The Celebrations Continue!
We’re all used to end-of-year celebrations. We don’t often acknowledge how full the beginning of a new year brings more opportunities to celebrate culture, historical figures, trophy events, and the love of family and friends. All that can brighten our February days. February also sees a settling into the work and routines that make up our lives. New Year’s resolutions are still possible – and meeting those resolutions, made resolutely in January, can need some bolstering of resolve. Marilyn and I seek to support you in meeting your goals, fulfilling the plans in the process, and cheering your achievements. For those with financial plans, you know how deeply we learn about your lives. That knowledge creates a better understanding of who you are – and, for us, it creates a special bond with you. This is a month to learn about Black History, to cheer on the Asian Lunar New Year, to cheer on a team, and to send a valentine. This is our valentine to you. We send it with caring and open hearts for you.
Best wishes, Marilyn and Ora
I have a had a lot of time to think about my lifestyle and my Financial House these past 22+ months. While I am grateful to be healthy and thriving despite this pandemic, I want to be as sure that I am taking my key steps that support my ideal lifestyle now and in the future. You can call these 2022 New Year’s resolutions. Ready, set go… and stay tuned for more next month.
1. Review Your Income and Expenses During Tax Season
As your 2021 tax information arrives in your inbox, set aside time to review your overall income and expenses. Online apps are a great way to calculate and track numbers from your financial statements this year and in the past. Excel or paper records can also be used to do so; choose whichever way best suits you and keep track of these numbers over time.
At the end of our second pandemic filled year, be kind to yourself. Perhaps you spent more on certain items in lieu of vacations, weekend getaways or other personal or family expenses; these are all okay. Don’t be too harsh on yourself or those around you.
Reviewing and setting goals/targets in the income and expense area is key to managing your Financial House not only annually but for your long-term success. Much like the Net Worth exercise, the personal/family profit and loss review is also a great way to know where you are and want to go with all areas of your “Money Matters”.
2. Consider Increasing Your Retirement and Contributions at Work
If you have a retirement plan at work, the maximum contribution limit for 401(k)s increases by $1,000 in 2022. This means that a total of $20,500 (or $27,000 for those 50 and older) can be added yearly. After reviewing your assets and expenses, see if you can increase your contributions if you are not putting away the maximum amount.
Ideally, we recommend having an after-tax contribution account like a ROTH IRA or IRA to complement the 401K’s pre-tax contribution.
This gives you both variation and choices when it comes time to draw upon these plans. Many plans have the option to set up automatic contributions through online portals. Setting these up is quick and easy and will help you to take action to build your retirement fund today.
Just News stories about women in the workforce over the past few years have been bleak.
News stories about women in the workforce over the past few years have been bleak. Faced with more layoffs, higher rates of unemployment and increased child care burdens, women have essentially been set back an entire generation when it comes to workforce participation. This movement has been dubbed a “shecession,” a term often used in regards to white-collar office work, but it’s important to note that jobs in the healthcare and hospitality industry are also seeing a mass exodus. That’s a big impact on two industries that are overwhelmingly female-dominated.
Years before the pandemic sent office workers home, Stephanie Nadi Olson recognized the pain points of parents and people of color in office settings. That’s why in 2018, she quit her job based on the hunch that many talented employees were looking for a more flexible workplace. Investing $10,000 of her own money, she created We Are Rosie, a flexible talent marketplace for the advertising and marketing industries.
That hunch paid off. Last month, Align Capital Partners (ACP) acquired a portion of We Are Rosie in a deal valuing the company at $110 million. Olson has retained a significant stake in the company and will continue to lead through its next phase of growth. Commenting on the acquisition, Olson said, “We have dozens of Fortune 500 clients ready to embrace flexible talent and 10,000+ independent marketers excited to work in a way that gives them the life and career they deserve. Now we can accelerate our goals of creating access, opportunity, and wealth for independent marketers, especially those who’ve historically been marginalized by the industry.”
For years, venture capital funding has been primarily reserved for male founders. Women-founded companies only received 3% of VC funding in 2019, and that tiny sliver actually dipped down to down to 2.2% in 2020.
While the past few years have felt like setback after setback, stories like We Are Rosie’s might signal a more optimistic future. After all, in 2021, Sara Blakely became a billionaire, along with Falguni Nayar, who became the richest self-made female billionaire in India. Reese Witherspoon’s Hello Sunshine sold for $900 Million, demonstrating that there is value in celebrating women’s stories through film.
Let’s not forget that 2021 began with the first Black and South Asian woman being sworn in as Vice President of the United States. Have women quietly been making a comeback despite the doomsday headlines?
