Third Act Podcast

Your first act is school, your second act is work, but have you thought about what you’re going to do in your third act? Join host Liz Tinkham, a former Accenture Senior Managing Director, as she talks to guests who are happily “pretired” – enjoying their time, treasure, and talent to pursue their purpose and passion in the third act of their life.

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Athena helps women achieve executive-level leadership expertise, polish their boardroom and executive knowledge, get closer to board seats, and make leaps in their careers.

Salon: Women & Wealth (Part 3)

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This week’s episode follows up on our popular Women & Wealth Salon hosted by Coco Brown, CEO of Athena Alliance. The Salon features Tama Smith, a financial planning advisor with Brighton Jones and founder of their Women Living a Richer Life division, and Manisha Thakor, author of Get Financially Naked: How to Talk Money with Your Honey.

This episode explores tips to ensure you’re exercising financial stewardship with your children, parents, and community. Learn how to ensure your kids don’t boomerang back, your parents don’t get swindled and how to look at the financial efficiency of a nonprofit. Plus, learn what resources are available to help you figure out how to best steward your money through kids, parents, and charitable giving.

4:03 Stewardship of your finances
10:10 The 50, 30, 20 formula
13:49 Stewardship with your significant other
18:37 Stewardship with your kids
22:16 Stewardship with your parents
25:36 Stewardship with your community
29: 43 Maslow’s hierarchy of financial needs
33:20 Getting to financial peace of mind

Athena Alliance, the sponsor of this podcast, provides the learning and support women leaders need as they navigate their careers. Members have access to live learning three times per week, as well as on-demand access to hundreds of executive and board topics. Learn more here.
If you have questions or want to download the financial compatibility quiz from Manisha’s book, email Tama here [email protected].

Liz Tinkham (00:18):
Hi, this is Liz Tinkham and welcome to Third Act, a podcast about people embracing the Third Act of their lives with a new sense of purpose and direction. The Third Act begins when your script ends but your shows not finished.

Liz Tinkham (00:34):
Hi everyone, and welcome to Third Act. Today I’m very happy to present part three of our wildly popular women in wealth series, starring as I should say, Tama Smith and Manisha Thakor. Today’s presentation is going to look at stewardship of money as it relates to children of all ages, parents and our community, Manisha and Tama will present a model of what true financial stewardship looks like as we head into the future, along with key actions to start taking now. And if you miss parts one and two, we’ve got those podcasts for you back on Apple or Spotify or your favorite podcast platform, or just go out to our website at Anyway I know I’ve learned a ton from listening to these two ladies talk about their expertise in this topic and I know you will to. Enjoy.

Coco Brown (01:21):
A little bit about Tama. She is the head of women living a richer life at Brighton Jones and she partnered with Brighton Jones financial planning and advisory firm to design and launch a new one of a kind business service aimed at empowering women and meeting their unique financial challenges. Opening up in entry to a massively underserved market and exponentially increasing the firm’s brand awareness. Drop the mic, I mean that is just amazing. And she’s bringing that incredible awareness and experience and thought leadership to us to help the women of Athena also really gain independence and confidence in this space of financial and vocational freedom.

Coco Brown (02:13):
And she’s bringing with her Manisha Thakor, who we would not have the pleasure of knowing if it were not for Tama. Manisha and Tama met I believe at Brighton Jones, where Manisha was the VP of financial wellbeing until June of last year. And she’s also the founder of MoneyZen and MoneyZen is a boutique financial wellbeing consultancy. It provides individual and corporate clients with financial calm, clarity and confidence via three core offerings speaking and keynotes, and corporate spokesperson. You’ll see she talks to us here she’s got a ton of great wisdom to share in that thought leadership realm, teaching online and retreat centers and consulting financial life design and custom coaching. She too comes with a very long and extensive career in the financial space. And the two of them, Manisha and Tama are going to lead us today. And I what I think is part three of our one part, session on women and wealth, and part of a series that Tama is leading for us. So Tama with that, I’m going to turn it over to you.

