It started at FinCon. Attendees were very generously gifted copies of The Automatic Millionaire. Unfamiliar with the title but well versed in the Latte Factor, I quickly flipped open the book and scanned the accolades that often fill the first few pages. That’s when I saw it. Smart Women Finish Rich.
Instinctively, I thought of Bic pens for Her. Was it possible that a money guru was essentially repackaging the same money ideas in the equivalent of a pink plastic coating? Maybe, but let’s give him the benefit of the doubt, I thought. I jumped to the blurbs. Surely, those would set me straight.
Only, they didn’t.
You, a dude, write a book about women without a female coauthor and you can’t even be bothered to ask an actual woman with a name what she thinks of your book?
But David Bach isn’t alone. Far from it. In the sea of money experts, very few women’s voices are amplified the same way men’s voices are. That doesn’t mean women’s stories aren’t told. They are. But, for the most part, we serve as cautionary tales, lessons to be learned, individuals who need to be rescued. Women are the softer side of money.
Not convinced? Let’s go to
the tape the Twitters, shall we?
Hundreds of likes, plenty of shares, and here’s the initial impression that many people had. Here’s an assertive, confident money guy who is privy to insight that most people lack. He’s sharing it with his reader in a one-on-one email and now educating all of his followers. He’s an expert.
But maybe this tweet deserves another look. Maybe it pushes a private exchange into the public in order for him to showcase his expertise. But just because I don’t like someone’s Twitter style doesn’t mean much, right? I mean, come on, Penny. Let’s not get emotional. Think about how many people might not like your style.
You’re right. Not everyone’s personality has to suit mine. What a bland world it would be if we started to police personalities until they all aligned with my frugally-awkward sense of sense. No harm, no foul. He’s assertive, I’m not.
But there’s actually a real foul here. Not only does this tweet fuel an unnecessary fire on Twitter about who lives where and which is a better justification for doing so (SPOILER: live where your money, emotions, and priorities tell you to live). But the take itself is also a flawed financial comparison.
Is it true if his reader had sunk $140,000 in the market, she could have more-than-tripled it into $450,000? Maybe. But unless she paid cash, she never had that kind of money to sink into the market in the first place.
This woman bought a house. In all reality, she likely bought a very small part of a house. Maybe 20% or maybe as little as 3% of one. Whatever the down payment, she likely didn’t have the full $140,000 to invest. So, Ramit, unless you’re teaching your reader to get rich by taking out a six-figure loan to invest with, this comparison just doesn’t work.
Instead of helping a reader celebrate what is actually a perfectly fine financial decision, he’s distorting, distilling down the facts into a sexy soundbyte primed for likes on Twitter. He’s taking a woman who didn’t need rescuing in the first place and Monday morning quarterbacking her, this totally clueless damsel.
And if we aren’t damsels in distress, we’re still not on the same footing. Not even close. Just ask my buddy Dave.
I still don’t care where Dave Ramsey lives. But you had better believe I care about how he treats women. No, I’m not talking about the tweet that got me blocked in which he underscored his very tenuous grasp of the way in which democratic societies are designed to work. I’m talking about the truth bomb that was dropped, in which an employee of his alleged a whole bunch of things, including:
- A maternity leave versus ministry leave policy
- Him boasting about being unwilling to get into elevators alone with women (Someone send him the Bitches Get Riches post about workplace homicides ASAP!)
- The company hosting fashion shows for his employees to help them decide what to wear (spoiler: no leggings)
(If you’re not convinced, here are #thereceipts.)
You’re a private individual who wants to hold views about women that I disagree with? Fine. But if you want to build your fortune on the backs of women by making us the anecdotes in your books and employing practices that systematically keep women from networking and possibly holder higher positions in your company, it is categorically NOT FINE.
And don’t even get me started on Tony Robbins. (Just read this piece from The Atlantic. Roasted, I believe, is the word today’s youth would use.)
Look, it’s not that these people don’t have their money shit together. They do. They have business acumen that I can’t even begin to fathom. I have never met any of these people in real life (and likely never will, especially after this post), and I certainly won’t claim to know them as individuals. But what I do know of their public personas, or the expertise that they—or their publishers, their editors, their community media managers, their interns, or anyone else you might want to pass the buck to—shine the spotlight on, points to a bigger problem the money community has to address when it comes to women and money.
What problem? Oh, Penny. Is this about that gender pay gap again? Lots of people want to dispute the notion of gender pay gaps as proof that women and men are on equal footing. The gender pay gap is apples and oranges. It is no longer relevant in today’s modern, first world societies. It is the result of motherhood, not gender (do I have a 7th-grade health class for you to take, my friend!).
