Preview to Money and 2016 Presidential Debates

It’s been a difficult week with all of us suffering from the continued racial discord in our country. Amidst it all, the stock market marches onward, and it was a rocky week with the Fed’s commentary on the potential future upward trajectory of interest rates.  

So much is going on, right?


If you’re like me, you are getting fired up for the debates tonight. If we’re lucky, we will witness a sparring between Hillary and Donald on the issues. Unfortunately, most debates (and the associated gains or losses for the candidates) are based on how candidates look saying stuff, rather than what they say, as outlined extensively in The Atlantic’s recent “Who Will Win” article. I hope that we do not fall into this trap, especially because the significance of image in this is election seems even greater than in the past.


That said, I want to share several money issues I think you should be focused on during this election season.




Money Issues for Election 2016


According to a July Pew Study, voters cite that the 5 top issues of this are:

  • The economy
  • Terrorism
  • Foreign policy
  • Health care
  • Gun policy (Lord knows that we in Chicago need that last one)


Yes, what happens in the economy will affect your money, but I also want to see a discussion on pressing issues that will influence your pocketbook - child care and maternity/paternity leave, student loan debt, and social security.


On the child care front, I am even more sensitive to this issue after listening to Dr. Anne-Marie Slaughter give a talk at the Chicago Foundation for Women. Regardless of whether you have your own kid or not, this issue touches us all. You remember Dr. Slaughter, right? She wrote the article “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All,” four years ago. Last week, she said something that shocked me:


“Child care costs more than rent in each of the 50 states.”


I fact checked it and found a few studies, one in particular showing that daycare fees for two children (an infant and a 4-year-old) exceeded annual median rent payments in every state in the U.S. last year. This is crazy, especially since this study doesn’t even account for the quality of child care, which will surely impact the price.


Regardless of who becomes the next President of the U.S., nothing that he or she will do will take shape for some time. In the meanwhile, we all still must grapple with what can each of us do to improve our situation today. So…..


Here’s Some Money Advice

With three months to go in this year, I want to challenge you to continue to make smart money decisions. I asked some of you to share successes of failures. Thank you for all the responses! Continue to send these my way.


I want to give a shout-out to Lynda M., who shared that she is working on an entrepreneurial venture and taking steps to build her product. If you remember nothing else, remember that wealth creation through entrepreneurship is a viable option. Congrats, Lynda for taking the big leap of faith to invest in you.


Have a wonderful week and I hope you continue to find joy in all our craziness.



Time To Go Next Level : The Show Is Here

Last week, I posed the following question:  

What are you doing to equip women with the tools to manage their wealth, pass it down to the next generation successfully, and thus make our society better?


Well, I heard some great responses and I am proud to be a part of a community who wants to equip the next generation of leaders. My answer to this very question is quite simple – I am launching the Charisse Says Show, to help you keep building the wealth and invest. While I invite and encourage men to join in, I especially want to speak to the ladies.


I have a special spot for my gals because the data suggests that we will be making more decisions, and when we do invest, we do it quite well. And, when we empower our women with knowledge and confidence, they rise to the occasion. As a woman, I am a living testimony to the joy one feels after making investments and taking it to the next level.


And, everyone should care because women are leading the financial decisions of many of our households, and thus their actions affect us all. In fact, results from a Pew Research Center survey show that a record 40% of all U.S. households with children under the age of 18 include mothers who are either the sole or primary source of income for the family. The share was just 11% in 1960.


If you do not believe me, here’s what the research says about women versus men when it comes to money and investing:



  • 8 in 10 women confess they have refrained from discussing their finances with those they are close to. But, 75% of women want to learn more about money and investing. The study also shows that confidence is a leading factor holding women back. – Fidelity Money Fit Study


  • There is a gap in savings behaviors--whereas close to half of men (45%) are willing to take on a high risk in order to achieve a good return on investment, this falls to just 28% of women. Also, for women investors, cash represents a greater proportion of their total investment than men, 68% compared to 59%. – Blackrock Global Investor Pulse Survey


  • Results from the Merrill Lynch Investment Personality Assessment show that women were
far more likely than men to say they had lower levels of financial knowledge. But, roughly half of women and 55% of men say that they personally wanted to take part in making changes to their investment approach. And, nearly 100% of participants, regardless of gender, said they desired the support of an experienced advisor or money manager to help in making productive investment decisions. – Merrill Lynch Behavioral Study on Women and Investing.


