Category: Blog

Myth #3: Women Lack Confidence When it Comes to Money

 

Over the last few years, much ink has been spilled over women and their lack of confidence. Female executives have written books with several chapters dedicated to the topic. In 2014, one of The Atlantic’s most popular cover stories popularized the term “the confidence gap” and examined the empirical research on the issue. Even beauty magazines now have subtitles like “Eight Qualities of Highly Confident Women” and “Your Guide to Killer Confidence,” framing confidence as a supposedly easy character trait to adopt while you’re waiting in line at the grocery store.

Despite being hackneyed, there is good reason for the discourse around this topic. An overwhelming amount of evidence has shown that the “confidence gap” has been a problem historically. In the world of finance, this concept has manifested itself by depicting women as timid, indecisive investors, insecure about their financial knowledge and decision making. But there are signs that the tides are changing – so much so, in fact, that we would argue that women lacking financial confidence is a myth.
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Financial Planning Day

Interested in getting free, high-quality financial advice?  Diane and other Bay Area Certified Financial Planners will be providing free financial planning to the public on Saturday, October 28th.  You can sign up for free one-on-one consultations and/or attend a series of education workshops.  Our firm has participated in this event for years and it’s one of our favorite ways to give back to our community.

 

Spread the word – this is open to all at no cost!

 

http://financialplanningdays.org/event/san-francisco-financial-planning-day

Myth #2: Women Are More Risk Averse Than Men

Published in: Blog, Financial Myth Busting Series, Get Smart |
Photo source: Wall Street Journal, wsj.com

 

It probably comes as no surprise to learn that women are less likely than men to take physical risks. We participate in fewer extreme sports like sky diving and rock climbing. We engage in illicit drug use less often. And when we’re behind the wheel of a car, we’re less likely to speed, tailgate, drive drunk, and we’re more inclined to wear a seat belt. So, it’s easy to assume that we take fewer financial risks as well. The financial services industry has long labeled women as more “risk averse,” and some commentators even have the audacity to attribute this to our hormonal or biological compositions!

Consider this myth busted.  Truth is, women are not as risk averse as you may think.
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Harvest: What’s Your Story?

Published in: Blog |

We all have stories – they may serve us and can even be empowering, but sometimes they outlive their usefulness and can be quite limiting. Which stories serve us, and which need a re-write? We met to explore our money stories – especially those that grew out of our family histories. We started by sharing some family photos, which provided a wonderful window into the people we are today. And it was a fun way for the rest of us to see others from a different angle. 
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How to Respond to a Data Breach

Last week we urged you to take action in response to the reported Equifax data breach.  We want to re-up that recommendation with this, “How to Respond to a Data Breach.”  This approaches data defense through a broader lens and provides a crucial step-by-step guide for what to do now, and what to do in the coming months.

Lessons for the Next Crisis

Published in: Blog, Get Smart |

This message is as important and relevant now as it’s ever been: Capital markets have rewarded investors over the long term, and having an investment approach you can stick with may better prepare you for the next crisis and its aftermath.

 

Image source: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/newsroom/civil/news/151218_en.htm

Myth #1: Men Are Better Investors Than Women

Published in: Blog, Financial Myth Busting Series, Get Inspired, Get Smart |

At The Humphreys Group, it’s no secret that we revere the many ways women today are breaking through gender stereotypes. Lately, we’ve been especially fascinated by stereotypes that permeate discussions about women and money. These phrases probably sound familiar: “Women aren’t interested in investing. They lack confidence about their financial decisions. When women do invest, they’re too risk averse.” By and large, these – as well as many other commonly accepted notions in finance, by the way – are all myths.

That’s why we’re going to spend the coming weeks busting myths about women and money and shining a light on the data that disproves them. We’ll also share what we’ve learned from our work with clients, and offer some thoughts on what we can all do to re-direct the conversation from myth to truth
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Equifax data breach: What to do now

Published in: Blog, Get Smart |

Dear Friends,

By now you may have heard that Equifax, one of three companies that provide credit reporting, has experienced a massive data breach.  Equifax is providing an online method to determine whether your data has been compromised but based on the statistical probability, we strongly recommend that you assume your data has been breached and take action accordingly.