Fine. If you can’t swallow the notion of a gender pay gap, let’s look at something else, something much bigger than that. You can’t possibly look at these stories above and tell me there isn’t an inequality issue when it comes to women and men in the world of finance. An inequality of ideas, of opportunities, of avenues to speak in which your ideas are thoughtfully considered, of spaces to go in which you can ask for help without fearing that you will be turned into a talking point or getting your head patted. It happens all the time.
Where Do We Go From Here?
I know what you’re thinking. Whoa. Where’s Penny going? Is the ultimate conclusion that no man should ever dare to broach the subject of females and finances again?
Of course not.
But what I am asking you to do if you’re a male is to talk with women, to learn from women, to use your platform to amplify our voices, not just hold us up as loveable whatnotodos. If you are running a story that contains quotes from bloggers, how many of them are coming from women? If you’re sitting around a table at work or at a family gathering listening to voices, how many of them are coming from women? If women don’t speak up, invite us in. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.
And ladies, we can do better, too. Maybe it’s time to dial down the Dave Ramsey and Tony Robbins noise. Money gods know that we’ve bought enough of their books, downloaded enough of their podcasts, and used enough of their hashtags on social media. There is an entire world of voices that we are very much apart of every day that is every bit as insightful, as quotable, and as deserving of the spotlight as theirs. And if you ever find yourself in financial distress, damsels, remember the only person who is really strong enough to save you is yourself.
Female Money Shoutouts
If you’re thinking about finding more voices from people who rock money and also happen to be female, here’s a very short list from a virtually endless sea of possibility. If you want to help me grow this, drop me a link or 12 below.
The Female Personal Finance Directory from Women Who Money (500+!)
Breadwinning, Six-Figure, Millionaire Moms and Women on Fire series from Chief Mom Officer
44 Women Making a Difference in Financial Literacy from The Plutus Foundation
The Women of the Financial Independence Movement from Tread Lightly, Retire Early
And really, I have to give a shoutout to every badass money person who just happens to be female who I follow on Twitter and the millions of other female voices that are more than worthy of being heard.
So Tell Me…What other links can I add to my list of shoutouts? What can we do to make sure that women aren’t just in the personal finance world as damseling needing to be saved?
I’m also tired of men dominating the money conversation. I have no issue with men-I’ve learned a lot over the years from them. But women need a voice too-a strong voice, not just as an accessory or a coupon queen. It’s great that our community has so many strong, smart women-now we need to raise our voices even louder to be heard.
Yes. I am not asking for men to stop talking. What I do hope they will do is give us a fair shake, not just as people to help but also as people to learn with.
Amy @ LifeZemplified
You rock! #womenwhomoney
Thanks, Amy! The directory you and Vicki are building is unbelievable. 500+ Can you imagine? No one should EVER run a money article again without feeling like they can get a woman’s take!
Chelsea @ Mama Fish Saves
? Preach, my friend!
I have absolutely no issue with men. I’ve found some incredible mentors, teachers, and colleagues both in the work place and out over the years. But when they talk about women without including women in the conversation my head could explode.
There are so many incredible women in our community and we need to continue to work to be heard on the big stuff – smart investing, taxes, insurance – and not just the day-to-day, household things like saving on groceries and low cost birthday party ideas that supposedly befit our gender. Is that where the large audience is? Maybe not. But if we keep focusing content solely on what is “acceptable” to come from women there will be no change. And each day in the #WomenRockMoney group I’m reminded that there IS an audience looking for a female voice on those issues and topics, and they are hungry to find their tribe after feeling largely ignored for so long.
And there needs to be an authenticity piece as well. I don’t care if you have a daughter. If she is shilling your same message, do better. Care about women’s issues not just profiting from women’s issues, you know?
Dang, girl. Nailed it! I am so glad this post exists. I hope it creates some awareness in the PF blogosphere, because I am feeling less inclined to care about a lot of the advice I see now that Rockstar Finance has become “dudes interested in FIRE.” One thing I liked about it for a while was that I felt that there wasn’t such a sexist divide. Women were being read and heard and things felt inclusive (at least they felt that way to this white woman…) I’ve seen more and more sites and posts these days about women and money, and I realize how necessary that is, but it’s that very reason that we have to create our own spheres instead of exist in the popular platforms.
I loved it when Amy was a guest curator for Rockstar. I thought that was an awesome idea to open it up to a new curator, and I think Amy found tons of awesome content. Hoping to see that again!
Britt @ Tiny Ambitions
RE Ramit’s tweet – I thought the same thing as you. The only way that his comparison makes sense is if she had all of that money to invest in the first place. With all the other sexist garbage going on in the personal finance space (cough, Rockstar Finance, cough), I am excited about all the awesome things that female/women bloggers are doing. It’s heartening to know there are so many awesome female voices kicking butt.
