Women in the Arena

Unlocking the Power of Your Money Mindset with Jean Lynn

September 27, 2023 Audra Agen Season 6 Episode 5
Women in the Arena
Unlocking the Power of Your Money Mindset with Jean Lynn
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Imagine tapping into the power of your money mindset to transform your financial future. That’s precisely what you’ll uncover in our enlightening conversation with financial guru and author Jean Lynn. Jean’s insights range from the impact of early money memories on our financial behaviors to breaking away from scarcity mindsets and embracing abundance. She passionately discusses the evolution of women as wage earners and how this shapes our relationship with money.

No topic is too big or small as we venture further into money matters with Jean. We collectively challenge the notion of risk in finance, particularly how women perceive it. Jean navigates us through the terrain of investment language and presents real estate as a potential game-changer for women investors. We also touch on the importance of having a financial safety net, further solidifying our understanding of risk and security.

Our exploration doesn’t stop there. We delve into the realm of investing amidst market uncertainty and strategies to break detrimental money habits. Jean equips us with tools to approach investing in a simplified and jargon-free manner, dispelling the myth that investing is a man's game. We conclude with a nod to Jean's upcoming book, 'Breaking the Money Taboo', and how it seeks to further empower women in finance. Get set for a riveting ride through the world of finance with Jean Lynn. The journey towards taking control of your financial future starts here.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeanlynn/

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0CF4NWJK5

Go check out all of our episodes on our website: https://womeninthearena.net/


If you are ready to tell your story or want to refer someone, please email me at audra@womeninthearena.net

***Last thing- I'd love to interview the following women:

  • Joan Jett
  • Dolly Parton
  • Viola Davis
  • Ina Garten

Maybe you can help me get there****


Thank you all for supporting this show and all of the Women in the Arena!!

Audra:

Welcome and everyone, and thank you once again for joining me this week. This week, we are going to talk about financial literacy. My guest this week is Jean Lynn, and she is a certified financial planner and she was a spender and she came from a family of savers. But she changed all that when she found herself in some significant debt in her 20s and does any of this sound familiar to anybody? She changed her relationship with money and now she teaches others how to change their relationship with money. She says that we all have various personalities with money and spending and saving, so I'm curious to hear more about that. She's now writing a book that will be released in summer of 2023, and it is called Breaking the Money Taboo. I can't wait to join her in this conversation and dive into money personalities and more about her book. It is my pleasure and my honor to introduce to you Jean Lynn. Jean, thank you so much for being here and welcome to the show.

Jean:

Thanks so much, audra, happy to be here.

Audra:

I'm really excited to talk about all this information because there's a couple of things that is changing in our current environment, one of which is that it is not unusual for the woman of the household to be the primary wage earner and, in a lot of cases, the only wage earner. So that is changing, which means that the relationship with money, as far as females are concerned, also needs to change, and how we perceive it and our connection with it, our relationship with it. So I'm really excited to have this conversation. One of the first things I want to ask you about is this idea of money personality. What is that? How personalities with money are spending with money. What is that? What is the impact?

Jean:

of that Absolutely, and I think it's important to realize that there's not one right or wrong personality when it comes to money. But all of us have unique relationships with money and oftentimes they're influenced by early childhood experiences. And, as you shared in the intro, I'm a spender. I grew up a spender and a family of savers, and I'll just share with you my story. I still remember being 13 years old and hearing those dreaded words we can't afford it. When I wanted a pair of gas jeans. And to me, what I heard instead of we can't afford it is you are not worth it. And so when I grew up, I spent as an expression of my self worth. My brothers and sisters had the same experience that I did and most of them grew up to be savers. So it's really unique to everyone's individual personality as to how they deal with money. There's two things to think about when you think about your personality Do you have a scarcity mindset or do you have an abundance mindset? So scarcity mindset tends to be those savers. Folks that have an abundance mindset. Things are going to be better going forward. Maybe an optimist are the spenders. The other dynamic when it comes to money personalities is do you really enjoy money and investing. You know, if you enjoy money and investing, you have spreadsheets right, multiple spreadsheets or do you tend to avoid money and investing and many women can fall in on that avoidance. So if you're someone that has a scarcity mindset, let's say you're a saver and you avoid money. To you, money and investing is stress and I know many women have that mindset. They don't even want to think about money and investing because just the topic bringing that topic up it can be a stressful situation for them.