The website for the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) provides straightforward and helpful information as to what to do.  There are many good articles online with details about the breach but this is a good place to start.

https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/09/equifax-data-breach-what-do

Based on the FTC information and other reading, we strongly recommend that you do the following:

Read the FTC blogpost – this website provides good guidance and all the information you will need to take action.

Check your credit reports – this will require that you enter personal data which can be unnerving, but the link provided on the FTC blogpost is legitimate.

Place a credit freeze on your credit files with all three companies – again, the FTC blogpost provides a FAQ and the phone numbers to contact the three companies (Equifax, Experian and TransUnion).  I placed a freeze with all three companies this morning and each took 5-10 minutes and all were automated.

  • Equifax – there is no charge with this company (likely waived due to their breach); a PIN will be assigned to you; you will receive a confirmation number; both will be sent to you following the call.
  • Experian – $10 fee which you will pay with a credit card; a PIN is not provided during the call but will be sent to you following the call.
  • TransUnion – $10 fee which you will pay with a credit card; you choose your own PIN; confirmation will be sent to you following the call.

This freeze will remain in place until you decide to remove it. Keep in mind that if you decide to apply for a credit card or mortgage in the future, you will have to lift the freeze temporarily in order to do so. Be sure to securely save your PIN. You will need it to lift the freeze.

It is always alarming when a large financial services company reports a data breach, and this is a big one.  We strongly recommend that you take the time now to protect yourself.

Please don’t hesitate to call with questions or concerns.

Best regards,
Diane
 

Harvest: What’s Your Worth? The Art of Being Your Own Advocate

Published in: Blog, Get Inspired |

 

When you go out into the woods, and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree. The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying ‘You are too this, or I’m too this.’ That judgment mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are.

~Ram Dass


Conversation Circle Harvest

June 23, 2017

It was the Summer Solstice when we held our Conversation Circle this week, and Ram Dass’ words helped us quiet our judging minds and set stage for our exploration of “What’s Your Worth:  the Art of Being Your Own Advocate.”  Cultural stereotypes being what they are, men are generally expected to be ambitious, assertive, self-confident and direct. Women, conversely, are expected to be unselfish, caring, emotionally expressive and skilled at interpersonal relationships. As a result, men are expected to advocate for themselves and are in fact liked when they do so.  Women?  Not so easy. There is a social cost to women when they self-advocate. Specifically, they are less liked by both men and women when seen to be self-advocating. This matters – being liked is a powerful tool of persuasion – whether it be at work, the neighborhood block party or the doctor’s office.

We briefly considered the findings of a 2013 survey (conducted jointly by Women of Influence and Thompson Reuters) which polled 326 senior executive women from across North America. For the women in our circle, one takeaway was clear:  the struggle is real. The study found that the challenge women feel when self-advocating does not diminish as we get older or as we gain status and achievement. 76% of survey respondents said they were challenged in area of self-promotion, advocating for themselves, expressing their talents. 74% scored themselves low in negotiating.

Happily, the news is not all bad. Women have superpowers! What are we great at? Advocating for others. Research shows that when women negotiate on behalf of someone else instead of themselves, their performance improves dramatically and gender differences in negotiation are eliminated. Sometimes they even perform better than men. The trick then, is to translate our strength in advocating for others into doing the same for ourselves.

That was our starting point as we took turns talking about a time when we went to bat for someone else. As listeners, we had the opportunity to reflect on the resources and strengths the we heard that the storyteller called on, on behalf of another. Using this success as a springboard, we used a series of questions to explore (in writing) a time we had successfully self-advocated – whether financial or non-financial in nature. And before we closed the circle, we had an opportunity to share our experiences and thoughts with the full group.

After sharing these insights with each other, we went home with a few key takeaways. We learned that we should enlist the support of our fans by asking them to advocate for us, and of course, support them in return. When self-advocating, we should also position our self-interests as part of something larger, connected to the greater good. All the while, it helps to remind ourselves that if we feel discomfort, we are not alone: it is a common reaction shared by many other women and an enduring result of our society’s gender stereotypes. We ended the circle feeling hopeful that advocating for ourselves and others will impact not just our lives and careers, but the lives and careers of others.  Advocating for yourself – worthwhile in itself – is still advocating for others.

Even on the longest day of the year, the evening flew by!  We all sensed that in spite of our enlivened, open and insightful conversation, we had only just scratched the surface.  There will be plenty more to explore in future circles!

Warm regards,

Diane, Lexi & Hallie