Talk Wealth to Me

#065 The Struggles That Some Women Have With Money with Ilene Slatko

December 04, 2020 Felipe Arevalo, Chase Peckham, Katie Utterback Season 3 Episode 14
Talk Wealth to Me
#065 The Struggles That Some Women Have With Money with Ilene Slatko
Show Notes Transcript

Whether it's a stigma or just uncomfortable a lot of women are not comfortable with money. This week the Talk Wealth to Me crew talk to Ilene Slatko https://www.linkedin.com/in/ileneslatko/ the principle and founder of DSS Consulting in the Washington D.C. area. She talks candidly about her journey and how women's brains work when it comes to money, Her Women and Their Money program and much, much more.

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Intro:

[inaudible] Welcome to Talk Wealth to Me, a safe space podcast, where we chat about anything and everything related to personal finance, the information contained in this podcast is for educational and entertainment purposes only. It does not constitute as accounting, legal tax or other professional advice.

Chase Peckham:

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Talk Wealth to Me. Today, Katie, Felipe and I sat down with Eileen Slack . She is the principal and founder of DSS consulting, and we discuss a program that is she's bringing back in 2020 and yet it was a program she started in the mid to late eighties. And what you are really, it seems all the research that I've done. You are really fanatical about women and financial literacy and helping women navigate that world. So please kind of, first of all, give us a little bit of background and what made you so passionate about that? And then what you're doing about it.

Ilene Slatko:

This goes back a number of years, right? I started , um, I started in a financial business in 1986 and I had been in the real estate business before then. So I had been in investing for , uh, several years before I actually got into the stock side of the investing point . But the previous year I had lost three men in my family. So , um , my grandfather passed away. Then my stepfather passed away and then an uncle passed away and all those deaths occurred within four months of one another. And , um, I looked at the widows, you know, my mother included and thought these are all strong women, not so much. My grandmother, you know, she was in a different generation completely and was totally dependent on my grandfather, but the other two women were strong women. Um, and they had never handled money before, other than the bill paying. And that was, you know, here are the bills. I'm putting money into the account to pay the bills, you pay the bills kind of a thing. And so I, I thought there's a need here. You know, if I have these strong women in my life and they don't understand money and investing, what's it like out there for the rest of people. And , um, so I saw that and then I joined Merrill Lynch. And at the time I don't know how it is now, but at the time Merrill Lynch, their whole philosophy was what we used to call smile and dial. Right? You'd get on the phone. You get to work at nine in the morning and you'd start dialing the phone. And the expectation was 200 calls a day. And you're going to find some, you know, some poor schmo or hopefully not poor, but a rich Schmo who says, Oh yeah, gosh, I've been dying for a stock broker , call me, sell me something. Right. And I thought, Oh, I don't, I don't want to do the business way. What can I do? So I had , um, I had previously had a business where I had traversed the country doing seminars. I did a lot of business programs. So I worked for USDA. I worked for some very large corporate clients and I thought, okay, I I'll just pivot a little bit. And I'll take, what's happened in my family and I'll take my previous experience doing seminars, and I'm going to put something together and I can admit this now, although at the time I never would have admitted this. I was on my way to the three week training program that Merrill Lynch used to have. Again, I don't know what they do now, but they used to have a three week training program, all new stock brokers from across the country gathered in New Jersey for three weeks of training about what products were and how Merrill Lynch did the business and what was expected. And all this stuff. I made a phone call to a local agency in Northern Virginia that was named financial education center. And they advertise themselves as being , um , as their mission was to provide financial education and counseling to women and the elderly. And I thought, perfect. So I called, I did a cold call to the executive director and I said, I have this fabulous program for women. It's called women and their money. And she said, Oh, that's great. We'd love to talk to you about it. And I said, knowing that I was heading off to three weeks of training, I said, well, I'm going to be out of pocket for a few weeks. I have business meetings out of town. I'll call you when I get back. So she never knew that I was brand new to the business, but that started my career in , in, in teaching financial literacy to women. And it was the exact right thing at the right time. Um, because at that time, as far as I knew at that time, all seminars consisted of an invitation from an insurance company or a mutual fund company. And you always knew that there was going to be sales literature at the door and sales pitches during the course of the seminar. But it was really, you were gathered there to have a bite to eat or, you know, some snacks and they were going to be pitching their products. There wasn't a lot of education, necessarily. It was why their products were going to fit your needs, whatever your needs were. And so I came in and I said, this is a four session course, it's eight hours. And we're not going to talk about investments until the last two hours, the last session. And I never make recommendations. So we went through what I always start with, which I call the economic realities for women. And we talked about credit, you said use . And we talked about insurance and we talked about, you know, all the budgeting and everything else. And then finally, we got to talking about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, which, you know, were pretty much the entire universe . Then we didn't have ETFs. You know, so, you know, that was how the course was set up. And I had standing room only at the programs because I wasn't selling anything, but that was how I started.