Audra:

I've been taking some notes as you were speaking, because there's a couple of things that jumped out at me as you were explaining the different personalities, one of which that threw me because I'd never heard it expressed this way, but it made perfect sense and it was a little triggering for me. If you want to know the truth is this idea of we can't afford it versus what you hear. You're not worth the money, you're not worth spending it. I thought, oh my gosh. I think I might feel that when you said it I was like I've never heard that before, but I am having an emotional response to it. I want to start there Tell me more about that, and especially for maybe females having this emotional response to that of relationship with money.

Jean:

Absolutely, and I would say it isn't necessarily exclusively women that have that reaction, but many women do. I think one of the disconnects that I had was that my family was relatively comfortable. We lived in a nice house, my dad had a good job, so I didn't understand why I kept hearing those words we can't afford it. And money was a bit of a taboo subject in my house. We didn't talk about money. So I didn't understand the rationale behind my parents spending decisions. And looking back on it, I realized that every family has basically a purpose, a way that they spend money or save money, a reason why, but most of the time people don't articulate that. And if I look at my family's history, I would say you know, my family's money purpose was we save first and spend as a last resort, because we prioritize education. And again, this is me looking back on this and reflecting on this. We never had this conversation as a family, but when I look back on it, I'm the youngest of five children. My parents put all of us through private school. They gave me such a wonderful gift of paying for my college education. I didn't have any student loans. But again, I didn't understand the why behind it and so I internalized it, as you are not worth it. The one thing that I'll share with you, though, is talking about how to change your relationship with money is, once you go back and look at your money history, you have aha moments right, and I encourage all of you to think about what's your earliest relationship or, excuse me, earliest memory of money, and oftentimes you can understand a lot about your decision making, which oftentimes we don't talk or think about when it comes to money and finances and how it's tied to that. Hopefully, that helps answer your question.

Audra:

It does and it's. I think it's really interesting because I also grew up in a household where we did not talk about money. There's a lot of things that we didn't talk about, but we didn't talk about money, and everything I learned about money was typically from a whole bunch of mistakes and then fixing it later. How do we now as adults which I'm still trying to figure it out and we're going to talk about investing and a little bit more further in the conversation, but as I'm getting older, I'm stripping down and trying to understand my relationship, where the stress comes from that kind of thing here, and how should we all start to redefine our relationship with money?

Jean:

So the first thing to do, after you kind of think about your history or earliest money memories, is to understand what your financial personality is. Do you tend to be more of that scarcity or abundance mindset and do you tend to avoid or embrace your finances? And in the book I talk about this, I talk about there's four distinct money personalities and I give individuals things to think about and keep in mind Because, again, if we all approach money differently, you can't give the same advice to everyone and think that it's going to work. And I'm curious about you. So you said you definitely internalized or identified with that. You're not worth it. Do you think you had more of a scarcity or an abundance mindset? What?

Audra:

do you think? I think that that has changed throughout as I've gotten older. I think that when I was younger because I didn't always understand money I understood how to save, I understood the mechanics of how to balance a checkbook, but I didn't understand the science behind money. So I think that, you know, I grew up in a household that was comfortable. We also went through private school, that kind of thing. So I didn't understand the whole. You can't afford it. That whole thing that you just said. I was like, oh my gosh, do we have the same family? I have no idea. So I thought I had this abundance mindset. I thought that we, because you could see the things that we had and the cars, the house, you could see it. So I thought that I thought money grew on trees. I didn't. I literally didn't know behind that. And as I've gotten older, I had my own family. I realized that no things cost money and there's effort behind that. So I think that as I got older I had got married, had my own children, expenses, college I think that I started to have a scarcity mindset. But now I'm trying to understand the balance between the two because I recognize that there is one I'm just trying to figure out how to get to that one, because things have changed and circumstances for my family have changed. Once again, we're now empty nesters. We're now thinking about forward plans. We're young empty nest if I could say empty nest or all that. Well, we're young empty nesters. We're in our early fifties because we had children in our mid twenties and we have a whole lot of life left, and now we have all these options and now I want to just help put us in a strategic spot so we can enjoy those options. So it's changing and there's just a whole lot of information, but a lot of it is overwhelming and I just don't know what to do with it.

