Authors of Financial Books for Women
Author of Let’s Talk Money
Dee Lee is a Certified Financial Planner. Her firm, Harvard Financial Educators, located in Harvard, Massachusetts conducts financial workshops for corporations and institutions focusing on educating and motivating the employee to take charge of their finances. Her latest project, Let’s Talk Money a book she wrote to guide her readers thru the maze of personal finance is now available in bookstores. The Complete Idiot’s Guide to 401(k) Plans, which she wrote in 1998, is the resource book for retirement planning using a 401(k) plan.
- What led you to write this book?
As a financial educator I speak to audiences across the country and I had put together a workbook for my seminars. Let’s Talk Money was a natural extension of that workbook for I have always wanted to give my audience more details on a subject. And Let’s talk Money answers the multitude of questions my audiences would have.
- What do you feel to be the biggest challenge facing women today when handling their finances?
The biggest challenge facing woman is that they wait to start their retirement planning. The excuses range from I will wait until I get married to start that kind of planning or I have school debt or I have lots of time for that. Women live longer and for some industries the pay scale is lower than a man’s so women should start to save for retirement with their first job.
- How has the atmosphere changed for women investors in the last 10 years?
Many of the large mutual fund companies and brokerage companies actually solicit women customers and have seminars just for women. There are more women Certified Financial Planners and women brokers available. Many more books just for women.
- How will the atmosphere change for women investors in the next 10 years?
The atmosphere will change for all investors not just for women. The age of instant information is here and women will be able to take advantage of that when investing. As women gain more experience with finances and investing they will be better prepared for the future. More employers will offer 401(k) type retirement plans and Congress will change/pass legislation that will simplify the retirement plans now available and increase contribution amounts.
- Where did you start your career and how did it lead you to where you are today?
My husband and I were partners in a manufacturing representative business and I was responsible for the employees and the benefits. I got involved as the trustee of our retirement plan and enjoyed the investing aspect of it. Started taking classes that led to an MBA and then became a Certified Financial Planner. As a CFP I realized my clients needed educating on the process of financial planning and investing. I started holding workshops and seminars for them and was asked to do these for my corporate clients as well. Hence, Harvard Financial Educators was created for the sole purpose of educating the financial consumer. I was asked to write The Complete Idiot’s Guide to 401(k) Plans because of my familiarity with the subject and then Let’s Talk Money was a natural sequence.
- How much money do you need to start investing?
You can start with as little as $50 a month. There are mutual funds companies that will help you set up an automatic investing plan whereby they will debt your checking account the $50.
- How should a woman get started investing with no investment experience?
Educating oneself is the first step. Begin to read books, financial magazines and get into the many websites available. Then “toe dip” into investing. Begin with using what is available for you at work such as a 401(k) or a 403(b) plan. Learn about the choices you have and start there.
- If a woman has debt, at what point should she become an investor?
It truly depends on how much debt she has incurred. Certainly getting out of debt is the most important thing you will do as an investor but if it will take you 5 years you have also lost the opportunity to have your investments work for you over the five years. I would counsel an individual to try to do both. Contribute a small amount to her qualified retirement plan through her employer even if it is as little as $50 a month and to pay off her debt at the same time. Most of us can find an extra $50 a month in our budgets.
- Have you published any other books before this one? If so, what are they?
The Complete Idiot’s Guide to 401(k) Plans published by Alpha books a subsidiary of Macmillan.
- What are your future book writing plans?
I strongly believe the most critical time span in a persons economic life to save for retirement is between the ages of 22 and 35. My next book will be for that generation of investors.