Understanding Your Money Story with Amy Cook

Amy Cook, MSPFP, MPAS®, CFP®, is the proud founder of Maven Lane Financial Group in San Mateo, CA. Listen in as she discusses why understanding your money story is such a crucial part of attaining financial independence.

Amy Cook, MSPFP, MPAS®, CFP®, is the proud founder of Maven Lane Financial Group in San Mateo, CA. She has over 15 years of experience as a financial advisor and is no stranger to the unique financial challenges that women face. We’re so excited to have her in our Purse Strings network and on the show today to share insights from her new book, Your Money Narrative.

Listen in as Amy discusses why understanding your money story is such a crucial part of attaining financial independence. We’ll explore societal expectations, gender roles, and the impact of early experiences on our financial decisions. Stay tuned for a great conversation on breaking free from limiting money narratives and empowering the next generation by sharing our money stories!


Here’s some of what we discuss in this episode:


  • Forming beliefs and decisions about money based on your previous experiences
  • How gender roles and societal expectations impact these money stories
  • Breaking free from limiting money narratives by talking about your experiences and challenging your ingrained beliefs
  • How we can use our money stories to inspire and empower the next generation to be financially savvy and independent
  • Amy’s new book + choices and personal priorities in budgeting


Learn a little more about Amy:


Early in her career, Amy managed a mortgage company branch, witnessing clients reactively approaching financial decisions. Determined to help people avoid mistakes, she became a financial advisor in 2009, driven by a passion for guiding clients to realistic, attainable goals. Now the proud founder of Maven Lane Financial Group in the Bay area, she advocates for proactive personal finance.

Amy pursued financial education, earning her CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification and a Master’s degree in Personal Financial Planning. With clients in various life stages and industries, Amy aims to be part of your financial team, offering guidance in the ever-changing landscape of financial planning.

Amy is thrilled about her new book, Your Money Narrative, and is a mother of two grown daughters. In her spare time, she enjoys being home with her cute cats and working on passion projects, including decorating, antiques, and a series of children’s books about collections.


Episode Links:


Where you can find Amy:



Read an excerpt from Amy’s book, Your Money Narrative


Your Money Narrative Checklists


Amy on social media




Transforming Your Money Mindset with Pam Richardson

Are you ready to transform your money mindset? Today’s guest is seasoned money coach who brings a wealth of personal experience, education, and a versatile toolbox of approaches to help her clients escape the cycle of financial dysfunction and build emotional health. Pam Richardson’s journey is a testament to the fact that changing a lifetime’s worth of money habits is a process that doesn’t happen overnight.

Pam empowers her clients to find confidence, clarity, and calm within their financial lives. Through her expertise and unique perspective, she provides a lifeline for individuals who have struggled with chronic overspending, debt, unhappiness, damaged relationships, and self-deception when it comes to money. Her approach is rooted in removing the shame, guilt, and stigma associated with financial struggles as she dives straight into the heart of the problem.

Pam joins us today to talk about how taking a mindful approach to your finances, setting boundaries, and adopting good financial habits can lead to a more secure and fulfilling financial future. She also offers practical advice for building a dream team of financial experts to guide your journey. Whether you’re managing a small budget or a substantial windfall, this episode has something valuable to offer you. Tune in and become financially fearless!


Here’s some of what we discuss in this episode:


  • The importance of understanding and improving your money mindset to make better financial decisions
  • How can women effectively manage inherited wealth and protect their financial future?
  • Building a team of financial professionals, like financial planners and estate planners, to help you navigate your financial journey
  • Identifying your core values and aligning your spending with what truly matters to you


Learn a little more about Pam:


Pam is a native New Englander who was born, raised, and educated in NH. She’s a mom to two grown and flown children, wife to Harvey, and a Gigi to the love of her life – Violet, who she adores beyond words.

Pam loves reality TV – namely Shark Tank, Undercover Boss, Amazing Race, and all iterations of the Bachelor. #guiltyascharged. She also loves traveling and has been to 46 of the 50 states and 12 foreign countries. Her favorite indulgences include coconut and chocolate (especially when combined).