Jean:

I understand. So that's helpful and it is a continuum and that makes a lot of sense. You can change over time. But the second question I would ask you is where do you think you fall? Do you tend to more avoid conversations thinking about your finances, or do you enjoy investing in finances?

Audra:

I'm starting to learn how to invest. I don't know if I'm good at it or not, so I usually take the safe route and I enjoy having that opportunity to do that. I wish I could understand more so I could take more calculated risks, and right now I know I'm playing the safe route.

Jean:

So it's a little bit of a like.

Audra:

For me it's a lack of education, which I know is a lot of women out there. It's a lack of education, it's a lack of comfort of how do you make smart, risky decisions and I know that sounds odd the way I just phrased it smart, risky decisions, but basically how do we measure risk and be comfortable with it? That kind of thing.

Jean:

I am so glad you brought this up. So let's talk about the word risk for a second, and I want to take a step back and acknowledge that the financial industry was created by men for men, and so oftentimes the words that the financial industry uses doesn't necessarily acknowledge that women may have a different point of view. There's a question that every financial advisor, every investment manager, has to ask their clients, and that question is what is your risk tolerance? This question drives me crazy because the word risk means something different to men than it does to women. So let me tell you this when men hear the term risk, they view it in a positive light. For men, risk is I'm going to go out and feed my family. Risk is necessary for survival. But when women hear this term risk, that is so amashed. In the financial industry, you know, in general women view the word risk as a negative term. Risk to women is something that you do that's bad, that may or may not result in a negative outcome. Risk is not wearing your seat belt. Risk is not putting your children in a car seat. So I totally understand your wording when you're talking about smart risk, because this word means something different and it's actually, I think, doing a lot of women disservice to be asked that question. I speak to a lot of women all the time and I brought up this story with a group of women investors and one woman raised her hand. She said you know, I remember when my financial advisor asked me that question, what is your risk tolerance? She said, and in my mind I heard what's your tolerance for jumping off a cliff? You know, and so this is a great example. Oh, go ahead. And how? This question is not great because I have once again.

Audra:

I have an emotional response to risk because I have this program running in my head of you have to be careful. You know you have to keep your keys in your hand when you're going from a building to your car. If you're alone at night I mean if you're traveling, if you're traveling alone in an airport you always have to be on alert. You always have to be on alert because there's a risk of danger coming from unknown sources. So when you start talking about money and risk, I have the same exact emotional response than as if you said you got to be careful because you don't want to be walking around at night. It's the same feeling. My brain can't distinguish between the two because it feels identical and you shouldn't have to distinguish between the two.

Jean:

The financial industry needs to use better language to talk about investing. So it's not about risk. It's really about tradeoffs, because you know, Audrey, you could put your money under your mattress. It just means you're making a tradeoff. That means you're going to have to probably save more and retire at a later date than if you invest your money in companies. So that's one thing that drives me nuts is we need to stop asking that question what is your risk tolerance? We need to talk about tradeoffs, and when I bring that up, you know that dynamic. I think you can think about investing a little bit differently. One other point that I hear a lot of times from women is they say oh, you know, the stock market feels really risky, it's like gambling. So there's this connection between gambling and risk and the stock market that I want to break right now, because investing is not gambling. When you're investing in the stock market, you're essentially buying shares, you're owning certain companies, so that's very different than gambling, which is simply a game of chance. To your point, if you want to make smart risk, you can hire a financial advisor, or hire someone a money manager, investment manager whose entire job is to manage your portfolio of investments for you. So there's a lot of great resources but we don't talk about them, I think, in a way that connects with women, and the last point I want to make is that I think can maybe help women think about investing a little bit differently is thinking about buying real estate. So probably many of your listeners have a home, have purchased a home. If you think about buying a home, it's one of the biggest investments you can make in your entire life. Did your real estate agent ask you what your risk tolerance was before you got your house.

