Two Important Personal Qualities for Navigating Economic Downturns

Jean Chatzky

Jean Chatzky, the financial editor for NBC’s TODAY, once conducted a large study, in partnership with Merrill Lynch and Harris Interactive, to identify what separated people who were successful—in a wide range of financial situations—from those who were not.

As you might have guessed, saving and having a financial plan was part of the answer. But so was being optimistic and resilient, Chatzky said in a recent conversation.

And, those are the skills we need now—and can cultivate now, she said.

“You can become a more optimistic person if you want to be. One way is to keep track of good things on a daily basis. Keep a gratitude journal or a happiness journey. You have to show yourself that good things do happen, even in bad times.”

As for resilience: “That boils down to control what you can and let go of the rest. You can’t control what others do. You can control what we do.” Likewise, you may not be able to entirely control your income but you can focus on controlling your expenses.

Keeping Perspective Also Helps

“If you have long-term time horizon and are not going to use your money [in the stock market] for the next five, 10, or more years, then take a deep breath and try not to obsess about the financial news,” said Chatzky who has been a financial writer since 1986 and witnessed at least four down-turns before.

“Continue to put money into your 401K and have confidence that based on history we will come back from this. American companies are good at what they do and will figure out how to come back.”

If you need money in the short term, think about where you can get it where it is going to cost you the least in terms of interest, taxes or penalties. That may mean tapping an emergency fund or home equity loan if those are options for you. Taking a hard look at your budget to eliminate unnecessary costs is also, of course, always a good move.

And, while it’s true that the markets don’t like uncertainty, and nobody knows how long this downturn will last, Chatzky sees another side to the story.

“The story I am telling myself is that when I watch Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, “I am confident he is a smart man and people like him will figure this out. Figuring it out in my mind means getting a handle on the health crisis.”

“We have to get a handle on the health crisis to get a handle on economic crisis. And, I believe that even though we don’t know a lot about what’s happening in terms of how long this is going to last and overall economic impact, we are seeing proposals coming from Washington and actions being taken. Day by day, it seems to me that we are moving in the right direction to get this under control.”

In short, Chatzky said: “If you are optimistic about the future of this country, and I am still optimistic, you have to tell yourself that we will eventually get to the right answers and get on back course.”

To learn more, visit Jean Chatzky’s Her Money, a new digital media company focused on improving the relationships women have with money.


More from the April 2020 Newsletter

Posted in Speaker Articles, Financial Fitness Tagged , |

If You’re Worried About Money, Think About This

young woman expressing a perplexed look on her face while examining monthly bills and account balances

Sometimes, one simple shift in thinking can help us know that, whatever the challenge before us, we’ll figure it out. This week, economist and Conference for Women speaker Teresa Ghilarducci provides that reassurance on our latest episode of Women Amplified.

Here it is: If you’re worried about money, think about your future self, and take action that supports that self—not the fearful self that may be activated in this moment.

Fear triggers chemicals in your brain that will make you want to do something to blast that fear away now. But those actions may not be in your long-term best interest.

So, what should you do—especially if you’re dealing with a loss of income or feeling rocked by the volatility in the stock market?

“You have to do something, but you have to do something for your medium-term and long-term self,” says Ghilarducci, a professor of economics at the New School for Social Research in New York City.

Focusing on the future, instead of this more anxious moment, will help you take charge. And from that more empowered mindset, you will be better positioned to take constructive action—on what Ghilarducci says should be three priority areas:

  1. Spending. If you don’t have a budget, this is the time to set it up—and watch it carefully. Fortunately, discretionary spending for many items—from Starbucks to hair care—is down. And we just might discover how many impulse purchases we don’t truly care about, which could help keep expenses permanently down.
  2. Debt. If you have credit card debt, ask the company to suspend payment without extra interest for the next two months—and to lower your interest rate while they’re at it. If you have a mortgage, do the same thing: ask for a two-month suspension without any extra interest accruing.
  3. Investments. If you can, look at your 401k accounts and make sure you know how much more you need to save to get on target. And, says Ghilarducci, remember that your asset values will probably come back in a year and a half. So, be patient.

Tune in to hear the full conversation with Theresa Ghilarducci on the Conferences for Women podcast, Women Amplified.


More from the April 2020 Newsletter

Posted in Speaker Articles, Financial Fitness Tagged |

Creating Financial Health During Crisis

Teresa Ghilarducci

Although life has come to a screeching halt, concerns over money have not—financial fear and distress are at an all-time high.