Tama Smith (03:29):
We’ve introduced, Coco, thank you, let’s do a quick recap of part one was in October, part two was in December, and now we’re covering part three, it all started with when we decided to do this series money and relationships, which now is morphing into a full woman in wealth series for Athena this year. The whole question is why is this important for us as members of Athena, to really begin to master our world around money and personal finance and growing our net worth and wealth?

Tama Smith (04:03):
But in short, we as women will be responsible for managing two thirds of our country’s wealth by 2030, just in nine short years, yet, there’s a huge readiness gap. 95% of us will need to be the financial decision maker for our household at some point in our lives. 81% of us don’t feel financially confident today, and one out of two married and partnered women defer their long term financial decisions to their spouse. So there’s a huge opportunity, but there’s a readiness gap. Hence why we created women living a richer life at Brighton Jones. Hence why we’ve created this women and wealth series within Athena. So that’s kind of the business case for why we’re doing these talks. Stewardship, I mean, that’s why we’re all a part of Athena and we’re on corporate boards and look to get on corporate boards. We’re expecting boards to select us and appoint us to be the stewards of their company.

Tama Smith (05:11):
Well, what is stewardship? It’s the careful and responsible management of something that’s entrusted into your care. Well, if we’re putting ourselves out to corporate boards, I think we also have to check to make sure that we are being good stewards of our own personal resources as well. So we started as I mentioned, part one stewardship of money with self. Part two with stewardship of money with your significant other, your spouse, and today we’ll be talking primarily about stewardship of money with your children, your parents and community and exploring what the stewardship model looks like.

Tama Smith (05:51):
Stewardship of money with self, I just want to highlight these five and I want to bring Manisha in here to jump in here and help me do a quick recap of stewardship of money with yourself and then with your spouse. But before Manisha does that, I would love for Manisha to start with outlining why this series money and relationships. Why is it so important for us, and then to give us key snippets from part one and part two.

Manisha Thakor (06:24):
The biggest reason this is so vital for us to know is most of us are heading in for our smack in, our peak earning years. And we worked our titties off to get here. And this is it, we don’t have room or time to make poor decisions at this stage. The power that we have now financially in terms of where we are in our own career and earning power, cannot be understated. Number two is that life will throw shade at you. And if we ever needed an example, last year was it. And so by building a strong foundation, you can handle whatever comes at you. And so paying attention to this stuff. And I can’t reiterate enough that the numbers almost feel numb when you see them because they’re everywhere about how much women don’t pay attention to money, even though we’re coming into it. It’s so true. And it’s really smart women.

Manisha Thakor (07:27):
And the third reason this is so important is that there are a series of decisions that oftentimes happen at this point in our life. And if you screw them up, they will have a really profound impact on the second half of your life. And just to give you a couple examples, I need a lot of really smart women and I asked them what’s your asset allocation, which is one of the mix between your stocks, your bonds, your cash, and they can’t tell me? I’ll ask them what kind of investment strategy are you using? And they’ll say, I don’t know. I’ll ask them what kind of short term or long term disability do they have, because we are much more likely statistically speaking to use our short term or long term disability than our life insurance. They don’t know. And this can be cataclysmic.

Manisha Thakor (08:21):
One woman was a surgeon, and she had long term disability policy, but it had a caveat, which was any occupation. So if she was able to be a greeter at Walmart, they didn’t have to pay out the insurance policy and she had an accident, her right hand became impaired, she was no longer able to perform surgery and her policy didn’t pay out. And another one coordination with taxes. A lot of executive women have complex executive compensation packages, and mistakes in how you decide to exercise and handle them and negotiate when you’re moving from one place to another. The worst scenario I have come across was literally a woman leaving $2 million on the table because it wasn’t coordination between her financial advisor and her CPA. So this is what I want you to know is that we are on that edge where there’s no room for us to not nail it. And that’s why this information is so important now.