Audra:

That, once, is always about the future value of your property. I mean, even though there have been ebbs and flows in real estate, I had experience with that back in 2008 when the market crashed. Our house was then worth half of what we paid for it and I knew that we had two choices. Our choices were abandoned, like many, many individuals felt like that was their best choice for them, or we write it out, and our kids were at an age where, for us, we thought well, let's write it out, and we did. We wrote it out, and not only have we gained back what we lost, we've gained back equity on top of that, because I was looking at it from the long game. But it's a physical investment versus an intangible investment. So it was an easier decision to make because it's your home, you live in it, your kids are raised in it, you have birthday parties. It was, you could see it, you can feel it Right and intangible. It's a little bit harder to make that connection.

Jean:

That makes a lot of sense, but I think that's. I so appreciate what you said. If you're thinking about investments the same way as you think about real estate, your chances for success are going to increase. The longer your time horizon, the longer you are able to keep an investment. So I think that's, and I understand it can be a little bit harder, but I think those are the types of conversations we have to have and talk about. And the last thing I'll say is your house isn't without risk. You talked about market risk in 2008, but there's also risk of fire. There's risk of lots of things. There could be an earthquake, depending on where you are, a hurricane and the Virgin Islands, and so what do you do to guard against those risks? You purchase insurance. The same thing can be said when you're thinking about money and investing, and so one thing I really think everyone should consider carefully is having an equivalent of that home insurance in your investment portfolio, and so oftentimes you hear people talking about an emergency fund. You should have an emergency fund, and I agree, but I think for women especially because we've talked about risk can be triggering the stock market can be difficult, but if you can start to put money and potentially assets away in what I call a security blanket and simply this is whatever it takes for you to feel safe and secure financially. You know a dear friend of mine everyone's answer to this question is really different. A friend of mine said she said I need $100,000 in cash. She said once I had that $100,000 in cash, I felt more comfortable investing for long-term things like retirement, because I knew that was there. Now other people may not need that much. You could even think about your home. Maybe paying off your home is a source of security. But whatever that security blanket is for you, starting to have that, putting that in place before you invest, I think can give a lot of women peace and mind.

Audra:

You're talking about big numbers. So $100,000, paying off your house, those sounds like big fat numbers and some of my listers may be going are you out of your mind? I've got these children that are eating me out of house and home there. I've got rising cost of living gas, whatnot? I've got all these rising costs. So maybe some are thinking, well, what's the cost of entry? Is there a really high barrier of entry? Which I think that there isn't. I think that investing and saving and all of that can start very, very small, but I don't know how small. How small is small? I mean, give me a little bit more information about that, because it sounds big and scary, like I have to have thousands and thousands of dollars, but maybe you don't. And what are the thoughts on that?

Jean:

Yeah, great, and I appreciate that context. So one thing I would say most financial planners say you start with that emergency fund, three to six months of living expenses. If that's too much, start with $1,000. So to me, putting aside $1,000 is a great starting point. That's in cash for unexpected expenses and for most folks, especially folks that are just starting out, to me the easiest way to start saving is to start saving If you have a job. Start saving in your retirement plan at work and I'll tell you why this, to me, is such a great idea for many individuals. Number one is it happens automatically and basically that money is taken out of your paycheck before you even see it and as a spender, that to me, is the best way to save is it's taken out of my account before I can spend it as well. Another great benefit of your retirement plan at work is most employers are going to match a certain percentage of what you're putting in the retirement plan. So let's say you're putting in common matches 50% of what you put in, up to 6%. So if you're putting in 6% of your pay, your employer is giving you 3%. That's free money. I mean. That's essentially a 50% return on your money just for starting to save. So I think saving in your retirement plan after you've got that $1,000 emergency fund, if you're looking for a way to start, that would be, I think, a really important thing. The last thing I'll say is that money is oftentimes pre-tax, so it's taken out before you pay taxes, although and I don't mean to get too technical here, although I would definitely recommend, if you have the option, to make Roth contributions to your retirement plan at work. The reason why is you may pay taxes on the money you're putting in now, but with a Roth retirement plan you don't have to pay any taxes on the earnings. So let's say you're you put in $1,000 and it grows to $10,000. You don't have to pay taxes on that $9,000 of earnings. So if you have more than 10 years to retirement, I definitely recommend investing in a Roth retirement plan. That was a long answer to your question.

