Out of the Supermarket and Into the Stock Market

 

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Out of the Supermarket and Into the Stock Market

By Kathy Buys

Over the course of the last several years, it has become obvious to me while teaching seminars and classes that many women believe that people who invest in the markets were “born knowing.” I am living testimony that it’s simply not the case! As you read more about my starting point, you’ll have a hard time believing that I am now a successful speaker, author, and owner of my own financial services firm. In fact, sometimes I find it hard to believe myself!

While it pains me, I must confess to being an aging Baby Boomer. Like many in my generation, I was reared to believe that men do the providing, and women are provided for. Remember, mine was hardly the Golden Age of strong female role models on television. While “I Love Lucy” was outrageously funny, Lucille Ball was hardly a model for women taking charge of their financial future. This was also the era of “Father Knows Best”–doesn’t the title say it all?

Continuing on the path into womanhood, my college experience fed right into my previous beliefs. I can still remember my college counselor asking if I would rather be a nurse, teacher, or social worker. There was one woman in the business program, and we all thought she must really be odd. Given my choices, I opted for social work.

After college, I met the man of my dreams. He was in the process of getting an MBA, and I was getting an MSW. He seemed to know everything about the mysterious world of finance, and I generally had no clue what he was talking about. It went without saying that he handled all the investing and money management in our household. I don’t mean to sound like a pathetic victim–I thought this was an ideal situation. He would do the work of investing and understanding our finances, and we would grow rich.

Sadly, I probably would have continued on this course were it not for one little fact I hadn’t programmed into my life plan. My dream guy became a nightmare, and the marriage ended in divorce. At that point, I didn’t know a stock from a sock. I was so ignorant that I had never balanced a checkbook and had no idea how much mone>