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You can feel like your world has been ripped out from under your feet when life changes unexpectedly, whether it’s the loss of a loved one, a torn marriage, the dissolution of the family business, or an unforeseen illness. Over the past 25 years as an investment advisor, I have become a safety net for many professionals in helping a family or individual through difficult times.
Working with women in various circumstances, from a stay-at-home mother of two whose high school boyfriend never returned from a bike ride, leaving her with a mountain of debt, to a sixty-year-old woman who mustered the courage To go. her unhappy marriage but she never made a financial decision in her life, I understand that having financial confidence is not innate.
I am often asked “Where do I start?” when customers take on a new financial responsibility, either by choice or consequence. These women have bravely committed to learning a new language and a new way of thinking, with the weight of their families’ dreams and goals now resting on their shoulders. To cushion a seemingly daunting journey, I begin by walking you through the following:
Decide what financial independence looks like for you. Is it being able to pay your bills and save? Are you selling your business in eight years for $10 million?
Have a financial plan and take the time to understand it. Having an idea of where you stand financially will give you peace of mind when you’re in the driver’s seat.
Assemble your team
Surround yourself with professionals who will listen and understand your needs. Your team will clarify your plan and hold you accountable for actions to achieve your goals.
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Seeing my clients gain the confidence to become financially independent is amazing and reaffirms why I chose this as my career for life.
We’ve come a long way in addressing the social stigma of women and money, but we still have a journey ahead of us to take control of our financial well-being. Gaining financial confidence is an important part of that journey.
Kathryn Finn is a portfolio manager at RBC Wealth Management.
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