I can’t claim to have any sense of what it is like to try to curate content from hundreds or thousands of possibilities, but I do know that I will be submitting nominations to them and trying to find other ways to make sure that good content gets heard.
Erin | Reaching for FI
“Here’s to strong women. May we know them. May we be them. May we raise them.” And may we both listen to them and amplify their voices. Personal finance isn’t just about the dudes anymore. We’re here and we’re kicking ass.
Yes. I am all about learning from amazing money women and men. It’s time for both to be heard and valued!
Mrs Adventure Rich
Thanks, Mrs. AR! That means a lot!
Keep fighting the good fight from your financial realm Penny. Love your words and your voice!
Thanks, Marie! I really waffled on this post for a long, long time. I’m glad I wrote it. I hope it serves a purpose even to just a few people.
BURN IT DOWWWWWN, PENNY!
[Re: that jacka** about the house investment–I guess he doesn’t think she’d be paying rent during that time, either.]
This is a glorious takedown.
I wish he would have replied to me on Twitter. I would love to know more about their conversation.
I’m not a finance person….let me state that right up front….and I don’t know any of the details of the conversation shared between that woman and the finance guy. But I am a fairly practical person. And my practical mind assumed that she bought a house in which to live and it more than doubled in value. I’m sure that she could have made more money by investing that $140,000 in some other way but that presupposes that she had $140,000 in spare cash AND somewhere else to live where she most likely would have been paying a mortgage or rent. But, then again, I’m not a finance person….just a practical one.
I always appreciate your practical insights. And I think you are much more of a finance person that you give yourself credit!
Not everyone wants to be a financial wizard dabbling in Wall Street stuff and not everyone has a a hundred thousand dollars or two laying around that they can play market roulette with. So many of us are people with modest incomes (compared to people like Robbins and Ramsey) that are looking for practical ways to make our money grow without a huge amount of risk. I know that if I were to try to “play the market”, the stress and anxiety would eat me alive. And I think people like Robbins and Ramsey should be ashamed of mocking or belittling others that aren’t playing in their league and don’t want to.
I was sooo waiting for the rent comment. How can you ignore that fact that the house was also A PLACE TO LIVE.
Was he assuming she could have lived for free during that time? Did he subtract a monthly market rent from that calculation? So…. Dumb…
Also, thank you for charging your phone. Just looking at it made me anxious!
That’s my job, right? Give people anxiety about how little battery life and how many unread emails I have on my phone?! 🙂
Angela @ Tread Lightly Retire Early
We can’t hqve enough of these posts. I never meant to get so “political” when I started my blog, but come now now men. It’s time to do better.
It’s been a long time coming for me. Dave Ramsey has always rubbed me the wrong way. Yet, we happily line his pockets. Why? There are so many other resources (written by women AND men) that are just as good and actually talk with women, not down to us, you know?
A bigger problem with Sethi’s tweet is the woman he spoke with might actually have stock market investments, or “have an idea” that they might be useful for her in the future. Did he ask, or assume? I have yet to meet anyone that takes shelter each night under their brokerage account.
Thanks for the worthwhile post, Penny.
You’re so right, Mary! Having a place to live is helpful 😉
Part of me really hopes his reader posts the whole exchange on Reddit or something. I would hate for her to feel discouraged!
Sarah | Smile & Conquer
I could not love this anymore, you are such an all-star Penny and im proud and inspired to keep on fighting!
It’s disgusting how male domination in money keeps hitting the headlines. There are SO many amazing ladies out there (as shown by the resources you gave) and we need to see more of their stories. Follow them. Read them. Support them. Fight the good fight right alongside them!
Right on, Sarah! There are men in the PF world who look out for women and think of us as equals. It just needs to be the expectation, and I hope we are getting to that point.
Thanks for this post! So important. The vehemence is both warranted and necessary.
For your readers, here is a great list of women finance bloggers to sample from: https://treadlightlyretireearly.com/2018/01/18/meet-the-women-of-the-financial-independence-movement/
We should probably start contributing some financial events to this tumblr (a personal favorite): http://allmalepanels.tumblr.com/
Agreed, Olivia! That Treat Lightly, Retire Early compendium is excellent! And thanks for the Tumblr link. LOL
Emilie @ Wise Mind Money
This is so important!!!!! I love how many female voices are in PF now and how much we amplify one another. Thank you for being a part of that! It’s smart, uplifting, and real bloggers like you and the many others who have empowered and encouraged me to start and to keep going.