Our latest episode of Women Amplified features economist and author Teresa Ghilarducci, who offers invaluable and actionable ways you can take control of your finances in the short-term and create long-term financial health. Learn sustainable daily habits to maximize your paycheck and savings, help you budget in crisis-mode, manage debt, and continue planning for retirement. Read More

Play
Posted in Financial Fitness, Podcasts, Women Amplified: A Podcast from the Conferences for Women Tagged , |

4 Money Tips to Help You Have More Time to Do What You Love

Tonya Rapley

Tonya Rapley, who Black Enterprise Magazine called the “New Face of Wealth Building,” is on a mission to help women break the cycle of living paycheck-to-paycheck and do more of what they love.

Author of The Money Manual and founder of My Fab Finance, Tonya offers these tips for making better decisions about money: Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Financial Fitness Tagged , , |

ENCORE | Your Money: A Pathway to a Richer Life | 2019 Session

What do we want from our money? Some of us look for independence and security, while others desire more choices and a better way of life. But all of us want to experience less stress around money. So, now that women have more money—and power—than ever before, how can we start making our money work for us? In this session, Today Show financial editor and bestselling author Jean Chatzky will share what she’s learned about living a financially robust life. She will also present her three-part plan for understanding your life in relationship to your finances. Expect to walk away armed with tactical solutions for getting paid what you deserve, making your money last, leaving a legacy—and, most importantly, feeling joyful while doing it.

Read More

Posted in Financial Fitness, Breakout Session Tagged , , |

Your Money: A Pathway to a Richer Life | 2019 Session

What do we want from our money? Some of us look for independence and security, while others desire more choices and a better way of life. But all of us want to experience less stress around money. So, now that women have more money—and power—than ever before, how can we start making our money work for us? In this session, Today Show financial editor and bestselling author Jean Chatzky will share what she’s learned about living a financially robust life. She will also present her three-part plan for understanding your life in relationship to your finances. Expect to walk away armed with tactical solutions for getting paid what you deserve, making your money last, leaving a legacy—and, most importantly, feeling joyful while doing it.

Read More

Posted in Financial Fitness, Breakout Session Tagged , , |

Mind the Gap: Negotiating Your Salary | 2019 Session

Are you negotiating to the best of your ability? No matter what industry you are in, knowing how to negotiate is an essential skill for communicating your value and advancing your career. Whether you are negotiating on behalf of yourself or others, this session will cover how to prepare for a negotiation, present yourself effectively, and respond to pushback. A panel of experts will provide you with important talking points and insights to consider before your next business negotiation.

Read More

Posted in Marketing Yourself & Your Small Business, Communication Skills, Financial Fitness, Negotiating, Job Advancement, Breakout Session Tagged , , , , , |

You Asked. She Answered.

Charmaine McClarie

Q: Is there a good comeback for when someone repeats your idea and takes credit for it? I usually just sit there and think: What just happened?

A: Charmaine McClarie, leadership expert and executive coach says: You can simply say, ‘Excellent idea. I’m really glad that you agree. And I have three strategies that will make a difference as we move this forward.’ Then send out an email and identify what they are so that everyone knows it’s you.

 


More from the June 2019 Newsletter

Posted in Speaker Articles, Marketing Yourself & Your Small Business, Financial Fitness, Small Business Tagged , |

4 Proven Strategies that Will Help You Get a Raise

How to get paid

The gender pay gap became front-page news last month after presidential candidate Kamala Harris announced a proposal that would require companies to prove they pay women equitably—or pay a fine.

But if you don’t want to wait to see what comes of that, here are four tips that expert Conference for Women speakers say have helped them negotiate salary increases: Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Financial Fitness Tagged , , , , |

5 Smart Steps For Future Entrepreneurs

Ann Miura-Ko, a founding partner of Floodgate

So you have a great idea for a business. What’s your next move?

First, take an honest assessment of your personality. Claire Lee, head of early stage banking at Silicon Valley Bank, has noticed three traits in successful entrepreneurs.

“Number one is adaptability: the ability to pivot, really be open to feedback and advice, knowing which to take and which to ignore,” Lee says. “Number two, and perhaps as important, is resilience and grit—you’ve really got to develop a thick skin. And third is resourcefulness—being able to leverage your network, know where to get help and not be afraid to ask for help, is critical.”

Did you check all three boxes? Great! Here are five more starter steps to help you forge a path forward: Read More

Posted in Speaker Articles, Marketing Yourself & Your Small Business, Financial Fitness, Small Business Tagged , , , , |
Lock in early bird pricing before July 10! Register Now
X

What you need to succeed in work and life now.

Smart, timely insights from inspiring women.
Delivered twice monthly to more than 150,000 subscribers.