  • Men trade 45 percent more than women. Trading reduces men’s net returns by 2.65 percentage points a year as opposed to 1.72 percentage points for women, leading to an almost 1 percentage point difference in returns. – Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2001


  • In a research study by automating investing platform, women investors change their asset allocation less than men. Research has shown that when you make more frequent allocation changes, like men do, you can hurt your returns. – Betterment Research Study


The differences between men and women when it comes to investing suggest an opportunity to help women to gain confidence and make investment decisions. Well, the Charisse Says Show is coming this Wednesday to fulfill just this goal. Through the blood, sweat, and tears, it is finally here.


The show will offer a practical and entertaining series that motivates women to achieve their dreams by continuing to build their wealth. This 10 episode series is the loving push needed to turn thoughts into action when it comes to investing, saving, and earning money.


When it comes to money, many people are scared of making the wrong choices. They are afraid of losing the money they already have and being misguided by false information. Well, I want to empower viewers to use what they already have as a way to make investments and have fun at the same time. I want to remove the fear when it comes to money and creates sound strategies needed to achieve financial goals at any income-level.


So, tune in this Wednesday, September 30th at 7pm CST and join the journey to take it next level. Let’s go!


Why Intergenerational Wealth Matters

Like it or not, women will control a huge chuck of the money over the next 40 years. According to the Boston College Center on Wealth and Philanthropy, women will inherit 70% of the $41 trillion of the intergenerational wealth that will change hands over the next four decades. Women outlive their men and currently make most of the purchases in the United States, which means that a women’s ability to manage her wealth have implications for society at large.  

Intergenerational wealth transfer is a huge topic near and dear to my heart because I’ve seen the effects of wealth on successive generations. When I was a student at Yale University, some of my fellow classmates had access to opportunities and experiences because of their family’s wealth.


At the time, we called them “the rich kids with silver spoons” who didn’t know a hard day’s work. Now, some of them did live up to the snobby stereotype that usually comes along with this characterization, but most did not. Many students from wealthy families appreciated hard work, as evidenced by the fact that they worked their way to Yale. But, their road seemed a bit easier, a little less cumbersome.




Well, these students also had a super high degree of cultural capital, which comes as a result of being exposed to a diverse set of experiences albeit art, culture, world travel, or non-traditional learning environments. They’ve tasted the fruits of success first-hand because of the environment around them. Basically, they’ve had access to experiences by the age of 18 that most people do not have over a lifetime.


Cultural capital allows you to think differently about the world. You tend to imagine yourself as the business owner, not the employee. You are confident that you your education will always provide you with a path foward. You dream big because those around you do; you do not know how to think small. You, or your parents, can easily tap into a network to achieve your goals. You are not confined by the current circumstance because you believe that you can always create a new one. You truly believe that you can change the world.


My parents, in their infinite wisdom, sent me to Yale for this very reason. They had already laid a great foundation for my brother and I by exposing us to a world beyond Long Island, but they knew what I didn’t – I (and the entire family) would come out with a new level of cultural capital that they didn’t have at 22-years-old. Of course, cultural capital isn't everything, but it changes you. I had an amazing childhood, but they wanted me to have something even more as I entered adulthood. This was their type of wealth transfer to me. Thank God for parents!


Now, this is not a discussion on the virtues of the Ivies or higher education, but I do want to suggest that cultural capital matters, however it is obtained. I am confident that wealth creation is a vehicle to cultural capital, and when you can transfer wealth from one generation to another, society benefits.


As a result, creating wealth that can pass from generation to generation is an important objective to maintain a way of thinking and operating in the world. And, if women are going to receive a lot of the generational wealth transfer, then they must be equipped to preserve their wealth and grow it even more.


So, what are you doing to equip women with the tools to manage their wealth, pass it down to the next generation successfully, and thus make our society better?


I will share my views on this very question next week.