I’m so glad you’re blogging, Emilie!
I got an offer to write a book. In the past I have turned these down. But this publisher wanted me to write about women’s finances, and the pink plastic finish rich thing in Dallas had pissed me off. So The Feminist Financial Handbook by yours truly will be hitting shelvesthis Fall. 😉
Woohoo! Congrats to you! Cannot wait to read it 🙂
Only sort of related, but the guy who wrote Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus is also a sexist jackhole, and that book is THE WORST. So that’s also such an immediate turnoff. More on that from my fave non-pf podcast here: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/panoply/by-the-book/e/51150762
I’ve not read the book, but you had better believe I am all over this podcast episode this week!
My Early Retirement Journey
so many thoughts…where to begin! can’t wait to encounter more voices like this
My Early Retirement Journey
on women in the workforce… co-worker came to me and said Jane used to do so much more when she had this role…now that John is doing it, he’s doing a lot less (and passing the work on)… #delegate… i said… oh John’s a man, he’s used to people doing his work for him… but in man-guage that’s called delegating… delegate women in the workforce, delegate!
Ha! That was the one criticism my boss had of me one year. I need to delegate more. OK. Noted.
Tanja @ Our Next Life
I’m so glad you wrote this and posted it! I agree completely with everything you wrote here, and I also think it’s just the tip of the iceberg. We can have a whole slew of posts just about representation, or about the need for people to listen instead of holding us up as cute failures. In my case, even though I think most people see our story as this big success, it is crazy how often my podcast interviews get tagged in some way as succeeding despite being stupid about money. Nobody uses those words exactly, of course, but that is for sure the message. However, when Mark and I do the interview together, it never gets labeled that way, even though we tell the same story… Wonder why that is?
I thought about you so hard when I was writing this, Tanja. When people try to paint your take as the softer side of RE/early retirement. Bruh, stop. You’re still in the cubicle farm. Whatever side you want to call it, learn from this woman!
Tanja @ Our Next Life
Ha — I didn’t even go into all of that. But yeah, I’m always like, REALLY?! You think DIVORCE AND DEATH AND SEQUENCE OF RETURNS RISK AND DEPRESSION FROM LOSS OF IDENTITY are “lighter” and “softer” than a little bit of easy math?! Sure, bro.
You know on the one hand I get it. If I get real here for a second my wife makes more an hour then I do despite being five years my junior and not in as marketable a field. She’s great on her own and no damsel.
So why don’t I feature more about my wife instead of myself on my blog? Frankly she’s not interested in helping or talking about finances. Which is fine too and her choice.
So on one hand I agree the damsel stuff isn’t true. On the other wether it’s because of history or society the number of women interested in finance seems to be lower. That also has an influence on the number of articles written too and by them. Not sure how to change that interest beyond financial education for all kids and time to get further away from the historical single male family income environment that long ago stopped being reality.
I don’t write about my husband very much because it’s my blog, and I don’t want to tell (or mis-tell) his story. I’m not saying that every blog needs to represent both partners. But the way that many of the big-league experts (and some bloggers!) talk about women is really just talking down to us.
And I do hope that more women get involved in money and that more girls get the message from a very young age that any gender can excel at numbers and finance!
The Luxe Strategist
Hmm, am I the only one who’s noticed that 3 of the 4 Rockstar posts today are about retirement/early retirement? Really, there are no other money themes to talk about???
Thank you for writing this very important post! I hope that leading by example is enough, but it’s not.
I do think that seems to be the direction that PF has gone. I noticed that with who I follow on Twitter as well. I wonder why that is. It seems like when I joined, so much of the conversation was focused on student loans and debt. Hmmm.
And then there’s this blog that focuses on neither. LOL
Emily Guy Birken
YES to all of this!! The only time I did a television interview (with a small cable-access financial planning show), the host actually interrupted me to explain my point to me. I have also had a man tell me that the advice in my book is too simplistic, as if it never occurred to him that I am specifically writing to a non-expert audience and that I intended the information to be a starting point for folks who have never invested before. Who could possibly believe that I actually know what I am doing here?
Oh my, Emily! What an awkward and, frankly, insulting situation to be in!
Emily Guy Birken
I had hoped the interview could be a media clip for me to help me get more television interviews, but it’s so cringe-worthy that I’ve never even shared it with friends. (Granted, he looks like a tool, but I suspect that’s not how everyone would see it.)
Leverage is what makes real estate worth it – it’s all leverage. Rare occasions your cash knaps you a steal deal from some desperate sellers but that probably didn’t apply to the woman. That guy has no idea what he’s talking about himself.
