Hired Help


Hired Help

hired help, financial professional, money, pro

Picking a Pro to Manage Your Money

Turning to an expert for financial advice is a smart move. Even the savviest woman sometimes struggles with money management. According to a  Money.com survey, only 36% of women are satisfied with their net worth. What’s more, about 37% of women are unhappy with their investment portfolio.

Clearly, women want better for their money. However, it takes a trained, seasoned professional to know the ins and outs of the industry.

Here’s the challenge, though. When it comes to financial pros, one size hardly ever fits all. You need to pinpoint which big money brain fits the bill. Which one to call, depends on your specific financial concerns.

Sounds like you need a financial expert to pick a financial expert, right? Thankfully, no–just some advice to point you in the right direction. Read on for helpful information and advice.


37% of women are unhappy with their investment portfolio

hired help, financial professional, money, pro

Look for certification

There’s not much stopping people with little or no experience from claiming pro finance expertise. How do you tell the difference between a pro and a schmoe? One good way to separate the fly-by-night types from the true experts: certification. Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation signifies they meet stringent education, examination, experience and ethics requirements. Those three little letters make a big difference. Namely, the pro meets or exceeds a certain level of standards.

Another certification you should note: Purse Strings Approved professionals. It’s our mission to give women better options and service when managing their money. Purse Strings approval proves to the world that a financial pro understands the specialized needs of women and how they want to be served.

How do they get paid?

The way a financial pro gets paid for handling your money varies. If they’re providing a one-time service, like an accountant handling one year of returns, it’s likely a one-time fee. A stockbroker usually works on commission–they take a certain percentage of your earnings. Ask about compensation upfront and be sure you are clear on every detail before you consider them.

Types of professionals

There are about as many stripes of financial professionals, as there are ways to spend your money. Let’s look at some key varieties.


These folks provide individuals and companies advice on tax matters. Reach out for assistance tangling with your returns, maximizing deductions and ensuring you don’t pay more than you have to. Certified Public Accountants are licensed by individual states–it makes sense because no two states have identical tax laws.

Insurance agent:

We’ve talked about the vital types of insurance women should have. The next step: connecting with a pro to determine what types of coverage and plans you need. Call on an agent to determine which policies fit your life situation. They can ensure your coverage isn’t too heavy, or too light, but just right.

Investment adviser:

Want to make your money work for you? Investment advisers connect individuals with securities advice. Registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission, they can guide clients toward smart investment opportunities.


These pros are licensed by their respective states to buy and sell stocks, bonds, mutual funds and the like. They must be registered with companies with Financial Industry Regulatory Authority membership.

Estate planner:

A simple will usually isn’t enough to dispatch your assets after you’re gone. An estate planner handles the important details you might not know about. These include estate taxes and other issues that need to be dealt with.


Your money matters–it’s important to find pros you can trust with your finances.

If you need answers or advice, reach out to Purse Strings–we’d love to talk.

We will provide you useful and timely information you can use to be #financiallyfearless

Strategies to Engage Today’s Female Consumers


Strategies to Engage Today’s Female Consumers

Women | Purse Strings | Financially Fearless

Have you ever noticed that when Apple has a new product, lines of people start to form before the stores even opens?  Have you ever waded through the crowds in Nordstrom’s shoe department on a Saturday? Or, ladies, have you tried to get a last-minute appointment for a color and cut?  Its almost impossible. Yet, these are typically expensive purchases, women will wait in lines for, schedule appointments weeks in advance, and are willing to pay exorbitant fees for these products and services.


Now, go look outside the window to your business.  Are people lining up to talk with you? Are they calling you to get an appointment only to find they must wait three weeks out?  No? Well, they certainly could be. The Allianz Women, Money and Power Study, 2006, found that nearly three of four women lack some type of outside assistance with their financial strategies.   Look around you. Count four women and know that three of them could probably benefit from your products and services.


Why aren’t women lining up to meet with you?


It’s evident that so many of them need your products or services.  Here’s the reason why – they don’t trust you or the industry you represent.

“It doesn’t matter whether it is purchases of cars, cosmetics, or even products for men, female consumption power is the leading consumption power in the world,” states Andrea Jung, President and CEO of Grameen America, a non-profit organization helping women in poverty build small businesses to create better lives for their families.

