I delighted in attending this seminar tonight with Manisha Thakor, the Women’s Financial Literacy Initiative Founder. Tonight’s presentation was sponsored by Savvy Ladies, a wonderful not-for-profit organization in NYC  headed up by Stacy Francis, an accomplished public speaker as well, and also a practicing fee-only Certified Financial Planner.

Manisha is a Chartered Financial Analyst–a designation I genuflect to–whose passion is educating women about their money. A former money manager, she now devotes her time to speaking and writing books, principally for women. While she spent years analyzing individual securities, she now argues for, and is a strong advocate of, women utilizing index funds for their investment portfolios.

Further, Manisha urges women to ask their financial adviser how they are compensated during the first interview. “If they blush, or can’t look you in the eye” run as fast as you can, was the gist of what she warned insomuch as that means they are paid via commission, which generally isn’t good for you, as the investor. She advised women to ask their prospective financial adviser how often they will meet to review the portfolio, and generally what can be expected from the professional relationship. She prefers women to utilize fee-only financial planners–like Stacy Francis and myself–to avoid investing conflicts of interest.

I couldn’t agree more with her recommendations, as I had transitioned my practice to that of fee-only some 10 years ago, and agree that it poses no conflict of interest. I still manage money for my clients because I enjoy it. I enjoy everything from the creation of a portfolio asset allocation to match my clients’ risk tolerance, to the look of satisfaction in a woman’s eyes as she sees her investments grow. I wholeheartedly urge women to start investing NOW, even with small systematic investment amounts, in order to begin to appreciate the magnificent power of compounding working for them.

We are hard wired with common sense, women, and so much of financial planning is simple common sense.

We Can Do It Women!