was invested, I started doing analysis, reading on companies and choosing where to invest.

I also started tracking (it’s a big word but still, I have a nice spreadsheet) what I analyzed and at what price I would be ready to buy or why I should not buy the stock.

Even as I write these lines I wonder how come I never learned the importance of managing money in school.  All I learned is family budgeting and macro + micro economics. Nothing on investing, fees, approaches, markets, products etc.

STATS

Right now in the US, 60% of women are either the primary breadwinners or the higher earner. This includes single women and single moms.

In 9 years (2028), women will control 75% of discretionary spending worldwide and by 2030, 66% of the wealth of the United States. How is that?

Well, just the fact that women live longer than men contribute to make this situation happen. Think about it, if you’re a woman and you’re not touching the money aspects (a bit like me before) and your husband dies before you do, how will you manage the money all of a sudden? In your 80’s? It’s not something that can wait.

I took those stats from Jean Chatzky’s book Women with Money page XII.

Yes, I now read books and listen to podcasts about money, finance and the markets.

Some of you will prefer a real estate investment strategy, go for it, I’m not trying to convince you to invest your money in any specific vehicle. I’m just saying that a lot of men and women don’t pay attention to money and we should.

It changed my perspective and that is why I’m saying it changed my life to have a good understanding of my money (not just my budget).

Now, what will you do this week to get into action about your money?

Do you know where it is and why?

Do you dream of a real estate strategy but never started?

If you are young, don’t convince yourself you’ll do this later…you won’t. Later you will have other concerns.

If you are not able to say where your money is exactly how much fees you are paying, deep dive into it and let me know what you found out.

If you have a very small amount of money start here https://www.ruleoneinvesting.com/blog/investing-news-and-tips/small-investment-ideas-for-investing-500

PS

I will leave you with one more scary thought:

If you put 500$ per year for 30 years in ETFs (exchange traded funds) and get the long term historical return of 7%, you’ll have in 30 years $51,000.

Same return for mutual funds but remove 1.5% for yearly fees and you’ll end up with $38,000. What?

That’s on 500$ per year. Imagine what it does when you get into larger investment (hint: exponential). Think of it, most mutual funds don’t even beat the market or slightly beat it and then they shave off 1.5% from you even if they did not make you any returns. That’s crazy.

When I found out about this, I knew I had to dig into understanding money better.