Chase Peckham:

You know, it's funny, you mentioned the smile and dial , uh , and I just done Dolly Parton ride on Peloton the other day, and nine to five came up. And that was that era, right. That was around the time that maybe even a little later,

Ilene Slatko:

It was a little later, I think.

Chase Peckham:

A little later. But Dolly Parton was ahead of her time regardless. Right. Um, so, and that's so much of , I guess, what gives financial literacy in this world we live in especially years ago that gave it such a bad name as anybody that was doing seminars was just pitching something, right. It wasn't about teaching. So tell us what made you, how did you decide that that's, I'm going to change all that and now you're going forward because this program that you are talking about, and I believe it's called women and their money, correct. You started that years ago, 1987, I believe. And now you're going to , it's come full circle and you're , and you're bringing it. I don't know if you're bringing it back or you're, re-introducing it. Tell us about that.

Ilene Slatko:

Um , yeah, thank you. I spent a lot of years not doing the seminar. I was , um, you know, I had a very good, robust business. I was working with high net worth people. Um, I didn't have time to do the seminars and I was a single parent to two young kids. And so it became too much to juggle. And , um, then I moved back to DC. So I'm from DC also grew up , uh , on the other side of the river, from where my wife did. I grew up in Montgomery County, Maryland area. And I came back here four and a half years ago. And I thought, you know, I love to work. I love to make a difference. I see myself as someone who brings value to people, no matter what I do. And I thought, what's my, what's my strongest , uh, area, you know, and my strongest area is in, is in providing this financial literacy. And so I very purposefully dropped my registrations, my series seven and my series six and my insurance registration. I dropped all that because I didn't want to have the conflict of interest. I wanted it to be pure education. And so then I started to reintroduce . And to your point, Chase , uh, about, you know, the whole, Oh, I, you know, how people have this extra grind or, or particular , um , agenda, which I had also, I went, I'd done a couple of , uh , other people's programs here in the area. One , uh , was billed as pure education. And it was a two session program at the end of the first session. He said , uh , I've gotten a couple of questions about annuities and there that usually comes up in the second session. But I thought because so many people asked about it , I would mention it. Now. He said, I'm just here to tell you that everyone in this room should have an annuity. My jaw dropped and I left there and I thought, you gotta be kidding me. You don't know you haven't done any due. You don't know your customer. You're not allowed to say that. And so we haven't moved forward. We just haven't moved forward. So now what's , uh , what I've done is I've said, okay, I believe that everything exists exactly the same way it did then. Unfortunately, we still think about financial literacy is how to invest in stocks and bonds and mutual funds and ETFs and, you know, whatever else is out there now, Bitcoin. Um, but we don't talk about our , our goals. We don't talk about our mindset. We don't talk about the basics. And so people are struggling with , um, well, I'm supposed to know all that other stuff. And I, I, my experiences, they still don't know all that other stuff. And so I decided to get back out there and do the same thing that I was doing a lot of years ago.

Chase Peckham:

Well, you need to know how to take care of your home before you can do all the other stuff, right? I mean, there , there's the basics of just living day to day, which is what we talk about all the time. And that's what the SDFLC is for. Is there so much more to it than getting there and whether you should buy an annuity or not. And the fact that somebody just said that everybody in this room, there is no everybody in this room, there is no blanket statement for everybody. We're all individuals. We all have our own histories that in itself, people should just got up and walked out and said, you got to be kidding me. Right. I paid for this. Hopefully they didn't pay for that.

