In this post, we explore why you may want to hire a wealth manager and what to look in your advisor.Read More
Bernard Maybeck. The famed late architect best known for designing the Palace of Fine Arts in the Marina District of San Francisco. The son of a German immigrant, he studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris before moving to Berkeley, California. His style was an eclectic blend of Mission style, Gothic revivial and Beaux-Arts classicism.
I had the distinct pleasure of being invited to a private lunch to one of the residential homes Maybeck designed in the Oakland Hills, known as the Guy Hyde Chick House. The owner, an art collector affectionately described as a raconteur by the Mercury News, graciously invited me over after we met a party hosted by our mutual tech publicist friend. The design of the home is known as “First Bay Tradition” style, where the structure is designed to merge with the natural surroundings. Perhaps laying the foundation for today’s green movement.
Everything about the home was breathtaking, but what stood out to me the most was the incredible art collection. It was almost as if the rooms decorated the art, not the other way around.
As someone who is new to the art collector’s world, I was in for a treat and some major education about fine art pieces embodying 5,000 years of cultural expression- Chinese. I also learned a little bit about the business of fine art and the opportunities it presents for investors.
Inspired, immediately after lunch, I did some research on luxury items as investments. How is that art can be a place to store and build wealth? Are there other luxury items that can do the same?
Apparently, yes! So, the next time someone judges you for shopping for the finer things in life. First, tell them that you are making a practical investment and expect to see a decent ROI on your purchase. Then say, bye. Because you don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.
Fine Art. According to the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index, the fine art category is making a comeback as a passion investment. After a depressed 2016 market, the value of art at auctions has grown by 21 percent with the headliner, Salvator Mundi by Leonardo di Vinci selling for $450 million.
Jewelry. Prices for jewelry grew four percent last year and 138 percent over the last decade. The record price was set by ‘Apollo & Artemis’ diamond earrings, which were sold for $57.4 million. And the record for a diamond? $71 million was the selling price for a rare diamond known as the “Pink Star”.
Fine wines. After being the leader in the passion investment class in 2016, fine wines are going through a slight contraction in pricing. After a 24% price growth in 2016, last year it slipped to 11%. However, with a double digit growth increase, the category remains a strong contender.
Vintage Cars. Who would have thought that cars could be an investment vehicle. Maybe it’s not a surprise to you, but the amount that these cars sell for is mindblowing to me. Last week, a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO sold for $48.4 million at RM Sotheby’s annual Monterey collector car sale. The value of the car is expected to increase to $100 million within the next two to three years.
Furniture. Yes, you love for fabulous for home decor is 100% justified. A rare set of four Chinese huanghuali folding chairs sold for over $5 million. Sounds like your interior decorating haul is a retirement plan.
See, your love for shopping is totally a legit investment strategy. With that said, be sure to do it responsibly and have an ample amount of savings to support any unexpected (welcomed or otherwise) needs. I recommend a high-yield savings account because the return is much higher than traditional accounts. Click the link to check out the Radius High-Yield Savings account* - they have one of the highest interest rates.
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This post is in partnership with Radius Bank.
Taking one final glance in the mirror, Rose* hesitantly gave a tiny smile of success.
“Wow,” she whispered quietly to herself. “What a difference a year makes.” Drinking in her reflection, she couldn’t help but to admire what she saw. A woman who stood tall and fully grounded in her skin. Her once long, luscious strawberry blonde locks had been traded in for a chocolate pixie cut. Having shedded twenty-five pounds, thanks to her Cross Fit weight training and diet overhaul, her slender frame was strong yet feminine in her New York and Company creme colored jumpsuit.
Just last year, she thought her world was over. At the ripe old age of 29 (as society would have her think), she was single and depressed. Her fiancee had dumped her. Claiming that he had had a change of heart, only to find out that his fling in Dubai may have had something to do with it. The breakup sent her into an immediate spin of questioning everything in her life. Her job, her friendships, her purpose in life, her relationship with food and not least of all, her relationship with money.
Working full-time as a makeup artist for a department store in Scottsdale, Rose was ready for a change. She was ready to move to the big city of Los Angeles and embark on a career as a freelance makeup artist. But, before she made the move, she wanted to make some big-girl decisions about her money and start investing.