Manisha Thakor (09:29):
Let me just say, this actually did with stewardship of money with yourself, there are a couple things I really want to jump out. And the first is if you don’t have stewardship of money with yourself, it’s kind of like you just hired awesome stylists to get you ready for board meetings, but it didn’t COVID. So she or he can’t come and actually look at your body and you don’t have the right measurements to send them and without the right measurements, everything else falls apart. And that’s the purpose of knowing these five items that we have on the screen.

Manisha Thakor (10:10):
And monthly spending and savings is the biggest one that I see most people struggling with, yet it’s the most important one because it drives all of the others. And I wanted to share a quick formula. It’s called 50, 30, 20. Elizabeth Warren was the one who came up with it. And essentially what it says is, when you are in a good financial spending balance, 50% of your take home pay goes to needs, 20% up to the 30% goes to wants and a full 20% is going towards savings and at our stage in life that full 20% should be savings for retirement, when you’re younger can be savings for other things. And I meet very few people who are at that level. So if that 20% number made you want to dry aims not to worry. Increasing 1% a year in what you’re doing or 2% a year in what you’re saving can have a huge impact. But employing the 50, 30, 20 rule, understanding what you’re spending monthly is absolutely essential. And the reason is, it leads you to number three, which is your vocational freedom numbers.

Manisha Thakor (11:21):
And in the old days, when interest rates were really high, this was the number on which you could live off your interest in dividends for the rest of your life. Because the income and dividends were generating more than what you learned about in number one, your monthly spending.

Manisha Thakor (11:40):
Now, because interest rates are so low, we’ve moved to what’s called a total return model. A mathematical, it’s the exact same thing. But basically it says, can you pull out three to 4% of your portfolio each year, and live on that? When the answer to that is yes, you reached vocational freedom. And that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re retiring. As Coco mentioned, I hit vocational freedom end in June and I got lots of different work things that I am stirring around in the bucket. And then the last thing I want to emphasize about stewardship with yourself that I see missing a lot is an understanding of how vital it is to have a cash buffer. And I’m not just talking about a traditional emergency fund. In order to reach vocational freedom, most of us have to invest with a decent amount of aggressiveness if we want to get there before age 70.

Manisha Thakor (12:40):
In order to do that, what I have found is the biggest barrier that women have to investing more aggressively, is actually a profoundly logical one, which is that the financial services industry does not teach advisors to create a passion bucket. Depending on where you are in your vocational freedom journey, it could be as much as one to five years of expenses. And what that enables you to do when you hit vocational freedom is no, you’re fine because you have the cash buffer. And now the rest of your long term assets can be invested in a manner that has them beat inflation. And so when you know number one, and you know number three, and you have number five, all of that together puts you in such a powerful position. And we’ll talk about this later because figuring this all out on your own is not necessarily the most fun thing to do or something that you necessarily have time or interest in doing. But those three numbers are the foundation of stewardship, financial stewardship of yourself.

Manisha Thakor (13:49):
So, stewardship with your significant other is another gigantic issue that affects a lot of executives women, more and more of us are the primary or the co breadwinners in our households. I can’t tell you how many examples I have seen of women because we’re busting our tushies in our jobs. And maybe our husbands aren’t feeling as emasculated because we’re earning more than them. So we let them manage the money. And honestly, a lot of men suck at managing money. They’re great at talking about it. What they talk about actually doesn’t, oftentimes makes no sense. And what the studies show us is that men and women’s knowledge about investing is actually shockingly similar. Men’s confidence is way up here around what they now and women’s is way down here. But the knowledge is very similar and so things that I have seen are individuals heading in and there’s an example, a couple heading into COVID, wife primary breadwinner, kick butt upscale catering business. Husband managing all of the money, she had tons of cash flow coming in, loads of profit, he put almost all of it in illiquid funds.

