When it comes to financial planning and money management, my mother could teach us all a thing or two. Of course, she herself would strongly disagree with that statement. In fact, financial affairs and money often intimidate her and leave her feeling a little, well...how to say this...well, just plain stupid!
Yet as much as she would disagree that she has this money thing figured out, you can't argue with the facts:
Fact one: Despite having raised my brother and myself on her own on a very limited income, she has accumulated zero consumer debt. That's right, I typed zero.
Fact two: She will own her own home by the time she retires, give or take a few thousand dollars currently being spent to improve the energy efficiency and functionality of the place while she is able.
Fact three: Both her children are financially independent and neither has had to move back home due to bankruptcy or job loss since leaving the nest in their late teens.
Fact four: She knows (to the penny) how much money she has to live on now and will have to live on in retirement and, more importantly, what she has to do so that amount is enough.
Fact five: She has a plan in place for when she leaves this world that places no financial burden on any member of her family, plus leaves a legacy for her children and the grandchildren she loves so dearly.
Seriously, how can you argue with facts like these?
You see, while my mother may not be able to tell you what the S&P 500 did today, or explain the differences between whole life and term insurance, she can talk to you at length about setting priorities, making tough spending decisions and respecting every dollar that you earn. She can teach you about establishing good habits for saving and about making mindful (opposite of impulse) purchases. She can also enthusiastically demonstrate how sweet a treat a vacation or shopping spree can be when you've had to wait for it. Man, she really has it figured out. Lots of people are investors, but my mom is invested. For the long haul.
Whether by choice or necessity, she was also ahead of her time. Few women of her generation got involved in the money side of their family's affairs. In fact, in the 80's and 90's several articles were written for Advisors on how to encourage and involve their client's female partners in conversations about topics such as insurance and estate planning.
That trend has shifted dramatically in my generation.
A 2013 study conducted by BMO, found that ninety-seven percent of women either own or co-own responsibility for day-to-day household budgeting and spending decisions and eighty-four percent are either the primary or co-decision makers as it relates to long term financial planning - including savings, investing and retirement planning. Ironically, the study was released on Mother's Day.
These women - like my mother before them - are all invested in their family's well-being on all levels. Whether married, single, with or without kids, there are many "invested mamas" out there, daily making decisions that will impact them and those they love for years to come. I want to work with these women, their partners, their businesses, their kids and their communities.
Truthfully, I struggled with committing to this name for my financial planning practice. I realize "Invested Mama" does not fit the norm of what other firms in my industry are named. But then again, my mother has never fit any molds and that has turned out pretty well for her.
Let's hope it runs in the family.