Audra:

No, that's actually a great answer to my question, because a lot of us are heard of Roth but don't know what in the world it is and why would we do it, and that general thing, the difference between that and a 401k. So that's very helpful. What about if you work for a company that offers you the opportunity to buy stock in the company at a discounted rate? What do you think about that? I mean, there's a lot of public companies, there's a lot of people that work for public companies out there and they get that option. Is that a good option? Is that a bad option?

Jean:

Great question. I would say first of all, every company is different. So let's say you're working at Enron, that might not have worked out for you so well. So I think first is you know, thinking about your company and you're going to know as an employee, do you think that it's a good investment? If you think it makes sense is a good investment. Typically what we would say is, especially if you're getting a discount, consider doing that. But you should think of having no more than 10% of your total assets concentrated in one specific stock, like company stock. So that's just one thing to think about is you don't want to put your entire retirement plan in your employer stock. Sometimes you have the option to buy employee stock in your retirement plan. I would say stick to 10% of your total assets in that company stock and typically you have the option to, let's say you're purchasing it at a discount, you should. Sometimes they require you to have it for a certain period of time, but you should be able to sell it. So I'm not necessarily saying stop investing, but you should be able to sell it at certain times.

Audra:

What about? There's a couple other questions that I'm just thinking of, what has been real in my life lately, of things because I happen to represent a lot of who my audience is. So let's say that, okay, we've done a good job, we've put money away in 401k, we have some money in the savings just for a rainy day. What is this day trading thing? Is that something we should do? Is that something we shouldn't do? Because we have heard stories, myself included, that that's a great way to start investing without losing a lot of money, but it also sounds super scary, because that sort of sounds like a slot machine to me. So educate me and tell me is it a slot machine, is it just legal Vegas on your computer, or is it actually a great entry into investing?

Jean:

I appreciate this question and I'm just going to share with you a couple things. So I have a bias towards emulating other successful investors and when I look at some of the most successful investors, I think about Warren Buffett. Warren Buffett, probably one of the most successful investors of our time. You know what Warren Buffett also is. He is a boring investor. He buys, you know, high quality companies and he holds them for a long period of time. That's the exact opposite of day trading. So when I'm thinking about investing, I myself am a boring investor. I have a long time horizon. I don't ascribe to day trading because day trading to me is like the weather no one knows what's going to happen tomorrow or the next day in the stock market. Just like weather. People don't necessarily know what's going to happen. You know tomorrow or the next week. But if you look at the performance of the stock market over long periods of time, especially 20 years or more, you see that the market in general goes up over the long time. So I would ascribe to the boring methodology that has worked for some of our most successful investors and not day trade.

Audra:

So that definitely answers my question, because these things have come up, they've come up in my real life and I thought, well, I don't know, I don't know anything about it. And generally, generally, when I don't know anything about it, I try to go and ask questions to those who do and those experts that are around me that this is their frame of reference, where I have none. Another question that has come up in my real life is so the market is weird right now. There's a ton of uncertainty and we don't know what's up or down from any given day. There's all kinds of influences coming from all over the place. We've got global unrest. We've got rising gas prices because they're decreasing the production of oil, inflation is out of control, interest rates are rising. You've got all of these elements creating stress in the financial market, and then people look at their 401k and see that it's losing money and there's a little bit of panic. Should we panic? Is there a reason to panic? What do we do in this environment where there's so much negativity coming at us at once? We don't know what's real or not anymore. So how do we deal with that in terms of money?