Manisha Thakor (15:09):
So they hit COVID. And she would have been able to make it through. But for the fact, all of the funds were in illiquid investments, and she didn’t know because she’d abdicated that. Other examples include couples who have completely opposite attitudes towards spending, and then crisis times that like, last year, things can really blow up. And then the third one is infidelity, both the kind of infidelity I experienced before my marriage blew up, but financial infidelity, where one partner is doing something that the other partner doesn’t know about. And so for all of these reasons, I’ve seen women who are in this peak part of their career cycle, just get stabbed in the back with relationship type issues, simply because they didn’t talk about them.

Manisha Thakor (16:03):
I had written a book called Get Financially Naked: How to Talk Money with Your Honey, and there’s an exercise in it. It’s a financial compatibility quiz that enables you to identify for yourself and your partner to identify for themselves. What for each of you is your financial behavior, what is your financial interest, what is your financial knowledge, and then it’s a guide to help you walk through those to decide if you need to make any changes to the way the two of you are discussing or updating each other on what’s going on.

Manisha Thakor (16:41):
And I wanted to leave you with a couple of resources that I didn’t mention last time, there’s a book called Couples Money: What Every Couple Should Know about Money and Relationships. It’s by Chris and Marlow Felton, a husband and wife team. And I think they do a great job of helping you figure out how to bring up the topic and walk through the topic. And then there’s another resource, it was started as a book called The Heart of Money: A Couple’s Guide to Creating True Financial Intimacy, by Deborah Price. But then she found a coaching for couples, financial coaching for couples business, so that literally, she can serve as the wing woman to help you get these conversations going, kind of a blend between a psychologist and a financial adviser not managing your money, but talking to you about the things.

Manisha Thakor (17:45):
So those were a couple of resources. And then I also wanted to mention there’re couple podcasts now out about this topic, because especially for executive women. I’ve noticed, there is increased interest in taking power. And so there’s one called the Equal Partners Podcast that just launched. And then there’s one called The His and Her Money Show. And then there’s one called the Couple’s Money Podcast. And what’s so interesting is, unlike 30 years ago, when the men were handling everything and trying to get their wives to be interested, this is the complete flip. And this is a lot of conversation about women who are in the power seat, and don’t have time often to handle what else is going on or maybe just aren’t interested in it and how you fix that.

Manisha Thakor (18:37):
Okay, so now we’re going to go into the third session, which is stewardship with kids, parents and community. Stewardship of kids is the area that I see the most stress from parents in. And it’s because we don’t have any formal financial education. And the vast majority of schools, be they grade school, junior high, high school, college or grad school about money. And, in fact, what studies show is that most of us men and women get our primary financial education at work from colleagues having chitchat are you contributing to your 401k? Or what are you picking? What are you investing in? Do you keep an IRA outside of your 401k and that’s a both. And that’s great that those conversations are occurring, but they’re not always occurring with the questioning party, the one bringing up the conversation knowing all the facts and details. So the earlier you can get your kids interested in this topic. The dividends that are paid are gigantic.

Manisha Thakor (19:52):
And so I wanted to mention a couple of additional resources. There’s a book it’s hard to get it’s bought out print, but they always have some on Amazon either new or use, and it’s called Earn It, Learn It by Alisa Weinstein. And the reason that I love it is it teaches kids up to about the age of 12, 14, from the ages of like, two, three, how to pick different jobs and you earn money. Something that’s theoretical at younger ages, it’s real at older ages. And there’s all kinds of exercises for how to walk through and talk about spending in that 50, 30, 20 context. It’s super powerful. And if you can’t find that my second favorite book that teaches this kind of stuff is called, The Everything Kids’ Money Book, and it’s called earn it, save it, watch it grow. And those are both really good complements to the book.

Manisha Thakor (20:57):
I have mentioned in the past series, which is Make Your Kid a Money Genius, Even If You’re Not by Beth Kobliner. And what I want to say is that there’s a lot of tension about the subject, I wrote an op-ed, on opinion piece in The Wall Street Journal. And it ended up on the front page of the second section, and it was called, should you tell your children what you earn? And my argument was, yes. And I explained why and, was the comment section, interesting. I needed to put on caviar to read it because people don’t want to talk about this with their kids, because it brings up their own discomfort with money. So there are so many different things I could say about kids, the main thing that I want to leave you with is that one of the best things you can do for your children, is check out one of these books that I have mentioned, and use them to identify what strategy in your household you want to use to provide them this education, because they’re not going to get it anywhere else. And it truly is the gift that keeps on giving.

