Can you remember the moment when your relationship with money matured? Maybe you slipped into debt for the first time and promised yourself it’d never happen again. Or perhaps you realised the true cost of buying a home and set a goal to make it happen.
In her new book, Reuters personal finance columnist Bobbi Rebell calls moments like these becoming a “financial grownup.”
In “How To Be A Financial Grownup,” Rebell gathered stories from business and finance leaders like Tony Robbins, Jim Cramer, Ivanka Trump, and Kevin O’Leary, detailing their early experiences with money and their best advice for reaching financial success.
One story features Sallie Krawcheck — the former Wall Street executive and founder of online investing adviser for women, Ellevest — who admits her “financial grownup moment” didn’t happen until age 28, when she discovered her husband had been unfaithful and they decided to get a divorce.
“Not only was I mad, but I also felt stupid,” she said.
“Here I was, building a career on Wall Street, but managing my own finances like a 1950s-era, stay-at-home housewife. He paid the bills, he made the financial decisions. I didn’t even know what our assets were,” Krawcheck admitted. “I never expected my marriage to end, so the division of labour felt like it made sense. It didn’t. It just didn’t.”
Krawcheck quickly realised she needed to get out of the backseat and take control of her personal finances. She now advises all of us “to be engaged in our finances.”
“Stuff happens, stuff you don’t expect. People get unexpectedly divorced, and people pass away unexpectedly. Combining the trauma of these things (I went down to 108 pounds during my divorce) with the confusion over getting up to speed on finances … with the spouse possibly out of the picture … is a recipe for financial disaster,” she said.
Following the divorce, Krawcheck eventually became one of the most powerful women in banking as an executive at Bank of America and Citigroup. Now, she encourages women to take control of their finances through Ellevest, a digital investment platform that helps clients invest their money through portfolios of low-cost ETFs.
The platform focuses on the specific financial goals of each user, removing the amorphous ambition of “building wealth” and steering clear of “beating the market.” Krawcheck is also the chair of Ellevate Network, a global professional network for women.