Jean:

Another great question and this is why I go back to having that security blanket. Having that emergency fund gives you the ability to ride out the ups and downs of the market. So if you have some money set aside for emergencies, if you know you're not going to have to rely on your investments, you can take that long-term approach, which is, to me, the best way to have success over time. So when you share the markets, uncertain things are uncertain. I've been in the financial industry over 25 years. I've heard that raise every year over the last 25 years. The market's always uncertain. No one knows what's going to happen in the short term. But if you invest over the long term and you can look at 20-year periods over the long term, the market has always gone up over long time periods. So to me, this is where you get into one of the basic tenets of investing, which is very aligned to how to shop. What do you do when you shop? You don't shop when prices go up. You shop when things are on sale. Right, that's a good deal, is buying something on sale? So you should think about the same way when you're investing in the market. Actually, when markets go down, stocks are on sale. But one of the things that the worst thing that you can do is sell when the markets are down, thinking that you have a long-term investment. Markets are always uncertain. The best thing you can do is be that boring investor keep that money for a long period of time.

Audra:

So this has actually been really educational because I'm asking you real life questions of conversations that I've had in passing, even in the last couple of weeks. One of the questions that has been asked of me is breaking a negative relationship with money, like always feeling like you're behind the eight ball, always feeling like you are in debt to something or someone, or feeling like you're drowning and never getting ahead. I know part of that is circumstance, but I also realize that a big part of that is that relationship factor that we discussed earlier of how you look at money, how money makes you feel. How do you break that particular cycle? Because I know it can be broken. It's not easy, but how do you start to break it when you feel like you can't, like you're drowning?

Jean:

Yeah, a couple of different things, and I'll share two things. So one is always to think about and I recognize the struggle is real for many individuals and maybe there's a certain baseline that you have to meet, so it isn't necessarily just stopping spending. So if you're in that situation and you feel like you've, you know you've budgeted to death. One thing to think about is how can I earn additional income? So raising your income can be something to think about. So that's one situation. But let's say you're in the situation like I was in in my early 20s. It wasn't that I wasn't making enough money, it was that I was a spender, I was spending too much money. And there are two things that I did to change my relationship with money and stop spending. One one thing that I think is a really practical piece of advice is a 24 hour rule. So as a spender, I can fall into temptation of oh, here's something I like, I'm going to buy it, and sometimes I buy. You know when I, when I was spending money, you know, in the pet in my 20s, I would buy something and I didn't even really want it. I would have that buyer's remorse later on. So I implemented a 24 hour rule, and if I ever saw something that I was tempted to buy over a certain dollar amount, I said to myself, ok, I'm not going to say no, right, I'm not going to say you're not worth it, I'm just saying not now. I'm saying if I still am thinking about this 24 hours from now, I'll consider purchasing it. And this made a huge difference for me, because there are a lot of things that I was tempted to buy, and especially, you know, on our phones. You know we see things. So you're not telling yourself no, you're just saying not now, and that's going to eliminate a lot of impulse spending. So that's one thing to think about. The second thing is spenders and savers brains are actually different. If you're a saver, your brain rewards you when you see your account balance and it goes up. As a spender, I don't necessarily get that reward. I get the re my. As a spender, my brain rewards me from spend for when I'm spending money. And so what I realized is, again, I can't tell myself no, but I can make trade offs. And so, as a spender, I made big, intentional spending goals for myself. So maybe it's a vacation, maybe it's a new car, whatever it is, you give yourself a spending goal and that becomes a trade off for every other spend that you make. Do I want this purchase today or do I want to put that money aside for that big spending goal? So giving yourself a spending goal is another way to change your behavior.

Audra:

So then, if you have these spending goals, maybe your spending goal is starting to invest. You're just tricking your brain rather than having that retail therapy that some of us have, because there's a rush when you go and spend money for those that are spenders. But maybe you're saying put together a spending goal and maybe you can switch your brain, or trick your brain into spending money wisely in a different direction. Do I? Am I understanding that correctly? Just want to make sure I'm hearing that right.

Jean:

Yes, you are, and one thing I'll share with you. The number one goal for all investors in America is retirement. This, to me, is a terrible way to think about that goal, because what is retirement? What is retirement? Retirement isn't necessarily something that's going to motivate you, but that's one thing I would urge you to think about is what would your life look like if you had the freedom to stop working? What would your life look like if you had the freedom to stop working? Write that down and and that's what you're saving for, not this amorphous retirement, whatever that is when would you live? How would you spend your time? You know, what would you do? That's, I think, much more motivating than quote-unquote retirement.