Manisha Thakor (22:16):
The other issue that I want to bring up about this is, if you don’t do this, then what happens is you end up with kids that are bouncing back into the mass as young adults, and then you end up in your peak retirement years trying to help them out. And so better to do it sooner than to have to deal with it later. And the other issue with elderly parents, I wanted to bring up. Elderly parents having some myself in their early 80s that are in the transition, they just sold the home and lived in for their last 30 years. The financial retirement community, that what I have observed in my own family and then with clients over the years is that elderly parents do not want to feel like they’re being talked to like children or that they’re being forced to give up control.

Manisha Thakor (23:06):
The flip side is however, if they pass and you don’t have, either A, they don’t have the right documents in place or B, you don’t know where they are, it becomes a nightmare when you’re grieving to have to unwind all of this. And then the third thing is we are seeing more and more elder abuse. So when you don’t talk to your parents about this subject, what could be happening is some pretty scary stuff. Tama had shared with me an article, I think it was out of Bloomberg, the wife of a very successful entrepreneur. Naturally, the widow had a serious chunk of change, something about 80 million or so. And she invested it with two advisors of a brand name firm, who she trusted deeply, a brand name firm on the suitability side, which I’ll speak to a little later again, and she trusted them deeply. And guess what they pilfered nearly $20 million.

Manisha Thakor (24:07):
And she trusted them so much. She wasn’t looking at the statements. And the worst part of the story is as advisors or her sons. So with elderly parents, the three things that you really tried to get at is, have they drawn up the documents, if they have where are the documents, and then ensuring that there is no elder abuse going on. And another example I can give you, in my own family, my grandmother on my mother’s side, my mother grew up very, very blue working class, and my grandmother was a widow. And in her late 60s, she started to have a little bit of mental deterioration, and it was in like the heyday of infomercials and she started buying all kinds of things left and right. And so she literally ran out of money. Finally talked to my mom and her sister. And my family was able to help her unwind herself from bankruptcy. But it happens so quickly and then people are embarrassed and they don’t tell you. So how do you bring this topic up? It’s awkward for everyone. I suggest framing it always in the context of, I want to make sure mom and dad as you get older that your money is handled exactly the way you want it to be. And there are these buckets that if we talk about, I can help ensure that what you want done gets done.

Manisha Thakor (25:36):
The book Breaking Money Silence by Kathleen Burns Kingsbury, in my opinion, is the Bible on how to bring this up. But those are the three areas that I want you to know that you’re trying to ferret out information. And then the last thing that I want to say on community is giving back. And what we have seen two things I want to say about giving back, one is what’s the most tax efficient way. And oftentimes for executive women that’s using something called a donor advised fund, where you offer tax purposes, making contributions to the funds, which are tax deductible in that year, and then you can disperse the money over time. And there are various things that a financial advisor with a tax background can help you with, because you have lifetime limited exemptions. So there’s a wide range of money that you can move from your estate into a donor advised fund. So it’s had some advantage to you, but you also can then start giving in a very financially smart way while you’re still alive.

Manisha Thakor (26:47):
And the flip side of that piece is where do you go to find out? What are the organizations that have reasonable relationships between the amount they’re paying staff and the amount that’s going out to the end causes, and you want to make sure that you are paying attention to both ends of that spectrum? How are you giving the money are you giving it in the most tax efficient way, just an example of that would be you have highly appreciated stock. If you sell it, you’ll have to pay a long term or short term capital gains on it. If you donate that highly or not donate, you transfer that highly appreciated stock into the donor advised fund. Now you can use 100% of those funds without tax consequences to give to the organizations who care about.