I kind of didn’t want to go the traditional fire route but you get jammed in the box the same. I said from the beginning it’s to work towards my own business and my own diabolical plans and yet everyone can’t even get past the numbers.
I swear I didn’t want to say it but if I wasn’t a girl, I would be taken more seriously. Which just adds insult to injury so I just don’t say anything. I have my own freaking plans but I’m also 26 and Rome wasn’t built in a day.
I love you, Lily. That is all.
Very well said, Penny! The PF world needs to encompass more female voices in their conversation and not write us off as coupon queens and budget recipe creators. We’re so much more than that and we have A LOT to say.
We do have a lot to say! I’m constantly amazed at all of the new voices I find, and how all of my favorites just keep on churning out awesome content. It’s a great community!
BOOM. That Twitter bomb drop had me literally gasp. I. love. it.
This is a damn great blog post Penny (as was that Bitches get Riches post. Solid).
The BGR post was exactly what I needed. I’ve been sitting on a lot of this for a long time. When I saw their post last week, I thought, here’s the counterpoint I’ve been missing!
Michelle | Operation Husband Rescue
I don’t understand the point of Ramit’s tweet. So is he suggesting that we all live in cardboard boxes and invest all money that we would use to buy a home in which to live because the investments have a higher return rate than your house is going to appreciate? What’s wrong with buying a home? And we want it to be appraised higher than we paid for it, no? Surely Ramit also owns a home. I just don’t get it. It’s pointless.
My thought exactly! It’s the rent vs buy debate. Enough, I say 😉 It seems weird to critique someone who not only made a sound decision but is proud of herself. Even if it’s not the choice he’d make, you can’t really fault someone for spending in line with their values AND having success while they do it.
Oh wow! This is a great article. I’m just bummed that the original medium.com article exposing Dave Ramsey for all that BS has been removed. The reddit is still there. 🙂 Preach my friend.
I don’t know why it came down, though I can speculate. What is most disheartening is that a few Google searches reveal a litany of posts and reports and anecdotes. Of course, I can’t prove any of it (I don’t know the man, and I don’t work for him), but the allegations are disheartening.
Young FIRE Knight
It really is a shame the examples you mentioned. One thing I’d also like to point out: not only are men using women as the damsel in distress examples, but (perhaps even worse) many men just simply ignore the conversation of women in finance altogether.
In the microcosm, this is a fantastic post, yet scrolling through your comments I only see a couple from men.. Sure comments don’t equal readership, but my point is many men simply avoid the conversation altogether rather than get involved and support.
Simply put: we need to get our $hit together.
Not surprisingly, the post has been mostly shared by women. It kind of makes sense since that was mostly my target audience. But I find it absolutely invaluable when guys step up to comment or share. And I get that my readership is definitely more skewed toward the female demographic. But yes, I would love for more men and women to speak up if they ever notice anyone’s voice going unheard! It’s vital that the PF community tackle issues together 🙂
Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life
I’m still (from his waaay early PF blogging days) subscribed to Ramit’s emails and I saw that he did expand on his point in the newsletter to point out that regardless of the opportunity cost that she ‘gave up’, it wasn’t actually a sacrifice if she didn’t have that money to invest and so on, so at least there was that but it’s a bit poor that he didn’t follow up on that on Twitter where she could see it.
Here’s to uplifting and amplifying the voices of women where they’d otherwise be ignored!
Thank you for the insight! I wondered about that. I’m glad he clarified in the newsletter, but I’m frustrated that he didn’t respond to me on Twitter. And I suppose I’m even more frustrated with the fact that he crafted the tweet as an omission or an oversimplification or whatever the right word is. I don’t follow him, so it’s entirely possible he’s an upstanding guy. But that tweet rubbed me wrong for so many reasons.
Emily Guy Birken
Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life
Ditto Emily. I was only speaking to this one single data point that I happened to have knowledge of because of coincidence. 🙂
He’s not. The guy doesn’t have any values. Zero respect for him.
OMG – I *LOVE* this post and on the same wavelength. And so many comments, this is great engagement with the message we are not princesses that are waiting for prince charming to rescue us.
I’ve never understood Tony Robbins or Dave Ramsey’s appeal – they have always repelled me as vile and backwards individuals respectively. But I do have a soft spot for Ramit, Tim Ferris and Seth Godin, who display less outwards misogyny yet not quite an inclusive message.
True feminist icons are hard to find, but we are privileged in the personal finance community to have so many great role models
I do love (and sometimes love to hate) Tim Ferriss. He’s so fascinating. There are so many layers to what he does! I made it about five minutes into the episode he did with Tony Robbins, and said, Nope, not for me.
I remember pulling open David Bach’s book at FinCon and seeing that. I was just like “What the heck…?” I remember you tweeting about it too!
