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You may feel as though your world has been pulled out from beneath your feet when life changes unexpectedly, whether through the loss of a loved one, a torn marriage, dissolving the family business or an unforeseen illness. Over the past 25 years as an investment adviser, I’ve become a safety net for many professionals when helping a family or individual through difficult times.
Working with women in varying circumstances, from a stay-at-home mother of two, whose high school sweetheart never returned from a bike ride, leaving her with a mountain of debt, to a woman in her sixties who built up the courage to leave her unhappy marriage yet never made a financial decision in her life, I understand having financial confidence is not innate.
I’m often asked “Where do I begin?” when clients take on newfound financial responsibility, either by choice or by consequence. These women have courageously committed themselves to learn a new language and a new way of thinking, the weight of their families’ dreams and goals now resting on their shoulders. To dampen a seemingly daunting journey, I begin by guiding them through the following:
Decide what financial independence looks like for you. Is it being able to pay your bills and save? Is it selling your business in eight years for $10 million?
Have a financial plan and take the time to understand it. Having a sense of your financial position will give you peace of mind when you are in the driver seat.
Gather your team
Surround yourself with professionals who will listen to and understand your needs. Your team will clarify your plan and hold you accountable for actions to attain your goals.
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Witnessing my clients gain the confidence to become financially independent is incredible and reaffirms why I chose this as my lifelong career.
We’ve come a long way in tackling the social stigma of women and money, but we still have a journey ahead of us to take control of our financial well-being. Gaining financial confidence is a significant part of that journey.
Kathryn Finn is a portfolio manager at RBC Wealth Management.
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