Written by Ron Speaker
"She’s Got Game”
Recently, my two sons and I toasted my wife for her incredible +317% investment gain in three weeks on four extra Hamilton tickets during our weekly Taco Tuesday dinner. This undoubtedly surpassed anything I have done in the financial markets this year! After shyly announcing her game plan three weeks prior, she exited her trade tonight, which was worthy of the double Topo-Chico toast and high-fives.
This confidence builder was timely, as I have encouraged her to get more involved with our financial affairs after completing our estate planning several years ago. I was haunted by the thought of someone less qualified than myself taking over if I was to pass on too early, and I wanted her to be a savvy family financial quarterback. Still, I couldn't figure out a way to share valuable financial lessons that I have learned over 36 years of professional investing without interrupting the rhythm of a household with two young children.
In response, I created Aspen Women's Wealth to organize resources, recommend books, provide frequent helpful financial inspiration in digestible bites, and host several in-person events each year to help women with similar interests make connections. My goal was to help educate my own family, our friends, existing clients, and women who have reached out for financial direction over the years. It would be a way to serve both my family and community.
To help my wife "get in the game" of investing, I encouraged her to open her own individual brokerage account at Charles Schwab — not another joint account that we commonly used. I wanted her to go through the digital paperwork process as the frustration causes many people to abandon the pursuit, so I committed to supporting her. The capital we contributed would be used as her training ground where mistakes could be made, and lessons could be learned; I call this worthy tuition. The account would be hers to manage without my interference. She would be responsible for making all the trades and learning to use confusing terms such as market orders, limit orders, pre-market and extended market trading decisions.
Then the question begged, where should she begin?
To help her find investment ideas, I told her to observe our family life with a new lens and analyze where we spend our money. We discussed how good investment ideas are often in plain sight: around our homes, in our closets, within our tech universe, inside the garage, or at the grocery store. I told her she has always been a great source of my investment ideas through her online and in-person shopping, electronic payment methods, and choices of shoes, apparel, banks, restaurants, and services. I realized I had failed to connect the dots for her or reveal that I have always observed our spending patterns, product providers, and online activities as never-ending sources of investment possibilities. She unknowingly introduced me to great companies by dragging me to malls, sending me to coffee shops, downloading new apps on my phone, or giving me upgraded workout wear. I had been quietly buying shares in these companies without unveiling that my investment strategy was based on our real-life activities and companies whose products we knew and valued.
Once she opened and funded her own account, things got interesting. She found her own inner "detective of opportunity," as I believe every woman already has inside. When she studied the workout shoe shelf in her office and saw that 10 pairs came from the same manufacturer, she knew she had found her first idea. Now when she hears new product announcements, new catalogs arrive, or we hear about a friend working for a fast-growing company, her opportunity radar is up. She watches and reads digital content with a new mindset, staying open to investment possibilities. She pulls on clothing tags, looks at the bottom boxes, and reads the fine print on packaging to see which companies are making the products she loves.
The Hamilton opportunity came with prior knowledge. She had tried to buy tickets to the Denver show two years ago unsuccessfully after waiting in the online cue for hours. She knew it would be a hot ticket, just like when a new stock IPO hits the market. When she purchased the four extra tickets, she leaned into her rising financial prowess and "got in the game," exactly what I had hoped she would do.
What I loved about her experience was how my wife invested in her zone, something she knew, and that she had the confidence to risk her capital for the possibility of a win for the whole family. While it wasn't part of her new Schwab investment account, it was in her zone of experience and personal interest. Now she has "house money" that allows her to continue searching for opportunities in her account with fresh new confidence.
The mindset of an investor takes time, patience, and practical experience to create. We learn to experience the joys of gains and the painful agony of losses — the markets are always ready to give us a humble pie when our confidence grows too quickly. We learn to trust our instincts, follow a hunch, stay open to new information and be aware of our informational biases. The only way to improve our skills is to get in the game, or as Theodore Roosevelt called it, the arena, and start taking shots.
Aspen Women's Wealth was created to be there when you are ready to become more engaged in your financial affairs. Our steady stream of encouraging Instagram posts, monthly blog posts, and in-person events helps you make connections, learn from leaders in the industry, and remind you that you are more qualified than you may feel. It's time you get in the game. If not now, when?
Ron Speaker is the Founder of Equus Private Wealth and its educational outreach program, Aspen Women's Wealth. You can find more information at www.AspenWomensWealth.com or follow us on Instagram at @aspenwomenswealth.
This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell a security nor considered a recommendation to utilize the services of a specific firm. Please consult your financial professional before deciding to invest. For more information and disclosure related to Equus Private Wealth, please visit our website or view our Form ADV II Brochure on the SEC’s website.