Manisha Thakor (27:43):
Now, the flip side is when you’re investing or donating money, do not hesitate, nonprofits who have a healthy ratio, their overhead spending to their outgoing giving cash flows are really proud to share this information. And it’s publicly available, you can get as nonprofits, they have to file financial statements that disclose certain pieces of information. And this is one of them. So if they don’t want to share it with you, that’s a huge red flag. But those are the two pieces that I want you to think about in terms of the levers on community, are you using your money to give in a smart way, and are the organizations that you are giving to making the most of the money that you send.

Manisha Thakor (28:34):
So there are a variety of different entities and there really isn’t a great one yet. But if you Google smart charitable giving, you will find a number of different organizations are not yet one nation clearinghouse. But you can find organizations and if you put your city in, if you live in a large city, oftentimes there city specific list. And if you say national organizations, there are good national. So that’s what I want to say about how the key levers. And as I wrap this up, and before we take question, what I want to say every single thing that we’ve talked about in these three sessions, whether it’s stewardship with yourself, whether it’s stewardship with your significant other, or it’s bigger, how to talk to your kids about money, how to make sure your elderly parents are organized, prepared and safe, and making sure that your charitable giving is done in the most effective way possible. All of this is part of something that I would call true financial stewardship.

Manisha Thakor (29:43):
And what’s shocking is that you would think when you go to get professional financial advice that somebody would be thinking about all of this stuff for you. But it turns out 1%, 2% of the industry actually does this. So I wanted to show you what, if you think about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, what our financial needs are and what you should be getting, if you work with any professional financial adviser, you’re not getting this, you are not in the right place, because this is the future financial plan. Many people are going to be calling it financial life planning. So on the bottom is managing your money. And that is what most people think of when they think of any financial help. And so that we’ll be picking investments, figuring out your asset allocation, dealing with the insurance, thinking about how income taxes, debt and cash flow play into the previous items. So that’s the base level. I can’t tell you how many times I see people who tell me, oh, I just talked to my advisor about this or that, and they’re only talking about the investments.

Manisha Thakor (31:02):
So then we move up to the next layer, which is achieving goals. If your advisor does not know what your life goals are, again, big red flag, and I don’t just mean sending my kids to college, oh, that’s important. And advisors should be talking about everything, philanthropy, if they’re not talking to you about what I just mentioned, with donor advised funds, and making sure that nonprofits are spending effectively, they’re not giving you financial life planning. In a state that should include your state and talking about your elderly parents. The health care piece, many of us decide that we want to go out on our own before we hit Medicare age, and where we are in Medicare age, and we need somebody helping us sort through supplemental or doughnut hole care. And then retirement, that’s really the big one.

Manisha Thakor (31:54):
And again, retirement is what Coco referenced in the beginning. For women like us, oftentimes, it’s vocational freedom, it’s the point at which we can meet all of our living expenses by pulling out three to 4% of our portfolio a year. And if somebody isn’t setting up that analysis for you, and explaining how it works, you’re not getting it. Peace of mind really comes from understanding exactly how all the different slices work. And I was helping a woman who family had sold a business, and she had done a significant piece of work to build it, she net it after tax $50 million, she hired two really upscale brand name firms. And ultimately, he needed to hire me to explain what her money managers were saying to her. And as we unwound it, what we realized were, they weren’t doing anything other than managing the money. They weren’t doing achieving goals, and they certainly weren’t giving her the information she needed to have peace of mind. And when I say that, he sound like money used to survived. But I literally mean like, knowing when the market goes down, why your cash cushion is sufficient, and your asset allocation is appropriate that you don’t need to look at the market.

Manisha Thakor (33:20):
We had a crazy March last year where the market dropped over 20%. If you have peace of mind, you should have had no emotional reaction to that whatsoever. Most people didn’t. And so one of the things that I find is when you have peace of mind, you are way more productive, you’re way less stress, and you get to vocational freedom a lot faster. And then the final piece that as odd as it may sound is you might have thought this was a conversation to have it’s a life coach type person is what your purpose in life is, what it is that you want to do, either now, or when you hit vocational freedom, and what kind of legacy do you want to leave, whether it’s financial or some other completely different non financial type of legacy.

