Authors of Financial Books for Women
Author of Every Woman’s Guide to Investing
- What led you to write this book?
Doug returned from a funeral of a revered friend and mentor, Tony Bocelli. Doug was a stock and commodities broker, and Tony had shown unwavering support over the years — in fact, he gave Doug his first big stock order. Doug’s client was from the “old school”. He believed that finances were the man’s responsibility, and he had successfully amassed a considerable fortune. The problem that nagged at Doug now was that Tony had left behind a wife and two adult daughters who were unaware of his financial status. He had prepared his family only by telling them that they could trust Doug.
Now the burden was on Doug to educate Tony’s family. Doug had been in the business for eighteen years and dealt with some of the country’s most wealthy and famous personalities, and this lack of involvement by many women regarding their family finances had become a recurring problem.
Doug and I have been friends for several years, ever since I redecorated his beach residence in Florida. I am a successful interior designer. I own my own business and have a master’s degree in interior design. Doug asked me what I knew about investments and was alarmed at the limited grasp I had in that field. Some of Doug’s most astute investors were women, but he admitted that it would have been helpful to have a book or study guide to bring them up to speed.
After much research and investigation, we discovered that there was no such training tool available — that covered everything and was easily understood by a novice yet could also challenge a sophisticated investor. We decided to write the book with an interesting method. Doug explained the information to me, I asked all the questions until I understood the material, then I wrote each chapter in my own words, without all the Wall Street jargon. It explains investing while also exposing the problems and pitfalls that exist for women on Wall Street.
- What do you feel to be the biggest challenge facing women today when handling their finances?
Wall Street is actively wooing women. The investment community has a new awareness of women and the amount of wealth that they control and they are actively soliciting them as clients. If a woman does not have at least a working knowledge of investments she is going unarmed into battle and stands to lose her money in the process. Women must be proactive and educate themselves in this field.
- How has the atmosphere changed for women investors in the last 10 years?
Ten years ago financial consultants did not really pursue female clients. They considered them to be too slow making decisions and uninformed in general. When the financial community became aware of the facts, their attitude toward women started to change. According to the IRS, nearly 42 percent of households with assets of $600,000 or more are headed by women. An unsettling fact is that all marriages end — 50 percent end in divorce, and 70 percent of the rest end in death of the husband. Therefore, nine out of ten American women are expected to be in charge of their finances at one time or other. Now, women are a hot commodity. Brokerage firms have quotas of women that must be hired and financial consultants are eager to add women to their ranks of clients. An abundance of educational programs and seminars are being offered to educate women.
- How will the atmosphere change for women investors in the next 10 years?
I predict that the pendulum will swing to an extreme and over correct. First women were ignored, then they fell into favor and before any level of normalcy is achieved, they will be sought with a vengeance. The up side is that women will make the effort to become savvy investors with the prevalence of sound educational material becoming readily available through books, television and excellent web sites such as yours.
- Where did you start your career and how did it lead you to where you are today?
I started my career as an investor by first learning the material when I wrote Every Woman’s Guide to Investing: Eleven Steps to Financial Independence and Security. Since then, I have started an investment club, opened both a SEP and an individual stock account as well as invested in a private equity position prior to a company’s IPO (initial public offering). My interior design business is flourishing, due in part to the business management and investment skills I learned while writing our book.
- How much money do you need to start investing?
It is possible to invest as little as $25 in some mutual funds. The key is to “dollar cost average”. This means that one invests the same dollar amount in mutual funds every month, regardless of what is happening in the market.
- How should a woman get started investing with no investment experience?
Education is the first step. After a woman feels somewhat comfortable with the theories of investing and the terminology, she should follow our questionnaire on “How to Choose a Broker” found in Every Woman’s Guide to Investing. If she can find the right broker, it will help simplify the investing process.
- If a woman has debt, at what point should she become an investor?
A woman should pay herself first. We suggest that 15 percent of a person’s income be invested every month. The balance should be budgeted to pay off debt and for living expenses.
- Have you published any other books before this one? If so, what are they?
This is our first book but we do have other projects in the works.
- What are your future book writing plans?
We are working on a fascinating project. It is a fictionalization of a true story. It deals with greed and corruption between a daughter and her mother. The daughter is a financial consultant with a multinational brokerage firm and is trying to swindle money from her mother. It involves a legal battle, drug abuse and Hepatitis C, and keeps you continually guessing and questioning where you stand on key personal issues while you anxiously flip the pages.