Audra:

When you phrase it that way, it sounds a whole lot more active, rather than this big giant retirement, because retirement for you might be different for retirement for me. I mean you might want to travel around the world, I might want to go volunteer my time, but what you're saying is that retirement is not this let's go play golf all day, unless that's what you want to do, but maybe it's. It's now being completely in charge of your time, freedom from having to share your time with an organization or a corporation 100% and and maybe retirement doesn't have to be, maybe you don't have to wait until you're 70 or 80 years old.

Jean:

You know, thinking about it that way can motivate you, maybe to make some different choices and really figure out what's important to you. That to me, at the core, freedom to me is one of the reasons I'm so passionate about talking to women about money. Because when I think about women, specifically freedom, the freedom to decide who you want to live with, where you want to live, how you spend your time the way we achieve freedom is through financial independence and I don't think we talk about that enough. If you can have your own money, you can make your own choices and to me, that's the most freeing thing for any woman, for any woman, and that's why we have to talk about it, which most women don't.

Audra:

Because it's this weird taboo and and this is a great segue. So thank you for setting up the segue for me to talk about your upcoming book of breaking that taboo. And this is it is breaking the money. Taboo is the working title for your book that, as I mentioned earlier, you anticipate that it's going to launch sometime in this summer of 2023. What does your book provide to us as women that may be different, that we can't find out there in the marketplace today?

Jean:

Sure, a couple things. Number one I've written my book without using the jargon of the financial industry, and I have the benefit of 25 years of being in this industry again, an industry created by men for men, and I've realized how alienating it can be for women who aren't in the industry. There's so many things that we say in the industry that are condescending or don't take into account women's perspective, and so that's one of the things that I do is really try to simplify concepts, break jargon, break out the or, excuse me remove the jargon, eliminate the jargon and help women think about investing in a different way. So that's number one. The second thing that I think is really fascinating is that there's this perception that women are less confident in investing. You hear this all the time. This is women aren't as confident as men in terms of investing, and to me, that isn't about investing. Confidence is a gender norm. In general, men are more confident about most things versus women. A great example is when you're applying for a job. Women think they need 100% of the qualifications before they'll even apply for a job. Men only, you know say to themselves I need 70% of the qualifications, but this is the key. Confidence does not equal competence. Confidence does not equal competence and in study after study, when you actually look at the investment performance of women versus men, when women do invest, they actually outperform men by 1% a year. Now, 1% might not sound like a lot In investing, that is significant If you were an investment manager and you were underperforming your benchmark. What's a benchmark? It's just a way to grade how you're doing in terms of investing. Most investment managers will get fired if they were underperforming by 1%. So women actually are better investors than men. But we don't talk about it, so nobody knows this. So I think that's really important. The last thing I'll just share is I get into the financial personality, so I think that helps a lot. You'll start to understand your relationship with money. You'll understand maybe someone that you love their relationship with money. Money is the number one source of stress for Americans. We know money is a huge conflict in terms of relationships and I would suggest that A big reason why is that we don't understand why our partners think the way they do. That's why I created this financial personality model so you start to understand not just how you think about money, but perhaps how someone you love does. You can start to have different conversations when you understand where they're coming from. There's one last thing I just want to share. I know I'm throwing a lot at you, audra. The last thing I want to say is I go back to the difference in gender norms. There's huge implications for men versus women in terms of that confidence factor. Oftentimes, men will invest without having all of the information. They'll hear about a good idea and they'll invest. I hear from many women. They say you know, gene, I want to invest, but I'm not sure I have all the information. I'm here to tell you right now you do not need all the information. You're never going to have all the information. You don't have to be an expert to start investing. The biggest predictor of success for an investor is time. The longer you can invest, the more that your money will grow. That actually goes against this natural hesitation. Oh, I don't want to make a mistake. Everybody makes money mistakes, but the biggest mistake you can make is not starting to invest. So one of my goals, I hope, is to help women start to invest without having to feel like you're an expert. There's a lot of tools, a lot of resources that can help you invest smartly, like you're talking about do a smart investment without you having to understand everything there is about financial markets and investing.