So glad to be around lots of female voices in the personal finance space. It’s not represented enough but its growing.
I’ve kinda gotten over reading the curated content on Rockstar Finance. A lot of it, like other commenters mentioned, is just about dudes and FIRE. I still do check it every now and then because there is some good content, but I hate that the prevailing theme is FIRE.
I’m glad I wasn’t alone noticing that, Colin. It is so curious to me how the emphasis on FIRE has taken over. I’m not sure that is actually Rockstar’s doing, so much as Rockstar is a reflection of what I see on Twitter (maybe I’m wrong, though!). Even people who were never about FIRE seem to be really focused on it now! Don’t get me wrong, it’s so fascinating, but I do think there are tons of other money topics we could and should talk about.
Mrs. Picky Pincher
Puh-reach! This is so timely, because I’m just now getting around to my free copy of Automatic Millionaire.
I think women (and unfortunately POC women in particular) are at risk of being fetishized. We’re more “women” than actual “people,” which makes us a marketable commodity for earnings. Not, like, y’know, humans.
Right?! “Buy this special lady wallet for you to learn the envelope system.” Uh. Is this how you sell things to dudes? I don’t think so.
And maybe a little insulting. Or a lot.
I’m very proud of the fact that my post won the Rockstar Rumble recently. it was a competition run like a tennis tournament, where blog posts would compete against each other for votes and the winner would move on to the next round. One of 128 entries, my post was about educating my boys and my nieces about the power of compound interest in a way that really grabbed their attention.
Considering I’m female, in my 50’s, not from the USA and have a very new FI/RE blog, (though I’ve been blogging for 10 years in my personal blog), I really didn’t expect to get anywhere near the finish line. But my post just kept on moving forward…
Do you want to know the best bit? Three out of the last four contenders were women.
I was even prouder of that than about my eventual win.
And yet women bloggers still appear to be put in the back seat…
Yes! I loved being part of the rumble. Though I think I was knocked out in the sweet 16 maybe? There were definitely tons of voices represented. I think it was a cool event for ESI and Steve to put together! And HUGE congrats to you for winning! Ladies representing 🙂
This was perfect timing! I was just trying to explain why Dave Ramsey and Tony Robbins can take a chill pill to some ardent followers… and now I have articles to reference too! Thanks. ?
Also I was just talking to HisFI about my frustration with Ramit Sethi and Jay Shetty may be brilliant and give compelling sound bites on Twitter- but they often exclude any conversation about gender or if women are included it is in the fashion pointed out above- as the what not to do.
That’s the problem with Twitter. You never get the whole picture. But I suppose why I’m even more frustrated is that they seem to be OK with how they come across. It’s by design, you know?
Absolutely loved this piece. Although the PF finance community is dominated by men, I find that blogs written by women resonate with me much more and I’m glad to be coming across many more of them these days. Thanks also thanks for the further reading!
You made my day for saying this, Mindy! Some of my favorite bloggers are men. Not trying to knock them at all. But there are way too many good women writing and sharing for everyone to just quote Dave Ramsey all day IMHO! Plus, there are certain topics that women just have different insight into. I’ll never forget the first money post I Googled about breastfeeding. It was written by a dude. It wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. Hahaha!
Make Save Invest Money
I think you are just saying what needs to be said.
Good for you and I hope this controbutes to making a difference…
Make Save Invest Money
Even if it gives one person a voice or one person an opportunity to look to another expert’s opinion, I’m calling this post a win!
Little Miss Fire
WOW this may be one of the most powerful posts I have ever read! I am naive in the thought that this kind of thing didn’t exist in the FI community. I am very much an introvert so hardly ever come our of my proverbial shell, so this shocks me, As women we deal with discrimination and “the rescue complex” daily so why the hell should we put up with it about our own personal finances!
I think it speaks more about The Expert figurehead than it does the PF community. The men I follow on Twitter are inspiring and treat me and others (from what I can tell anyway) as equals. The fact that so many of them chimed in here is proof of that!
But yes. I share your frustration especially because people like Tony Robbins and Dave Ramsey profit so hugely from women.
First, great post. Strong women rock and there are no two ways about that.
Second, you touch on a lot of things here that deserve deeper treatment than a comment will allow. I’m feeling the need to perhaps do a post on this issue as well. Not a “response” as much as a discussion from the old white male perspective of some of the issues you raise. If I do it, I’ll link to your post so folks will have context.
Thanks Penny, for your consistently thoughtful perspective on things that actually matter.
Oh, please do, Oldster! Nothing would make me happier than to hear people talk more about the subject. Agree, disagree, or something in between…I love a good discussion!