She had about $5,000 that she could play with, but was too scared to invest it. Rose knew the importance of making money work for you (how else was she supposed to be able retire and live in the South France), but was a tad embarrassed that she didn’t know the first step to take. Nor felt comfortable asking anyone for help.
I had met Rose at a gala on one of my speaking gig trips to Arizona. Rose and I immediately hit it off, easy to do when you’re the only two obnoxiously crowding the bartender to get a refill as soon as your drink is empty.
As luck would have it for a money blogger, Rose and I started chatting about money. Rose confided the hesitation around investing to me along with her recent breakup, the haircut and her plans to move to Los Angeles. The whole mirror scene is a figment of my imagination. Hopefully you don’t mind that I took literary liberty with that, Rose.
After doing some research, here are five ideas that I came up with for Rose (and maybe, you!) to invest $5,000.
Before you get started, ask yourself if you need access to these funds within the next five years. If so, I recommend using an investment vehicle that is liquid. This means that you can easily access the funds with no, or little, penalty fees.
High-yield savings account: If you’re new to investing, it’s a good idea to begin with a conservative approach. With a high-yield savings account, the $5,000 you put in will be returned you. And then some. I’m a big fan of Radius Bank . It has one of the highest APY rates on the market.
Robo-advisor: Usually working with a personal financial advisor is costly because of the fees we need to pay to compensate a human being for their time and expertise. An alternative is to use a tech platform, until you are ready to hire someone. A couple of options to look into are Ellevest and Moola.
Real estate: if real-estate is your jam, unfortunately $5,000 won’t get you very far. But, you can check out platforms such as Fundrise, RealtyShares, RealCrowd for non-traditional real estate opportunities.
Personal loans platform: these platforms give you the opportunity to help another individual pay down a loan, cover their IVF costs or grow their small business. Two platforms you can check out are Prosper and Lending Club.
Invest in your small business or your personal development: as Warren Buffet says, the best investment is the one you make in yourself. Consider working 1:1 with a business or life coach, enrolling in a class, or checking out Marie Forleo’s B-School program to boost your marketing skills.
This post is in partnership with Radius Bank.
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*Name changed to protect identity.
Ok, ladies. Here is the sad truth. We are falling behind in the wealth game. And yes, while the pay disparity does factor into this. It is also because we are not investing our hard-earned dollars.
When it comes to net worth, the true marker of wealth, women hold 32 cents on the dollar compared to men. For black women it's 8 cents. For Latinas it's 4 cents. Ouch. The fastest way to close that gap is to start making our money work for us. Also known as investing.
But, what does that actually mean? Making your money work for you? What exactly is investing? Is it safe? Why didn’t any of your professors talk about this stuff?
Or maybe they did, and you weren’t in class that day. Hmmmm.
Whatever. There's no time like the present. So grab a pen and paper and start taking notes. Now it’s time to grab a pen and paper and start taking some notes.
The first thing to know is that the act of investing can create an opportunity for you to earn income outside of your paycheck without you putting in hours at your desk job. It’s as close as you can get to making money while you sleep.
But, like anything that sounds too good to be true. There are some downsides. It is very possible that you can lose money with investing. Which is why it’s important to go into this situation after you have done some research and are fully prepared to handle any potential outcomes.
Before you get started with investing, here are five questions you should ask yourself before you do.
What are my goals? Before you do anything with money, it is important to set your intention and get clear on your goals. Are you hoping to pull this cash out in a year to travel the world? Do you want to stash it away for five years then pull it out to use as a down payment for a home? Do you want to keep it in one place until you are ready to retire? Gaining clarity around your goals will help you determine which investment strategy is the best for you.
Am I financially stable? Investing is a risky endeavor and you should only do it when you have your basic needs met. Before you start investing, ensure that you have a comfortable cash cushion in your savings account and you can easily generate the money you need to cover your monthly expenses. If you are living off your credit cards or if your parents are still helping you out with your rent payment, then you are not ready to start investing.