During a Purse Strings presentation, a man interrupted and had this question.  He said, “Why won’t women buy long term care insurance.  Is it because it’s too expensive?”  Look around and see that women will spend whatever it takes on items and services they feel are a value to them.  Many women spend money on expensive, shoes, bags, travel, tennis, clothing, spa services and so on. When they see a value or have built a relationship with a brand that serves them, cost is irrelevant.

This confirms there’s just one viable option for growing your business in the 21st century… create products and services that appeal to women clients.

This takes creativity, planning, and hard work, but the rewards will make it worth your effort.


What are you doing to build trusted relationships with your female customers and clients?

Strategies From A Female CEO

Bridget Brennan, CEO of the consulting and training firm Female Factor and author of Why She Buys, has been studying women’s impact on the consumer marketplace for over ten years. Recently writing on Forbes.com, she presented strategies for attracting women to your business. Here’s a quick overview.

  • Make your products/services easier for women to buy.
  • Create services that supplement the products you offer to women consumers.
  • Don’t overplay female stereotypes in your marketing.
  • Women shop with all their senses. Find ways to engage them in your advertising.
  • Enable women to feel smarter just by doing business with you.

As a female CEO of both Provost Consulting, Inc and Purse Strings, LLC. I would add this advice from my findings. Women are a large percentage of the market (51%) but you can’t provide the same products and services to all women. Consider how different products and services would be needed across these different life stages, economic status and characteristics

Women can be a college graduate, successful professional, widow, or, all the above. Women today are choosing to wait longer to have children, may decided to stay single, or be in a partnered relationship with a man or a woman. If she is a mother, the age of her children plays into her financial needs. Is she divorced or widowed? An entrepreneur or stay-at-home mom? She could be a single-mother who is struggling financially or a single-mother who is professional with wealth.

All the data demonstrates the importance of building relationships with your female customers. This could be assessing every touchpoint you have with your female customers, researching products or service that would serve your female customer base, or finding ways to gather information from your female customers to see how you might better serve them.


Women want to work with trusted financial providers who:

  • Are interested in her unique family situation, caregiving demands, career, money goals and risk tolerance – not just her assets.
  • Communicates clearly and on a timely basis.
  • Are honest and upfront about fees
  • Understand how women take in information through emotion, connection, intuition and other senses and use this information to make decisions.

All the data demonstrates the importance of building relationships with your female customers.

Every Financial Professional Should Be Aware of These Facts

Women drive the world economy. Globally they control about $22 Trillion in annual consumer spending, and that figure could climb as high as $28 trillion in the next five years. (The Female Economy, Harvard Business Review, September 2009)

Women’s $13 trillion in total yearly earning could reach $18 trillion in the next five years. (The Female Economy, Harvard Business Review, September 2009)

Women control the vast majority of consumer spending. For example, they buy 90% of food, 55% of consumer electronics and most of the new cars (“Hello, girls,” www.economist.com, March 14, 2009)

The number of wealthy women in the U.S. is growing twice as fast as the number of wealthy men. (Virginia Tech’s Women’s Wealth and Philanthropy Report.)

If you want women consumers lining up at your door then, learn how to serve the most powerful market! Purse Strings is here to help. Go to pursestrings.co to register for our upcoming session on how to reach, engage and earn the female dollar. You can also earn 12 CE credits for agents in Illinois and all reciprocal states.

Women | Purse Strings | Financially Fearless

We will provide you useful and timely information you can use to be #financiallyfearless

Get Wise to Withholding


Get Wise to Withholding

Taxes | Purse Strings | Financially Fearless

Paying taxes is no fun. Many grown women would rather take a trip to the dentist than put their returns together. It’s difficult, and potentially painful. Then there’s the fear you’ll end up paying way more than you can afford.

You can avoid the agony of over-payment. Ensure you’re withholding the right amount from your weekly paycheck. Figuring out that magic number is tricky–it might require professional assistance.

First, let’s look at some of the basics. Then, we’ll talk about impactful life changes, when to adjust withholding, and why professional expertise can benefit.

… It might require professional assistance.

What’s a Form W-4?

As arbitrary as the amount the IRS takes from you might seem, it’s not. The government determines the amount with the help of your Form W-4. It takes your pay, then figures in the amount to withhold from your wages. Things like marital status and number of jobs are taken into account. It works smoothly if you’re one of the millions of workers who’s single and only has one paying gig.

