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“I have never heard a person speak with such vulnerability at a business conference as you just were.” Really? Moi? My presentation at a national conference of financial and philanthropic professionals carried the title, “What Was and What Will Be: A Client in Transition.” I presented case studies, mine included, to illustrate the best and worst practices of advisors’ vis-a-vis the retention of clients. The audience learned that while  some professionals recognized I was as much of their client as my then-husband, others dismissed me as “the wife of the client.” The retelling of my experiences brought audible gasps from…
For many people, when the pandemic and shelter in place dramatically changed our personal and professional lives, their general anxieties about financial security shot to the sky. As someone who has “bag lady syndrome,” I was surprised that I didn’t crawl under my bed and assume a fetal position. The hypothetical scenario of the world coming to an end was something I imagined for years. But I didn’t hide, and I will circle back to why in a few paragraphs. The reality is that no one can predict when the economy will rebound, and very few, if any, are suggesting…
On March 17, 2020, shortly after shelter-in-place was mandated in San Francisco, I wanted to post, on the Power of And facebook page, a daily message about community compassion, self compassion, and something that spoke to the ways people were trying to use their humanity for good. On Day 16, we were told that shelter-in-place would extend at least 5 more weeks. With that news, I wanted to highlight our need for self-compassion and love. Here is that post: Day 16 #CommunityCompassion…the news has been difficult on many levels and the bright spots, while bright, are sometimes hard to see…
Can We be Impartial With Ourselves About Our Money? Impartiality is a hot topic in the press these days. The issue of neutrality led me to wonder if we are fair with ourselves. Are we open to new ideas, facts, lessons learned, or are we just critical with our life choices? I posed these questions to my clients as we reviewed their 2019 year-end financial picture and discussed 2020 goals. I, too, need to answer these questions for the same reasons and for the same periods. What follows is some guidance on how you can create your new year/new decade…
November is the month where we are especially thankful for our bounty, in whatever form it takes. I am grateful for this year’s opportunities for growth, challenge, learning, and listening. In the spirit of the season, I offer you fodder for your nourishment. Perspective Can Take You Anywhere We are all in some life transition – either by choice or thrust upon us. It can be hard to appreciate what we know when changes are cascading over us. Put your knowledge in perspective by viewing learning and growth as the contents of three different buckets. I know what I know:…
I want to open with a personal story: I learned I have a hearing impairment (and tinnitus) at age 48.  For years, I have had to pay closer attention to what people were saying and I increasingly asked questions to add clarity and context to conversations. Plus, between you and me, my hearing “auto-correct” is often hilarious, and nowhere near what the person said!  Taken out of context, hearing “there is no such thing as too much information,” might sound unfortunate. Let me elaborate, and fast. When I consult with financial or philanthropic clients, I often start with the question,…
Winter Solstice and its message of reflection and renewal ended today. I posted each day for the 4 days…what follows is the collection of the 4 brief essays: WINTER SOLSTICE: Day One According to Forever Conscious, “The winter solstice celebrates the longest hours of darkness or the rebirth of the sun and is believed to hold powerful energy for regeneration, renewal, and self-reflection. In Pagan times the winter solstice was referred to as Yule and was a celebration of the Goddess (Moon) energy. It was believed that on this day, the moon would give birth to the sun.” The winter…
Photo Credit – Emily Scott Last month, I traveled to El Paso (Texas) and Juarez (Mexico) to bear witness to the humanitarian crisis that continues to unfold and to volunteer with respite centers helping the migrants and asylum seekers. When we hear of a child in a juvenile detention center, we wonder what was their crime — what did he/she do to be placed in detention? Right now, there are nearly 14,000 children in detention centers and shelters throughout this nation for crimes they did not commit. Either the children came to the United States with their parents who are…
Last month, I traveled to El Paso (Texas) and Juarez (Mexico) to bear witness to the humanitarian crisis that continues to unfold and to volunteer with respite centers helping the migrants. Here is my first report — “Aren’t You Seeking a Better Life?” In full disclosure, I lead 2 lives — distinct from each other. I have that luxury. And it is, indeed, a luxury to have these 2 concurrent lives. Last month, the difference in these 2 worlds was glaring. In San Francisco, with 4 schools in a 2-block radius of my home, I watched the many parents, nannies, and housekeepers dropping their…
Among the many things that occur for me between the year-end and the year-beginning is the review of what I call my financial recipe.  The ingredients of this recipe include my budget (actual and planned), my philanthropic contributions (actual and planned), the income forecast for the coming year, tax preparation, and an examination of the alignment of my values with my money.  As with any recipe, the ingredients are all mixed up and baked together: the past year with the new year, the personal expenses with the professional expenses, the expected budget with the actual balance sheet, and the intellectual…