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Episode #10 | Barbara Huson: ReWire – Women, Wealth & Power

“Just because money comes to us, doesn’t mean we will use it; doesn’t mean we’ll use our voices. Take your seat. Use your voice. Make a difference and use your money as a tool for doing so.”

– Barbara Huson

Imagine you wake up to find that your husband has blown through your entire inheritance, went abroad, and left behind a $1 million tax bill. Oh, and you signed joint tax returns so that bill is now yours. Welcome to the nightmare situation in which Barbara Huson found herself. But she’s here to tell us how she turned those lemons into lemonade. Barbara not only paid back the entire tax liability, but she’s also shared invaluable lessons about women, wealth, and power with thousands of others over the ensuing decades.

About Barbara Huson

Barbara Huson true WELLth Podcast

Barbara Huson is the leading authority on women, wealth, and power. As a best-selling author, teacher, and wealth coach, she has helped millions take charge of their finances and their lives. Barbara’s background in business, her years as a journalist, her education and research in counseling psychology, and her personal experience with money give her a unique perspective on empowering women to live up to their financial and personal potential. She has been featured on “Good Morning America,” “The View,” “Extra,” and multiple times on CNN, MSNBC, CNBC, Fox News, PBS, and NPR. Barbara has also contributed to The New York Times and USA Today, and is the author of six books about women and money.

Show Notes

After hearing about Barbara’s work for years, I first met her eight years ago when I attended a retreat she held on the campus of John Hopkins University. To put it mildly, we “clicked” immediately and have stayed in touch and supported each other’s work ever since. During the episode, Barbara said, “It’s not about the money, it’s about the power. When we step into our power and become good stewards of our money, we change.” This perfectly sums up not only Barbara’s personal beliefs about money but also the way she has inspired countless other women to better understand and manage their finances.

When I joined Brighton Jones, Barbara came in to learn about our firm and how we do business. It was such a joy to be able to share with her an example of an advisory firm that has all of the characteristics she counsels her clients to seek out when looking for professional advice: a holistic, fiduciary relationship which utilizes an index-like (we called it “evidenced-based”) approach to investing and which focuses on a client’s total balance sheet.

Manisha’s Top Takeaways

  1. Barbara’s personal story of financial loss and redemption shows the power of owning your financial life and working with quality financial advisors.
    In the episode, Barbara was open and transparent about financial mistakes she made early in her life and what she did to correct them. What really struck me was that the “magic formula” involved two parties—both Barbara taking responsibility for her financial future AND Barbara doing the due diligence to find quality fiduciary advisors to do the implementation and advising around her hard-earned money. [3:00]
  2. The role of the ego (spoiler alert: you don’t have to silence it)
    It was fascinating to hear Barbara say that after spending 71 years on this planet, she had concluded that having a goal of silencing the ego was unrealistic. Instead, she advocated adopting an outlook that she first heard from a unity minister: “Be content but never satisfied.” That jolted me, as it is contrary to so much of the advice in the wellness world. As Barbara elaborated on this concept, highlighting that “being purpose driven” from a place of contentment is very different than being purpose driven from a place of frenzy and fear. [5:30]
  3. “Women,” money,” and “power” are three words that the financial services industry still does not have a solid understanding of.
    Barbara highlighted two tangible reasons why the financial services industry should not stop trying to re-wire its approach to working with women: (1) women will be in charge of the bulk of the $40 trillion of intergeneration wealth transfer expected to happen over the next few decades and (2) women tend to be very loyal. Once women find services they love, they don’t just come back, but they share recommendations with their friends and family. The downside is that women tend to take significantly longer than men to decide on an advisor or advisory firm. As such, wealth management firms need to readjust their expectations around the time of the “sales cycle” when it comes to seeking new female clients. [14:30]

Other Major Topics

  • The unique family Barbara grew up in [2:30]
  • The useful powers of our ego [6:10]
  • The way most of us try to silence our ego and what to do instead [7:10]

Resources Cited in the Episode

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