Physician on FIRE
Love the sentiment here, Penny.
From the physician world, I recommend the personal finance focused Miss Bonnie MD’s Interviews with Real Women Physicians series: https://missbonniemd.com/tag/interviews/
Also the podcast Hippocratic Hustle, which focuses on female physician entrepreneurs: https://hippocratichustle.com/
Thanks, PoF! I have heard of Miss Bonnie thanks to you! Medicine isn’t my neck of the woods, of course, but I always enjoy not only your posts but the people you spotlight!
Great powerful post Penny! It’s a shame that women are often ignored when it comes to money and PF topics. Half the population is consisted of women, so include them in the discussions!
I’m not surprised you’d comment like this, Tawcan! I always get so much value out of our conversations, and I’m thrilled that we got to meet in person at FinCon. Glad you dropped by here!
What gets me is all the lists of “Best Personal Finance bloggers” and half the time there are zero female PF bloggers represented.
This blog post topic is really important. There’s a reason that many studies show women out-invest men. We’re less flashy and more interested in long-term gain. I read this amazing article on why Hillary Clinton didn’t appeal to voters. The conclusion: she was great at typically female traits like listening and consensus building, and less good at typically male traits like oration in front of large crowds. And since the presidential race was developed by men, it was all about showing off your manly oratory skills. Not as much room for listening and consensus building on the campaign trail.
Thanks for linking those articles. Had no idea about either Dave Ramsey or Tony Robbins.
Tony Robbins was straight from the horse’s mouth. Dave is all allegation. But a few clicks around Google indicate people have been trying to bring this up for years. It’s so disheartening.
And your comments about the presidential race make a lot of sense. I hadn’t thought about how it was crafted.
Thanks for your thought provoking article.
The banks would not take me seriously when I wanted a mortgage because I was single. But I showed them with my prepared paperwork and my ability to ask questions. I hate it when people including men think we can’t be smart with our money. I still can’t get few women interested to talk about shares because ‘their husbands handle the money’. Every women should have a reasonable grasp of simple sound financial knowledge. A man is not a financial plan!
Funny timing. I was listening to a Dave Ramsey podcast today and he was giving some advice to a mom about raising her son. During the conversation he said, “You want exactly what we all do for our sons, to grow up and marry a pretty girl.”
I could’t believe he said that. Now I’m definitely going to look for some of the other stories you mentioned.
Amazing post penny , i really appreciate your effort in this article , you have nicely done everything in this post . thank you for sharing
YAS! Spot on!
I posted on my personal facebook after I read “I Will Teach You to be Rich” that the book had a lot of great points, but that the casual misogyny was so off putting I couldn’t even finish it.
Immediately I got lots of responses defending the book and Ramit and it was more “you don’t know his lyfe!” than I care to admit… so frustrating.
Thank you for this post!
I am sending you a virtual hug!
I have been learning about personal finance since 2010 and figured out quickly that I wasn’t welcome in money conversations. Guys wouldn’t include me or would man-plained interest rates (I’m an Economist, dude), and women usually wanted to talk about their latest shopping spree. I wish that my experience wasn’t that cliche, but it was. I was lucky though…my dad helped guide me through my basic finance questions and his friend built and managed a hedge fund from the ground up and gave me books so I could learn to invest for myself. And bless the PF blogging community for being my people when no one IRL wanted to talk about savings rates. What I learned quickly is, money is green for everyone and the stock market doesn’t care if you wear a dress and heels…it treated me as an equal.
My savings rate combined with the stock market gave me confidence and the ability to renovate my condo’s bathroom, buy a new car, and buy a house so I could convert the condo into a rental all within 18 months. At each milestone, someone inevitable asked what my dad thought about my contractor, how much my dad would contribute to the car, or if my dad thought the new house had “good bones.” Lucky, my dad has always treated me like an adult person (not a female), even when I was a kid. He recognizes that he has less information about contractors in my area than I do, that he will not be drive my car and therefore will NOT pay for it, and that I have been house hunting for years (as I’ve saved) and making repairs to my condo on my own for years and therefore, he know’s that I know what I’m doing. Don’t let the heels fool you… I’m smart, competent, and fierce too!
I hope that as our society transitions towards equality that we can freely exchange knowledge and opportunities without concern for someone’s gender, race, orientation, etc.
I’ll admit, despite the struggles that I’ve had as a young, white, working professional, I grew up with a level of privileged that has protected me from certain cruelties of the world, has opened up opportunities, and gave me a mental toughness/ resilience that gets stronger every day. I am blessed. To that end, I know that I’m in a great position to be a resource and confidence builder for those women (and sometimes men) who previously only wanted to talk about shopping, but who now want to know how to shop for a brokerage account! “EEEE! My favorite topic! Thanks for coming to me friend! How can I help?”