The wrinkles occur if you fall outside the narrow “standard taxpayer” parameter. Do you have more than one job? Are you married? Jobless? There’s a whole herd of life factors and changes that can alter your W-4. It’s important that your W-4 reflect those changes. That avoids withholding the wrong amount–and nasty surprises on your tax returns.

Reasons to tweak your W-4

A long list of factors justifies an edit to your withholding. Basically, they all boil down to life changes. Major or even medium-size shakeups in your life stand to impact your tax bill. Here’s a few you should know.

Additional job:

If you picked up another gig, that’s a solid reason to adjust your withholding. It doesn’t matter if it’s another full-time job, weekly retail shift or a new home business. Any job you pick up impacts your tax liability.

Spousal job change:

Did your partner just get a new job, or win a promotion? Congratulations! Don’t forget to adjust your withholding. That ensures you lovebird joint filers are in good shape at tax time.

Marital status:

Separating from your partner? You’re also saying goodbye to marriage tax benefits. Impactful changes also come when you’re forming a union. Adjust your withholding as soon as possible.


Losing your job–even if it’s only temporary–impacts your standing with the IRS. Withholding too little from unemployment benefits is all too common. Make sure you adjust when you’re laid off. Then, do it again when you rejoin the workforce.


Adding to your family is more than just a change in the shape of your household. It’s a change in your tax status. Birth, adoption, using child-care professionals–each circumstance impacts your taxes. Take advantage of any deductions you qualify, and adjust your withholding accordingly.

Major or even medium-size shakeups in your life stand to impact your tax bill.

How do you change your W-4?

Adjusting your withholding should be relatively straightforward. The IRS offers a withholding calculator designed guide you through the process. However, even with the handy gadget, it’s not exactly easy for a layperson. It remains confusing, and there’s no guarantee you’ll end up with the right number.

Another option: turn to a professional. The straightforward process of adjustment gets complicated if you throw in multiple life changes.Alimony, charitable deductions, medical bills and other expenses add to the potential headache. Reach out to a Purse Strings Approved professional for guidance. These pros are attuned to the specialized needs of female customers. There’s no one better to trust your money to.


We will provide you useful and timely information you can use to be #financiallyfearless

Necessary Insurance


Necessary Insurance

necessary insurance

There is a ton of different types of insurance to consider. Coverage can be pricey–and picking out which coverage you truly need can be confusing.

Some types of insurance are absolutely vital. These can save you headache and money if you get into a sticky situation. This guide outlines the types of insurance that are essential for every adult to have.

Car insurance

In most states, every driver must have at least bare-bones auto insurance. Your only decision is what type of coverage works for you. You could go for basic liability-only insurance. This just pays for damaged property, medical costs and lost wages for other drivers and passengers if you’re at fault. Want coverage for personal injuries, or non-collision incidents (like vandalism)? That will cost more.

Health insurance

A scroll through Facebook usually includes at least one health-related GoFundMe plea. In most cases, those poor souls were caught unprepared. Either they had weak coverage, or no coverage at all. Insufficient health coverage is a two-fold problem. One, you might miss out on life-saving care. Two, you’re exposing yourself to sky-high medical bills if insurance doesn’t cover treatment.


Insufficient health coverage is a two-fold problem…

Homeowner’s or renter’s insurance

Your home is likely your most valuable asset. What if your house or apartment is hit by fire, flood or other tragedy? What if burglars empty your place while you’re on vacation? Having homeowner’s or renter’s insurance ensures you’re more likely to recover at least some of what you lost.

Life insurance

As much as we don’t like to think about it, we’re all going to meet our end someday. There’s nothing we can do to avoid it. What we can avoid: leaving our loved ones in the lurch with expenses. Life insurance eases the burden by providing your survivors with funds to pay funeral expenses, household bills and more after your departure. While you may get this coverage from an employer, it might not be sufficient if you’ve got a family and kids. If you’re a stay-at-home-mom, you definitely need coverage. Everyone’s circumstances are different. That’s why you could use an insurance pro to help you determine what coverage, covers you.


necessary insurance

Having these basic insurances is a no-brainer. What’s more challenging is determining how much and what types of coverage you need. If you’re scratching your head, don’t hesitate to reach out to Purse Strings. We can connect you with the right answers and resources to get you covered.

We will provide you useful and timely information you can use to be #financiallyfearless