What is my risk tolerance? There are many different ways you can invest your money, known as vehicles. There are savings accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, REITs, real estate and businesses. Each vehicle carries a level of risk. The riskier the vehicle, the more money you can make. It also means you can stand to lose a lot more money. The reverse is true for less risky vehicles. On the least risky side are bonds and savings accounts such as Radius Bank’s High-Yield Savings, which has a relatively high APY*. These vehicles have a low interest rate and a low rate of return, meaning you won’t make that much money from it. But, you also are guaranteed to not lose any money, either. The riskier vehicles include mutual funds, stocks and real estate. You need to determine for yourself, how much risk you are willing to take on. Generally speaking, the younger you are the more risk you can afford. But, you also have to take into account other life choices you wish to make- such as starting a family or business, and purchasing a home. Both, will require access to cash. For a general rule of thumb, subtract your age from 100. The difference is the percentage of risk you can take on. For example, if you are 30, your portfolio can be made up of 70% high-risk investment vehicles. This is only a general rule of thumb that you can use to make a decision that fits your needs. It is up to you to consult with a professional about your unique situation.
Do I understand the difference between mutual funds, stocks and bonds? It’s important to be knowledgeable about investing before you jump into it. It would be like skiing down a Black Diamond slope without knowing how to ski. Sure, you could figure it out. But, more than likely you’re going to hurt yourself. You don’t have to know everything about investing - just like you don’t have to be an Olympic skier to have fun in Vail- but the more you learn, the better you’ll be at it. To help you get started, check out Radius Bank’s Money Management Academy. They have a section on investing that goes over the basic terms you should know and has some games you can play to get accustomed to investing.
Who can I reach out to about investing? With anything new, it’s always nice to have people in your life that you can reach out to for advice or insight. Your parents may have tips for you. Talking about investing and your money goals with girlfriends is a great way to hold each other accountable and get a sense of what your peers are doing with their money. During the Money & Mimosas Like.A.Boss. Bootcamps, we spend time sharing our investment stories and learning from experts. Click here to stay in the loop about our next event.
And now I want to hear from you! Have you started investing or are you thinking about investing sometime soon?
This post was in partnership with Radius Bank.
*Annual Percentage Yield (APY) is accurate as of 4/4/18. Minimum amount to open account is $10.00. Rate tiers are as follows: 0.00% APY applies to balances of $0.01—$9.99, 0.05% APY applies to the entire balance on balances of $10.00—$2,499.99, and 1.30% APY applies to the entire balance on balances of $2,500 or more. Rates may change after account is opened. Fees may reduce earnings
In today's post, we are spotlighting three amazing fintech companies that will help you manage and grow your wealth. And they are all founded by women with a mission to change the conversation about money. Woo hoo!
The first company is Startwise. Started by two women founders in the Bay Area, they help small business raise funding by giving their peers the opportunity to invest in them. We love the emphasis on community building. And their newsletters have fantastic tips about how to grow your wealth.
The second company is WorthFM founded by Amanda Steinberg, who you may also know as the CEO of Daily Worth. WorthFM makes investing easy for women and is passionate about educating you through the process. Yay!
The third company is Banqer. Founded by Kendall Flutey, based in New Zealand. I am in love with this program because it's purpose is to help children with financial education. How amazing would it have been if we had all been taught about money at a young age?! Love it.
Take a peek below for Q&A's with each of the founders.
Founders: Grace Leung Shing & Catherine Yushina
1. Why did you decide to launch Startwise?
Both Grace and Catherine worked in a Venture capital firm when they met, they saw so many great companies with revenues and customers looking to grow their existing business. unfortunately, they couldn't get funding since they were not the typical startup that will have a quick exit. We started talking to entrepreneurs and brainstorming about different alternative options. Turned out there were not that many. So bridging the capital gap for small businesses became the mission. Including the people using revenue sharing model became the solution.
2. Who is Startwise geared towards?
We are a double-sided market, we focus on:
- Product businesses with a minimum of 1-2 years in operations and minimum of $200,000 in annual revenues looking to expand and grow their company to the next level.
- The people: US residents of various wealth level and financial experience, looking to generate passive income while aligning the money with their values.
3. What if I don't have a lot of money, can I use Startwise? How much money should I have to invest?
Yes! That is why Startwise is around. People can invest as small as $100 and up to $2200. If you want to invest above the $2200, then the maximum will depend on the income and net worth level, as regulated by the Regulation Crowdfunding rules.