Penny, thank you for putting a voice to this!
All. Of. This! Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Miss Money Box
Penny, thank you for writing this. Women and personal finance is my passion (I’ve just started a thesis on the topic!) and this speaks to the core of my thinking. I think there are a plethora of reasons why women’s voices aren’t heard in the personal finance space the way men’s are, but I really do think this is changing. It’s going to take time but we need to keep putting our voices out there and helping to build other women up – as well as working with the men in this space who see the value that women bring to this conversation.
I remember you tweeting about David Bach’s book too lol. I read that book and the regular Automatic Millionaire and it is basically the same thing. Preach girl preach! I think the main thing is that we continue to educate ourself about investing and personal finance and empower ourselves because unfortunately there are a lot of women left in the dark when it comes to finances within their relationship.
Troy Bombardia @ Bull Market
I think men dominate the conversation because although women tend to look after the family budget, men tend to plan the family’s savings + investment portfolio. Obviously this is starting to change as gender roles breakdown.
Great job with this post! This is definitely a conversation that needs to be had and I strongly believe that we need more empowered women taking care of finances, banks and investments. We already know the great results that comes when we have equal power and representation of genders in an business.
The fact that women where the ones that saved Iceland from the 2008 Market Crash tell us that we NEED more women with that kind of power and voice.
Keep up the good work!
This was a hugely courageous post. It made me reflect on the many women’s voices in personal finance and how so often they can’t be heard over the din of the (male) heroes of PF. I’m not a blogger and have no desire to be, rarely comment) (actually did once and got so shut down, though not blocked :-). but have for years followed Rockstar Finance (thank you for featuring posts such as this one!, MMM, ERE, have read all the guys’ books, to realize that there just aren’t enough women’s voices to guide and share and understand. I’m Canadian, and appreciate the boldness of female PF and political activist writers and bloggers like Gail Vaz Oxlade. I’ve added you to my favorites too now – keep up the greatness.
My Early Retirement Journey
rockstar feature! go you!!
Penny you a Queen!!
Here’s a subtle one that gets me. Any time I post something about the stock market, I inevitably have a man who responds by repeating exactly what I said but in different launguage. Like, yeah. I just said that.
Ooof. Yes. I am all for people expanding the conversation or asking a clarifying question. But really? You need to repeat what I just said?
Really great article
Loved reading it
Keep up the great work!!
On the topic of the pay gap, I recently listened to a really excellent mini-series on work discrimination against mothers from The Longest Shortest Time. The mini-series is called It’s a Real Mother. Enjoy! https://longestshortesttime.com/its-a-real-mother/
This is a really GREAT post. I started blogging about 3 months ago at http://doctoroffinancemd.com. I am female and my net worth is currently number 3 on Rockstar net worth tracker of bloggers net worths. Women can do money just fine. I am proof of the concept. Liz at Chief Mom Officer has interviewed me. I have always found a great deal of condescension in talking to “financial” people. Always remember that you care more about your own money than anyone offering to “help” you manage it. I am 60 now which is too old to fire but I have accumulated some wisdom. My blog is talking about issues for those nearing retirement such as health insurance prior to Medicare and RMD management. The key is to learn your stuff and do not put up with anyone who tries too devalue your intellect.
GREAT POST! I have had to deal with condescension from so-called financial professionals for years. Girls can do money. Girls can manage their own finances. I recently started my own blog after leaving numerous comments around the internet. http://doctoroffinancemd.com I am an OB/GYN physician nearing retirement at 60. I currently have the number 3 net worth position on the blogger net worth tracker. Women can do it. I manage my finances and have for years. Anyone can do it. READ. I view Dave Ramsey as a joke BTW. He gives terrible financial advice and does not understand student loans at all. Do not let anyone talk down to you. Have self-confidence. If you think all doctors have a lot of money you are wrong. They have high incomes not net worth. Most blow it. Always remember the game is won by net worth not income.
Snarking to Freedom
Omg, I just love how you throw shade all over those Twits ?
Thank you for this, a good reminder to stand up and shut down the patronizers
Your comment made my day. Thanks, friend!
Aparna @ Elementum Money
I think one of my pet gripes about women talking about the gender inequality in Personal Finance is how a lot of them do not talk about making women stronger as well.
Yes, men have quite a bit to do when it comes to not playing down the role of women but women too need to trust themselves more when it comes to money. In that respect, I loved your quote:
And if you ever find yourself in financial distress, damsels, remember the only person who is really strong enough to save you is yourself.