Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Conquer Your Inner Bag Lady

Bag lady sleeping with her furs

Bag Lady Syndrome can happen to even the most financially well-off women. It's a deep fear of losing it all that stagnates women into avoiding the monetary side of their lives. They may totally avoid by leaving all financial decisions up to their husbands. Or they may become overly conservative with investments. All too often women who suffer from BLS only keep their money in basic checking and savings accounts--staying safe.

BLS isn't a real psychological condition, but it is quite common. Like it or not the fact is that we've been programmed to count on the men in our lives to know more about money. We've been taught that boys are good at math and so we deduct that they must also naturally know more about money. Guys on the other hand have bought the conditioning in their favor and tend not to worry so much. That's why so many women are hit devastatingly hard in the wallet when divorce or death takes that money man away.

I'm not making this stuff up. This recent article states, "Lily Tomlin, Gloria Steinem, Shirley MacLaine and Katie Couric all admit to having a bag lady in their anxiety closet."

So how do conquer BLS? Well, you can contribute further to your anxieties and spend money on a therapist that will help you work through your issues. Or you could look the problem squarely in the eye. Read some books to start. Eventually you've got to talk with people who know this stuff. Find a good financial advisor who won't just tell you where to put your money, but will discuss your goals--not just monetary goals. If you'd like to learn more about stock investing a good advisor will baby step you toward that goals. A good advisor won't coddle you, they empower you. It's like any other anxiety the fear is more powerful than the actual problem.

Have you banished your bag lady?

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