Manisha Thakor (34:11):
And if somebody is advising you on your finances and not touching every one of those pieces, they’re not living because this is where the industry is going right now. And the number one reason you don’t see more people doing this is something I mentioned last time, but I want to wrap by reiterating it. The financial services industry is bizarre, because we don’t have a bar exam or medical board some kind of standard level that everybody adheres to before entrant into the industry. So pretty much anyone who hold themselves a financial adviser, there’s not a minimal level of qualification. So that’s one issue in and of itself. But the bigger issue is that the industry is structured in a very unappealing way. Financial institutions can choose to legally step themselves up as one of two types of entities. The most common is suitability. These companies report up to a self governing body, FINRA. And the rules that these companies have to operate on under legally are that the advice they must give to their clients must be suitable.

Manisha Thakor (35:29):
And that’s why and the older woman that I mentioned, who was built of the 20 million almost by her grandsons, she was at a suitability firm. And obviously, pocketing money on the side that was illegal. But they were investing in what was suitable for her. So the investments didn’t raise a red flag. But as she went back through them, in addition to noticing that all the cash is missing, she also discovered that the investments weren’t the best. Suitable is basically like saying, like walking into a department store and saying, I’ve got my first board interview, I need something to wear. And they give you a neon dress out of the juniors department. And they say, well, it’s a dress, you need to dress, it’s suitable. It’s not always that blatant. But sometimes it is when you operate on the suitability side, and none of them are doing this true financial stewardship because they don’t get paid for it, they get paid as an individual under managing the money part.

Manisha Thakor (36:35):
The flip side is fiduciary, which is about 20% of the industry, these companies are set up under a legal model that reports up to the SEC, and they have a fiduciary duty to always put your interests first ahead of their own interests, and ahead of their firm’s interest. And the only people and it’s just the handful that are doing this true financial stewardship are on that fiduciary side. And the reason is they structured their businesses so that the fee you pay them, which interestingly, is not higher than on the other side, encompasses all of this. And so first time I came in contact with this after working in the industry for 25 years was when I was at Brighton Jones, Brighton Jones gets this.

Manisha Thakor (37:26):
And I can’t emphasize enough that this is what you deserve true financial stewardship. And this is the way the industry is going. And so super vital for us to make the most of these peak earning years for us, super vital for us not to make a handful of mistakes that can literally derail the next few years of our lives. But also super important that somebody understands all of these pieces about us. Because if you don’t understand all of these pieces, you’re not going to get the vocational freedom.

Manisha Thakor (38:03):
So that’s what I have to say to wrap up financial stewardship. And when you have this, what I notice is, you feel calm, and you have confidence, and you have clarity about this issue. And the last thing I want to say is, they’re ironic that we’re talking today because there is a documentary that they’re doing a soft launch for people who were in the documentary and it’s called $avvy and S is dollar sign a movie why, and if you Google $avvy documentary, it will take you to the producers page, finish mine feature films and you can watch it the 10 minute trailer. And essentially the whole movie is about this subject. Why are we not as incredibly smart women demanding true financial stewardship and what needs to change in order for us to own our finances and own our lives? So hopefully it’ll be getting out further in the next month or so but you could at least see the 10 minute trailer and you’ll see me at the beginning.

Tama Smith (39:16):
Thank you Manisha. What I’d love to give everyone here on this call, is a quick to do list of action items for yourself. Identify and write down your five key numbers, action items for you and your partner, take the financial compatibility quiz. And then lastly, action items money in relation to your kids and parents and community. We have books that Manisha has mentioned, how to Make Your Kid a Money Genius for your children. For your parents, it’s Breaking Money Silence and for community it’s Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin. So those are the action items between your five key numbers, date night quiz and book recommendations.