A Pitchbook report from November stated that, “female-founded companies raised $40.4 billion across 2,661 deals through the first three quarters of 2021, shattering the previous annual deal value record of $23.7 billion in 2019. A decade ago, only $3.6 billion was invested in all female-founded startups.”
The Boards Of The Global 2000 Have More Power Than The EU And US Governments To Solve The ESG Dynamic. Here Are Seven Questions You Need To Ask Your Board. One contributing factor might be the slight increase in the number of women sitting on the investor side. In 2019, only 12% of US-based checkwriters were women. In 2021, that increased to 15.4%. Although that may seem like only a marginal increase, it’s important to note that women founders often seek out VC firms with women at the table and vice versa. So that marginal increase could lead to a significant impact.
The report underscores that women-founded companies are outperforming the market, with their value rising 143.6% from 2020. Pair that with the fact that underfunding Black founders has cost the U.S. economy $16 trillion over the past 20 years, and it’s abundantly clear that the market is ripe with opportunity. It’s no surprise that companies like Kathryn Finney’s Genius Guild and Janine Sickmeyer’s Overlooked Ventures are working to capitalize on them.
Lisa Marrone, founder & CEO of Revel and an early stage founder herself, is optimistic about what’s to come. “The most promising trend I see is the surge of female early stage investors,” she said. “More representation in VC means more representation for founders. I think that this particular moment is a high water mark for female founders and investors alike.”
Several high profile “liquidity events” recently minted women billionaires, from Blakely’s Spanx to Whitney Wolfe Herd’s Bumble, as well as Anne Wojcicki’s genetics startup 23andMe. In India, Falguni Nayar’s FSN E-Commerce Ventures Ltd, which runs the beauty retailer Nykaa, became the first woman-led unicorn in India to go public. Its Mumbai IPO made Nayar the richest self-made female billionaire in the country, her own net worth adding up to nearly $7 billion.
These four women reaching the billion dollar mark is significant, not just for them as individuals, but for the board members, employees and other stakeholders which include more women than ever before. In essence, this news will have a ripple effect on the entire ecosystem of women investors and founders.
Fortune’s Broadsheet newsletter recently pointed out that, “110 men who achieved billion-dollar exits this year—a group that includes the founders of Coinbase, Robinhood, Affirm, and Warby Parker—have made 732 public investments in other startups. Of those investments, 6% went to all-female founding teams and 14% to companies with mixed gender teams. Meanwhile, 10 female founders whose companies exited at the billion-dollar level made 59 public investments, 22% of which went to all-female teams and 25% to startups with founding teams that included at least one woman.”
Janine Sickmeyer, co-founder of VC firm Overlooked Ventures, is optimistic for what 2022 will bring. “Women founders have always been capable, and ready, to make a difference in the world of VC and startups, it was just everyone else who needed to catch up,” she said. “Although progress isn't where it should be, more and more women are starting successful businesses and getting the recognition and support they need to grow.”
Sickmeyer continued, “2022 will be a strong year for women if venture capitalists and the industry put their money where their mouth is. Many great initiatives and investments were started to back women founders, but it's clear that there's more work to do. It's up to venture capital to make 2022 a strong year for women, specifically women of color.” Despite enduring years of setbacks, or perhaps because of it, women-led businesses might finally be seeing a glimmer of optimism.
You can leave a large sum of money or a priceless family heirloom; you can also leave an open mindset, an accepting persona, a life experience, a lesson learned. Merriam-Webster defines legacy as “something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor from the past.” This isn’t necessarily a material possession or sum of money. A legacy can be a feeling, viewpoint, or opinion that lives on beyond you, your children, and your grandchildren. Some parents leave a legacy of love and trust and respect for their children. Some teachers impress a legacy of continuous learning and dedication on their students. Some coaches instill hard work and cooperation on their players.
On the other hand, armed conflicts will leave painful legacies and violent events will leave guilt and devastation as their legacies. Whether we want to or not, everything and everyone will leave a legacy behind. With that in mind, go mend that relationship that was ruined by something insignificant. Heal the hurt you’ve caused due to pride or stubbornness in the past. Create the values you want to impress on those around you and decide to be remembered for the right reasons.
Don’t leave the past unsettled or pass on angry viewpoints or prideful façades upon others. You can either choose your legacy or let someone else decide it for you. So, I pose one question to anyone reading this article: What will your legacy be?
By The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen
What you’ll need:
1 1/4 c. sliced almonds
1/2 c. sugar
1 large egg
4 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
(substitute with coconut oil for dairy free)
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1 tbsp. orange zest
1/4 c. orange juice
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. Thyme leaves
6 3/4 inch-thick-slices brioche
Sliced citrus, for serving