4. What makes Startwise different from other crowdfunding platforms?
We focus on revenue sharing instead of equity. We work with existing small businesses instead of idea stage startups. It is a great way to diversify the investment portfolio not only by including different type of companies, but also a different mechanism of investing. We've also built our own software that facilitates not only the full investment process but the repayment as well - easy and accessible.
5. What is your big vision for Startwise? What is the lasting legacy you hope to instill through this platform?
A truly inclusive economy is our vision. Small businesses are the backbone of the US economy, they create jobs and generate income for the majority of the people in the country. Our dream is not only providing the alternative to business funding but also tapping into the wealth gap issue.
6. What is your #1 piece of advice to a woman who is new to investing?
Be you! Because you are totally rocking it. Multiple data sources show that women business owners and investors have been outperforming men in generating higher returns and success rates for a while now. We take our time to get ready, to research, we use both our brain and our intuition, we are good in listening to the market. Stop doubting yourself because there is no reason you should.
Founder: Amanda Steinberg
1. Why did you decide to launch WorthFM?
We began in 2015. We launched in Feb 2017. The federal regulatory process is very complex.
2. Who is WorthFM geared towards?
Women ages 30-55 with between $25,000 and $500,000 in investments.
3. What if I don't have a lot of money, can I use WorthFM? How much money should I have?
You can begin with $50. We offer a free savings account that allows you to open an account with us, no matter what.
4. What makes WorthFM different from other "roboadvisors"? How is it different from working with a financial advisor?
We educate you as you invest so that you become smarter and more confident as your money grows. The others only focus on your portfolio.
5. What is your big vision for WorthFM? What is the lasting legacy you hope to instill through this platform?
Global financial gender equity.
6. What is your #1 piece of advice to a woman who is new to investing?
Diversify across multiple asset classes.
1. Why did you decide to launch Banqer?
The launch of Banqer came after a series of serendipitous events starting with me leaving my career as an accountant. I retrained in software and shortly after landed my dream job as a developer, but not before returning to my family home for a weekend to recharge. It was there that a simple conversation with my then 12 year old brother sparked the inspiration for Banqer and kick-started the journey. For the first time I realised both the impact in-class financial education could have on a child, and also a child’s capacity to comprehend a vast range of personal finance topics. Within four months Banqer was alive.
2. Who is Banqer geared towards?
Banqer is used by elementary and middle schools and our students range from six to thirteen years old. The platform is specifically designed to be used as an in-class tool (aligning to teaching standards and curricula), however we also get some parents using Banqer at homes as well.
3. What if I don't have a lot of money, can Banqer still benefit me?
Given our users are students under thirteen most don’t have a lot of money and yet Banqer is extremely effective. When it comes to financial education your financial position is merely a starting point and there’s not a threshold you need to reach in order to engage, anyone can. It’s also arguable that those with a lower net wealth will see the most radical proportionate increases in wealth from starting their financial education journey as well.
4. What makes Banqer different from other financial education tools?
The biggest difference between Banqer and traditional financial education tools/resources is the experiential simulation we create that mimics an economy. All financial behaviours are contextualised inside Banqer as students engage financially just like we do in the real world. By creating an environment as closely aligned to what they will experience later in life, the decision making process, consequences felt, and perceived risk are as realistic as possible. This creates an environment that feels real to the students, so it’s not so much considered a lesson but instead practical financial experience.
5. What is your big vision for Banqer? What is the lasting legacy you hope to instill through this platform?
Our mission is to see Banqer enabling students everywhere to be prepared for the financial world that lays ahead of them. Too many of us learn financial lessons by trial and error and often when it’s too late.
Banqer has the potential to improve financial literacy (we see an average increase of 16%), shape positive financial behaviours, and instill confidence in the next generation. The economic externalities of this are huge and that makes us extremely driven to provide Banqer to those who wish to use it.
6. What is your #1 piece of advice to a woman who is new on journey of financial education?
Distinguish the difference between a need and want early. Marketing forces spend billions annually to try and blur the lines between these, often specifically targeting women. Decide what you need in your life, and what is just noise and don’t let yourself be swayed. From there you’ll have a better understanding of what’s important to you and you can frame your financial goals around them.
For more money tips for the independent woman, be sure to click here and join our weekly newsletter.