Fighting M.A.D. (Money Anxiety Disorder)
Women are more likely than men to be poor, struggling to raise families and often taking lower paying jobs without benefits. At the same time, more women than ever are the major breadwinners in marriages as men bear the brunt of recession layoffs. Additionally, elderly women are more likely to become impoverished, having little or no retirement savings and suffering through divorce or outliving their husbands who once took care of the family finances.
Author and financial self-defense expert Hollis Colquhoun is a "financial survival counselor" for women who knows firsthand the financial struggles facing women. An Accredited Financial Counselor who worked 20 years on Wall Street, she has persevered through major surgeries, raising a family and a difficult divorce, earning a black belt in Karate along the way.
Her new book Women Empowering Themselves: A Financial Survival Guide provides women with a concise, step-by-step tool to achieve financial independence whether they are divorced, widowed, single and even married or in relationships but "financially alone."
Colquhoun works with women who suffer from what she calls money anxiety disorder (M.A.D.) helping them to take charge of their financial destiny.
"Getting M.A.D. comes from being afraid or unaware of personal finance topics," she says. "Nine out of ten women will be in charge of their finances at some point in their lives. Financial education for women isn't a nicety, it's a necessity."
Her clients are generally women who have gotten M.A.D. after divorce, the death of a spouse or because they're in a relationship where there hasn't been a financial partnership. "These women haven't participated in the financial decision-making, are clueless and anxious about their financial situation and haven't developed good money management skills," she says.
With her "F.E.S.T." (Financial Education and Survival Training) seminars Hollis combines self-defense from her martial arts background with financial tools and strategies from her work as a consumer credit counselor, Accredited Financial Counselor and a financial adviser.
What sets Women Empowering Themselves: A Financial Survival Guide apart from other books on finances for women is its straightforward, instructive format. The book is based on a counseling session that a client would receive at a nonprofit credit counseling agency. The guide does not offer advice on investing, insurance or estate planning. Instead, it provides basic financial education, tools, interactive charts, resources, warnings, and a step-by-step method to become financially empowered.
The book is small enough to fit in a woman's bag so she can carry it around with her at all times, make expense entries as they occur and get reference and resource information as needed. It's a survival tool designed to help any woman take control of her financial destiny and move toward financial security and independence.
Drawing on her martial arts training, Colquhoun's passion is to help other women to strengthen themselves financially to survive and thrive no matter their age, family status or financial situation. "I understand the devastation of divorce, the process of rebuilding, overcoming obstacles and the importance of financially and physically empowering women, firsthand," she says.