Love is in the Air

LOVE IS IN THE AIR

As February begins, I am feeling very loved and very loving. Every store I enter I see reminders to share the love I feel with my family, partner, and friends through thoughtful cards, gifts, or shared memories. Don’t you wish this feeling of love would last the whole year? I do! I feel very loved and blessed with the bounty that I enjoy every day.

I know that part of the blessings that I enjoy today are the result of saving and investing. I also know that I am fortunate to be able to live comfortably today because of the people who took the time to teach and mentor me throughout my career. I am so grateful! It is impossible for me to name them all and give proper credit where it is due, but I feel compelled to name a few:

  • My parents who taught me the value of saving
  • Dennis who taught me investment basics as a trust department “trader”
  • Curt who saw my potential and gave me opportunities to grow
  • Dan who trusted me to start a new brokerage branch in a new community
  • Sue whose conversations challenged me to think deeper and broader
  • Dennis who set an example of what it truly means to put a client first
  • Grace who gave me the opportunity to write and deliver a seminar to women clients which got me started on the financial education path
  • Jennifer who went the extra mile for clients and exhibited true comprehensive financial planning skill

Again, these are only a few examples of people who went the extra mile for me in my career and taught me so much, not only about saving and investing, but about leadership. I am so fortunate.

I want you to have financial comfort as well. I believe that investing (and spending) wisely allows me that privilege. That is the reason I want to help people get started with basic knowledge about saving and investing, share some ideas and guidelines, and offer resources for further education and study.

In my experience women are at a disadvantage, and that is why I wrote How to Dress a Naked Portfolio: A Tailored Introduction to Investing for Women. I am encouraged to see that young women today want to learn and want to take control of their futures, including their financial futures. I see progress when I visit college campuses for one-on-one visits. The financial resources to teach both young men and young women are expanding, and I could not be more thrilled! It is even more exciting for me to see enrollment in the field of financial planning grow. (Yes, it is a college curriculum!)

I would be remiss, however, if I did not also give some of the credit for my financial stability to my great fortune to be born and raised in the United States. Although not perfect, both this country and democracy have allowed unparalleled opportunities for my ancestors and for me. We and it are not perfect by any means. There is a great deal of work to be done to make things better for ALL.

I recently came across a quote from Amjad Masad, founder at Replit, that reminded me of some of the advantages we take for granted in the United States. I have seen his quote on LinkedIn and Twitter and in other newsletters and think it is worth sharing with you:

“I landed in the United States 10 years ago with nothing but credit card debt. After one startup exit, one big tech job, and one unicorn, I genuinely believe that it wouldn’t have been possible anywhere else in the world. Here are 10 things I love about this country:

  1. Work Ethic

First thing I noticed was that everyone regardless of occupation took pride in doing a bang-up job, even when no one looked. I asked people: “why do you pour everything into a job even when it is seemingly thankless?” And it was like asking fish “what is water?”

  1. Lack of corruption

In the 10 years in the US, I’ve never been asked for a bribe, and that’s surprising. When you know that you predictably get to keep a sizeable portion of the value you create and that no one will arbitrarily stop you, it makes it easier to be ambitious.

  1. Win-win mindset

People don’t try to screw you on deals, they play the long game, and align incentives in such a way that everyone wins. This is especially apparent in Silicon Valley where you can’t underestimate anyone because one day you might be working for them.

  1. Rewarding talent

From sports to engineering, America is obsessed with properly rewarding talent. If you’re good, you’ll get recognized. The market for talent is dynamic — if you don’t feel valued today, you can find a better place tomorrow.

  1. Open to weirdos

Because you never know where the next tech, sports, or arts innovation will come from, America had to be open to weirdness. Weirdos thrive without being crushed. We employ people with the most interesting backgrounds — dropouts to artists — they’re awesome!

  1. Forgiveness

Weird and innovative people have to put themselves out there, and as part of that, they’re going to make mistakes in public. The culture here values authenticity, and if you’re authentic and open about your failures, you’ll get a second and a third chance.

  1. Basic infrastructure

Americans take care of their public spaces. Parks are clean, subways and buses run on time, and utilities & services just work. Because life can be livable for a time without income, it was possible for us to quit our jobs and bootstrap our business.

  1. Optimism

When you step foot in the US there is a palpable sense of optimism. People believe that tomorrow will be better than today. They don’t know where progress will come from, but that’s why they’re open to differences. When we started up even unbelievers encouraged us.

  1. Freedom

Clearly a cliche, but it’s totally true. None of the above works if you’re not free to explore & tinker, to build companies, and to move freely. I still find it amazing that if I respect the law and others, I can do whatever I want without being compelled/restricted.

  1. Access to capital

It’s a lot harder to innovate & try to change the world without capital. If you have a good idea & track record, then someone will be willing to bet on you. The respect for entrepreneurship in this country is inspiring. And it makes the whole thing tick.

Because of the character limit, I couldn’t caveat the generalities that I made. It’s hard to talk about an entire nation without making those. And my experience can be very different from yours. Also, we can do a lot better, and make sure everyone has equal access to opportunity.

Finally, many of the things that I talked about are under threat, largely from people who don’t know how special they have it. America is worth protecting, and realizing that progress can be made without destroying the things that made it special.”

Thank you for the reminder, Amjad, and Amen!
~Bev Bowers, CFP®

 

 

Legal Notice: This document is intended to be informational only. Beverly Bowers does not render legal, accounting, or tax advice. Please consult the appropriate legal, accounting, or tax advisor if you require such advice. The opinions expressed in this report are subject to change without notice. The information in this report is from sources believed to be reliable but are not guaranteed to be accurate or complete. All publication rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to the Copyright restrictions described on BevBowers.com.
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) owns the CFP® certification mark and the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification mark in the United States, which it authorizes use of by individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.