Last week, I had the pleasure of hosting a Maven + Co supper with 18 amazing women opening up conversations around money, financial planning, the power of compound interest, and mostly: just getting started.
Money is a topic which, for many, feels weird, uncomfortable, dirty, and something to keep in the shadows. For many women, that is compounded by societal roles and norms — making it even more opaque and seemingly removed from grasp. (This isn’t not a universal truth of course and applies outside of women as well, I’m just speaking here as a woman and of the women I’ve encountered around me, not to marginalize any one else’s experience.) There are many undertones at play, from “daddy will do it until your husband takes over” or the classic home ec not full economics, lack of peer examples, or even just “how on earth do I get started?”
I personally struggled with this taboo of money, broken financial narratives, and lackluster financial literacy most of my adulthood (please never leave me tax accountants!), even with the good fortune of having incredible financial role models all around me. When I kept hearing echoes of my own experience around me, it seemed time to do something — this topic needs to finally be welcomed out into the light.
Why? Because I’m pretty sure we all have dreams, hopes, and plans which require money. Many of us want the financial freedom to be truly wealthy — having the freedom over our time and choices. To not be perpetually stressed about or in the hamster wheel chasing cash. Beyond that, we need to change the narrative of money = greed, money = dirty. Money is a tool, a tool we can put to work for us to bring around that financial freedom.
I for one want to build a strong financial future, not only for my own financial freedom but to have capital to deploy alongside my impact + value system. I aim to become a billionaire: defined by the magnitude of lives I and my work impact. If a billion dollars comes as a byproduct of that impact, does that make me bad? No. It amplifies the impact I am able to create. Money is one of our most powerful democratic tools, it provides us with the ability to vote with each dollar we spend. Those votes accumulate to build the world we want to become a reality, to support businesses doing good in the world, and to make a change.
For me, picking these big visionary goals wasn’t the problem. The problem was one that should probably seem the simplest — step one: how and where to even get started?
As I started asking peers, friends, and colleagues, it became clear I wasn’t alone in wondering “how on earth do I get started?” and even less alone in dragging my heels figuring it out.
Then, I got to spend some time with Andrew Craig, author of How to Own the World, founder of Plain English Finance, and advocate for bridging the gap in financial literacy. As he shared his wisdom with a room full of eccentrically clad, curious entrepreneurs, one message became abundantly clear — start now.
Finance doesn’t have to be complex or convoluted. It’s not inaccessible and reserved for the already wealthy. Andy’s whole message is that with a bit of education we can all start putting our money to work for us.
Funnily enough, when I asked the guests for our women’s finance + investing dinner to each bring a book to recommend that has impacted their financial journey, Andy’s book came up again and again. And his message echoed through the dinner.
If there was one thing that we all learned from the night, it was: it doesn’t matter where you are, how much or little you have with which to start, the time is always right to get started. The sooner you start, no matter where that is, the sooner your money gets to work for you.
Oh and, here, that sooner is better, thanks to Einstein’s “most powerful force in the universe”- compound interest. This little beauty is the secret to legendary investor, Warren Buffet’s, wealth and has the power to exponentially impact even the most basic investor’s financial position given time. Time. The simple key to compound interest’s success. No matter the size of your investment, frequency of investment, etc — your money grows given time. So, don’t keep waiting for the “right time” to figure it out — here’s your sign. Your time is now.
“Money makes money. And the money that money makes, makes money.” — Benjamin Franklin
Look, I’m no finance professional. I’m another human who’s trying to figure it all out myself. And lucky enough to be surrounded by a community of people figuring it out as well. I definitely don’t have all the answers or your secret to success, heck I probably don’t Even have 2% of the answers. But, if reading this and sharing our learnings helps to catalyze you to start your journey, to even just move an inch closer – that’s my real win. When we each turn on a light, the whole world gets brighter.
Curious about compound interest? Have a little play here and see its power for yourself: https://www.thecalculatorsite.com/finance/calculators/compoundinterestcalculator.php
If you still don’t know where to begin, here’s a few recommended reads to help you on your journey. I highly recommend checking out Plain English Finance and starting to get curious with those around you — share your goals, your struggles, ask questions, create a dialogue. You’ll be amazed how real it starts to feel.
We asked our guests to bring a book to share that prompted their financial journey. Whether it was investment advice, money mindsets, motivations for a better financial future, we wanted to gather thought provoking titles to amplify our new path of learning. Here’s a few of the titles that came in.
1/ How to Own the World by Andrew Craig
2/ Live on Less and Invest the Rest by Andrew Craig
3/ The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel
4/ The Devil’s Casino by Vicky Ward
5/ A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
6/ Existential Kink by Carolyn Elliott
7/ Women with Money by Jean Chatzky
8/ Earthshot: How to Save our Planet by Colin Butfield and Jonnie Hughes
9/ Little Black Book: A Toolkit for Working Women by Otegha Uwagba
10/ A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
11/ The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
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Liza Tullidge is a serial entrepreneur, investor + advisor focused on reengineering business + individuals to build a better planet. Find out more about Liza + her work at www.lizatullidge.com