Janelle Nelson retired in 2016 after 33 years in finance, including 23 years as a Vice President/Portfolio Analyst at RBC Wealth Management. As she lives out her “Act 2”, Nelson just started her third year mentoring undergraduate business students. She was signed in 2017 as a classic commercial/fashion model and voiceover talent with several agencies. Follow her @janellenelson

90% of women will be required to handle family finances during their lifetime.

In a perfect world, we would jump at the opportunity to understand and manage our money in a holistic manner. A holistic approach means understanding behavioral nance in addition to understanding investments. Behavioral nance means understanding how human nature can often negatively impact investment decisions. Risk is both personality- driven, and often is outside our control.

We do not live in a perfect world. But we can get better at this.

I loved my 33-year career in nance, most of that time as a portfolio analyst for a top Wall Street rm. My responsibilities included co-managing more than $2 billion in two research-driven model stock portfolios. Because our discipline took a conservative and easy-to-understand approach and offered an attractive yield, many private investors included these portfolios in their retirement accounts.

I observed two consistent themes as I spent time with thousands of high net-worth investors, many of them two-career couples:

• Women are bright and ask great questions but lack confidence around $$. Yet several academic studies show that women manage money as well as men, and usually with less risk.

• Men often take the lead, because it’s socially acceptable for men to self- select as the family financial manager. The ‘bro’ connection is additionally

reinforced, by the fact that most financial advisors (85%) are men. AARGH!!!

I have long believed, with passion, that women deserve to embrace the power and security that understanding money brings, and use that skill to support other women. As Sally Krawcheck, CEO of Elevate said at this summer’s Mobilize Women Symposium, “Don’t reinvent the wheel – join a powerful community of women who have your back”. I believe the Pro.Age.Woman community is just that.

Wall Street does a great job convincing investors that money is waaaay too complicated without an MBA and tax attorney in hand. I disagree completely. Three simple mantras served me well over 33 years in nance:

• Engaging trusted professionals yields multiple dividends • Common sense serves us better than an MBA

• Focus first on what is within your control, and understand how to manage your fears about what’s outside your control

I’m delighted to use this monthly space in the Pro.Age.Woman Newsletter to explore topics that matter to YOU! Please select 3 topics that are most interesting to you, and email me back at Janellenelson1@mac.com . I want to focus on what’s most important to you! After all, this is your newsletter!

• Money Personalities 101
• Retire Ready Checklist
• Why Asset Allocation?
• The Power of Dividends
• What’s My Risk Tolerance?
• How to Choose a Financial Advisor
• Behavioral Finance: Taming the Mental Monster • The Cycle that Hides in Plain Sight

• The Rule of 72
• What’s Your (and your partner’s) Money Style?
• I’m A Saver (Spender), but my Partner Isn’t! Now What? • Strategies to Lower the Stress of Money Conversations

Finally…a quick story why it’s important to embrace this life stage of passion and purpose. When I retired, I took a big step and stopped coloring

my hair, letting the silver and gray bloom in full! And then, I was scouted and signed as a classic model, all because of that silver hair! From the stock market to the runway…who would have thought?! And I’m having a blast in ways I never expected.

So let’s continue the conversation between us, Great Broads who get money!

We invite you to join the conversation by submitting a comment below.

Janelle Nelson