On Tuesday, September 17, 2013 Hansberger & Merlin at Morgan Stanley hosted its first “Women and Wealth” seminar at the Cherokee Town and Country Club in Atlanta. The purpose of the event was to engage, empower and educate clients and excite women about finances. The goal was for women to walk away more informed, confident, knowledgeable and encouraged to get involved in their finances.
Guest speaker included Morgan Stanley Managing Director Caroline Gundeck. Gundeck, a 32-year veteran of the financial services industry, is the founder of the Morgan Stanley Women’s Networking Group and held the firm’s first Chief Diversity Officer role. She began with a heartfelt story of her father’s sudden death years ago and how her own mother, despite Caroline being in the business, was not prepared to undertake the family finances and responsibilities. Unfortunately her mother is not alone and Gundeck’s experience has led her to encourage women’s understanding of their own financial well-being.
Statistics show that the average age of widowhood is just 59, and the life expectancy of American women is now 80 years. Decision makers by choice or by circumstance, women are likely to become stewards of their wealth. Even within families, money is a touchy subject and for many who are not comfortable with wealth management, men included, there is a learning curve on how to best manage what you have. Jim Hansberger, Managing Director-Wealth Management at Hansberger & Merlin, spoke about the tools and principals of investing. He encouraged the women to differentiate between the “signals and the noise” of the market. He reminded the audience, “ that there are no magic formulas to invest well, just tools and principles and the most important guideline in investing is the preservation of capital.” Hansberger continues in his philosophy that nothing creates and maintains net worth like the ownership of a great business, emphasizing again his belief “That we entered the ‘Decade of Equities’ back in 2009.
Michael Merlin, executive director at Hansberger & Merlin, encouraged attendees to educate and prepare the next generation. He spoke about the value of giving back and inviting family members to be more involved in charitable giving opportunities and philanthropy. All of this can be accomplished with as little as $5, as he related a nice story about his son’s giving heart to help others. Clear communication about financial matters makes for fewer negative surprises, less potential for disagreements about money and more responsible financial decision making. H&M looks forward to future “Women and Wealth” gatherings and encouraging, educating and empowering women about finance.
For more about Hansberger & Merlin visit http://www.morganstanleyfa.com/hansberger&merlin/.