Tama Smith (40:03):
I just want to also add, Manisha mentioned but I want to highlight, no matter who you’re with, or if you’re managing everything yourself, it doesn’t matter where you are, what’s key is making sure that you have a plan. For those of you that don’t know who Brighton Jones is, we are a $15 billion, a wealth management firm. But we also have a division that works with individuals that have below a million, which is the wealth management side, it’s our minimum. We’ve got a great retention rate, we’ve got a great track record and got offices around the country and we’re growing and we have a dedicated team that works to support our clients nationwide, that don’t live in our office in markets where we have an office. This is where I can be reached at any time to help guide you and shepherd you to have conversations with our team that might be able to add value to your financial well being.

Coco Brown (41:03):
So my question to you is, does Brighton Jones partner with employers for employee literacy programs or that type of thing? Do you have anything like that I can look at and consider?

Tama Smith (41:16):
Absolutely and I am kind of the key liaison in the firm right now for our corporate channel. But we’re doing it for a number, Amazon, Microsoft, the Snapchats of the world. So happy to connect with you. Even call if you feel as if your company could benefit from a financial well being talk or talk some, will I be okay, financially, we’re happy to do that. At Brighton Jones there are a number of things. And this is not a sell spill, but it’s just factual sharing. One thing that makes us unique is we do a lot of financial education workshops for our clients children, high school students, college and age and young professionals. And so we’ve got a team that does this all day every day. And so it would be fairly easy for me to tap one of the instructors who does a lot of teen financial education, to do something for Athena’s children, Athena-

Coco Brown (42:28):
That’s so fabulous.

Tama Smith (42:31):
We also have a care planning experts that help multi generations of family members put together a care plan, whether you’ve got a special needs child, whether you have aging parents, or whether you just want to put together a care plan for you and your spouse, because sometimes people are getting dementia earlier. And now that we’re in this pandemic, is the power of care planning and putting together a care plan for yourself and your family have been very important topics we found for our clients. So happy to have those speakers come in and talk about the power of care planning, and estate planning as well. And our team offering up some workshops for kids

Manisha Thakor (43:17):
Manisha, the question you asked about or the statement that you said, we’ll be good to catch people in their first jobs. I cannot agree with that more. And I have co written a book with a girlfriend from business school called On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Guide to Personal Finance. And it’s directed specifically at 20 and 30 something women. For guys, just because the vernacular, what we found was the books that existed out there just had the information is no different. It’s just the analogies and everything from the guidebooks just weren’t resonating. But if you have a young male in your life, the book I like to recommend is by Ramit Sethi R-A-M-I-T S-E-T-H-I, it’s called I Will Teach You To Be Rich and he means it in the total context. And then there was another message, but the question is essentially my adviser say I have a very sophisticated portfolio. So I would like to see the documentary $avvy and compare it to that.

Manisha Thakor (44:33):
And the one thing I want to say is, if they’re telling you it’s sophisticated but you don’t feel you can explain to your neighbors 10 year old exactly how that money is managed, how it’s going to get you to vocational freedom, what the different parts of it are, and what kinds of returns they’re thinking you’re going to get off the different bits of investments. It may be sophisticated, but it may not be in your best interest. And so anytime somebody tells that in my ears always go up. Sometimes it’s just fine. But oftentimes it’s sophisticated as a code word for confusing and when things are confusing to either the individual or the advisor, they are not in your best interest. So push on that word sophistication. And as you just mentioned, the bulk of $avvy is really about this issue of why are we smart? And the stats show we’re better than managing money than men. And yet so many of us are disconnected. What can we do because we are about to get a mother lode of money coming down the train in the next 10 years.

Liz Tinkham (45:44):
Thanks for joining me today to listen to the Third Act Podcast. You can find shownotes, guest bios and more at If you enjoyed our show today, please subscribe and write a review on your favorite podcast platform. I’m your host, Liz Tinkham. I’ll be back next week with another guest who’s found new meaning and fulfillment in the third act of their life.

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