Audra:

And not feeling like there is this big giant barrier to entry where from sometimes from my perspective, it feels like there's this big giant thing that I just can't get there. But you're saying, even starting small and creating a little bit of confidence with even those small investments can lead up to giving you more competence when it comes time to make the larger ones. So it feels like it's a rewarding system that you can start even very, very small and even just stepping your toe into it. It sounds like that Martin Luther King phrase you don't have to see the whole staircase to take the first step. And you're saying the same thing to me with investing. It doesn't have. You don't have to know everything, you don't have to have a lot of money, you just got to step forward a little bit and then make sure you take little steps each time along the way. I want to make sure that I'm interpreting what you're saying in the right visual that's going on in my head.

Jean:

You're exactly right, and a great mentor of mine, because I have that same tendency, maybe of I feel like I need all the information before I make a decision. He would always share this with me. It's a crawl, walk, run, jean. You don't have to start running, you could start by crawling. Crawling in terms of investing, your right is again starting with that retirement plan. Usually in your retirement plan they have things that are called target date funds. It's an easy way to invest for your retirement and it really takes all the decision making out of you because a professional money manager is managing all of the companies that are invested in that target fund. That, to me, is one of the easiest ways to start.

Audra:

Everybody. Just take a deep breath and start. Money is not necessarily scary. Although some of us may have been raised with it to be scary and raised with the taboo to not talk about it. I think everyone should start talking about it. I think that we should erase the taboos around money and just start moving forward. Jean, we're really getting close to running out of time. If the audience wanted to reach out to you and had questions because of your expertise, is there a way that they could connect with you?

Jean:

Yeah, so I would encourage anyone that has questions, feel free to reach out and connect with me on LinkedIn. First name Jean. Last name LYNN. I welcome any of your audience members. Reach out and connect via LinkedIn.

Audra:

I will do one better In the show notes. I will make sure that your link to your LinkedIn bio is in the show notes. If they have any questions about investing, saving or any of the other topics that we discussed today, they can reach out to you there. Also, make sure that everybody be on the lookout for her book. When the book finally does publish and launch, I will make sure that Jean lets me know so I can blast that over all of our social pages so everybody is aware. I want to give you one last moment with the audience without me jabbering on, to give you a final and lasting sentiment to the audience. I'll go ahead and step back and let you have it.

Jean:

Thanks, audra. I really enjoyed our conversation today. I think the last thing I would just share and one thing I hear from so many women when they find out I'm a financial planner, the first thing they say is they beat themselves up. They say I should know more about investing or I need to spend more time on that. I want to first say eliminate the shame from money and investing. Don't shame yourself for not knowing how to invest. Don't shame yourself for past money decisions. What you can do today is the most important thing. There's so many easy ways to start investing. That's what I would say is eliminate blaming and shaming from the past. It's so understandable why women are alienated from the financial industry. If anyone's seen the, if you look at Hollywood, what do we see portrayed in the financial industry? You hear greed is good. There's so many horrible things that are portrayed in the financial industry. But I go back to the point money is power. If women want to be independent, becoming financially independent is the way to me that women can be more empowered than ever before.

Audra:

Thank you for giving us that reminder and that we need to let go our former relationship and our former emotions with money and just move forward. Thank you for that reminder and thank you for writing a book that helps eliminate that alienation between women and investing and just simply relationship with money. Thank you for taking the time to write that so it doesn't feel big and scary like we have to defend ourselves against. It becomes something that we can embrace and use as a tool to find freedom, whatever that freedom may look like. Thank you so much for taking the time to be here with me and have this conversation and share it with the audience. Thank you.

Jean:

Audra, I had a fantastic time.

Audra:

I had a wonderful time with you and I can't wait until the book launches. It'll be a fascinating read. I most definitely will be there to read it and gobble up all the information, because Lord knows.

Jean:

I need it.

Audra:

So thank you for being here, and I want to thank all of you for being here, and we'll see you again next time.

Understanding and Changing Money Mindsets
Women's Perception of Risk in Finance
Investment Options, Market Uncertainty, Breaking Money Habits
Empowering Women in Financial Investing
Thanking the Author for Empowering Women