Episode Links:








Download your copy of the Where Is Your Money Going spreadsheet:



Using the Marble Jar Strategy to Find a Trustworthy Financial Advisor

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Using the Marble Jar Strategy to Find a Trustworthy Financial Advisor

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How do you get to the place where you completely trust your financial advisor? I recommend you make it your goal to find a “Marble Jar Advisor” – an advisor who, over time, has consistently put more and more marbles in their jar. What do I mean by marbles? Let me share my inspiration for this strategy and how you can use it to find a trustworthy financial advisor.

Recently, I listened to Brené Brown, a world-renowned researcher, explain her concept of a “Marble Jar Friend” on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. She described her daughter’s third-grade teacher who added or subtracted marbles from a jar to either reward or punish classroom behavior. The goal was to fill the jar with as many marbles as possible. Brené used that example to describe certain friends as “Marble Jar Friends” – those people in our lives who add lots of marbles to their jars with small, consistent acts. Over time these acts create trust. While grand gestures are nice, it’s the day-to-day moments that count.

As I listened to Brené, I realized that the same holds true for the relationship you have with your financial advisor. A “Marble Jar Advisor” is one that you trust without question. Trust is perhaps the most critical component to the advisor/client relationship. It’s what allows you to feel that you are in a safe space to be vulnerable, speak your truth and take risks. A financial life plan is worthless if you don’t feel that way. When trust is the centerpiece, power is granted to the relationship between you and your advisor, instead of power vesting only in the advisor. This trust creates a true partnership of equals.

Brené breaks down trust into seven components that are important to establish a solid relationship. Let’s see how they can apply to the relationship you have with your financial life advisor, financial life planner, or financial coach.


You need to be able to count on your advisor to follow through every time and be true to their word. You also need to know that they are listening to you on the deepest level and that he or she is there for you. But don’t forget to hold yourself to the same high standard. You need to be reliable and “show up” in both the literal and figurative sense. You need to be reliably committed to the process of financial life planning in order to make it work.


From the beginning, it is important to have clear expectations and boundaries. Financial life planning is often an intimate experience. It can trigger early money messages, both positive and negative, and it pushes you to really clarify your values and dreams. And when it is done with your significant other, a whole new dimension of relationship dynamics is added into the mix. You and your advisor should discuss boundaries ahead of time. How far can your financial life advisor or life planner push you? How far can they delve into topics? Confirm that they will ask for permission if they aren’t sure. These kinds of clear boundaries are crucial to establish a safe space.


Your financial advisor is human and he or she will make a mistake at some point. You need to know that he or she will own the mistake, apologize for it, and make it right to the best of his or her ability. You also need to know that they will be holding you accountable to yourself and your vision.


It goes without saying that confidentiality is king. If your financial advisor starts sharing confidential or personal information with you about their other clients, that’s a clue that it’s time to find someone new.


Similar to the vault, it should be a given that your advisor will always do what is right and act as a fiduciary, putting your best interest first. However, there’s another important piece of the integrity puzzle – speaking the truth without sugarcoating it. You need to know that your advisor will say the hard things, not just the easy, happy ones.


Your financial life advisor should approach every topic with curiosity and with only your agenda in mind. A “right” or “wrong” answer is incredibly rare in financial life planning. There are almost always shades of gray – where the “textbook” answer doesn’t take into account all of the unique variations of a particular situation. You should always feel educated and empowered by your advisor to come to your own decisions. Also, make sure you come to the table with an open mind as well. 


There are many definitions but in Brené’s research on trust, a person is generous when he or she gives you the benefit of the doubt and assumes that there are good intentions underlying your words and actions. Your advisor/life planner must believe in you with all his or her heart – that you are creative, resourceful, and capable of achieving your vision.

When all of these elements come together, you will have yourself a “Marble Jar Advisor” – a relationship that will allow you to embrace and enjoy your journey towards your uniquely fulfilling life’s vision.

Are you looking to establish a trusting relationship with a financial life planner? Please feel free to schedule a complimentary Financial Life Plan Discovery Session with me to so we can begin to get to know each other and see if we can partner on your journey towards a financially satisfying future.

Abbey Henderson CFP® RLP® CPCC®

Abbey Henderson CFP® RLP® CPCC®

CEO, Wealth Advisor & Coach

I love working with women because women tend to be more relationship-oriented and it is the relationship that is my favorite part of being an advisor. I also find that women are often my most engaged and collaborative clients.

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