Ilene Slatko:

They did, it was a $50 , 50 ish dollar charge. And , um, everyone else was nodding and taking notes. And, you know, I'm sitting there with my jaw held shut. So I wouldn't say anything. And I didn't go back for the second session. You know , and as I looked at who this guy was, you know, which I had looked at before, he, he was a financial advisor on the insurance side. So that was his whole shtick, you know, let me get, let me get 50 people in the door. And if I can convince half of them or a quarter of them that they need to buy an annuity policy, I've made my month, I've made my couple months, you know, it was horrible. So , um, you know, I participate in a couple of online forums and , um, I had an opportunity to answer a question just yesterday from a young woman. And, you know , she's saying, well, I'm 26 and I make a pretty decent living. And everyone tells me I need to have balance in my portfolio. And, and um, I want to buy a house in four years. I don't have a retirement account. I have one month's worth of savings. And , um, you know, like what should I be doing in my portfolio? I'm like, Whoa, you know , I said, well, it's really hard to answer what you should be doing in your portfolio without knowing like what your living expenses are, but let's back up just a little.

Chase Peckham:

Right.

Ilene Slatko:

You know, cover this, cover that, and then talk about, you know, a portfolio, hopefully through a 401k or 403B and talk about putting money away for a house, but you can't just go there until you like in this world with the pandemic, you have one month worth of savings. That would, that's very scary to me.

Felipe Arevalo:

I think when we talk to youth , uh , they're always very excited for the investing for the credit scores and they're , and you know, how can I plan for retirement and how can I buy a home that big picture thing? And they often forget, well, you should really start at the ground floor. Uh, you know, there's so much more to personal finances than investing and, you know, they're trying to become, you know, these super rich investor types and, and they don't have a budget. You know, Warren buffet had , I had a budget before he became Warren buffet, you know, and I think that happens a lot.

Ilene Slatko:

I love to see young, young adults or even teenagers be excited about investing in the future because with time on their side, they could actually achieve goals that they set for themselves. I'm disheartened though, when they think that it's all , uh , only I'm going to win the market's going to keep going up. Every time I look at my portfolio, it's going to be and I grow by X, thousands of dollars every month or every year or whatever. It's a very long-term game, a game end game . Right. And so I , to your point, yeah, there's a lot that has to happen first before they can , um , effectively I think manage their long-term . But I love that. The fact, I love the fact that they're thinking about the longterm , at least there they're setting some goals. They just don't have the basis right. Of education.

Katie Utterback:

That kind of reminds me too, I want to jump back to when you were talking about the annuity. To be quite honest, I don't exactly know what that means. And I'm on a finance podcast. I don't have a finance background though. Um, and so when you were talking about that, my hands were getting sweaty because I was like, I don't know if I have one. Um, I don't really know what that means. And I started feeling like I was at like talking to a car mechanic and I think for a lot of women, that's kind of, for me personally, that's the experience. That's what I'm feeling when I'm talking about finance. It's not fun because my whole body is like, I don't know what's going on.

Ilene Slatko:

Yeah, absolutely. You know, Katie , I, I found some quote that said that, you know, people are willing to talk about sex and politics, religion, everything else around the dinner table, but they still don't want to talk about money.

Katie Utterback:

Oh my God, that's me.

Ilene Slatko:

Right. Well, we all grow that way. I mean, you know, we grew up that way and you know, you guys are talking about Chase. We were talking before about your kids and there's such an opportunity to talk to our kids in a way that it all makes sense. You know, it's not just, can we afford something it's does it make sense to buy that? Something relative to what our other goals are.

Katie Utterback:

Yeah.

Ilene Slatko:

And if we don't have those constant , you know , uh , kids don't need to know how much we made , but they should know relative to other things that they see, you know, it's , Hey , I mean, I think it takes me, it takes me 14 days a month to work and pay the mortgage. It takes me eight days a month to work and pay the utilities and buy groceries. So now that leaves, you know, five days or whatever to do all the rest of the things, pay the car payment, buy gas, take you guys bowling or to the movies, or, you know, whatever else, or if I need, if I want, you know , this for Christmas, I had a friend years ago when my daughter was maybe 10, my daughter was asking for a Ugg boots, which were all the rage them

Chase Peckham:

They're making their way back. By the way.

Ilene Slatko:

Her feet were still growing. Right? So I'm like, I am not paying $125 or $150 for you for a pair of boots that you'll wear one season before you can't wear them anymore. It doesn't, makes no sense. And I had a girlfriend who was at dinner with us and she's, she was very much into the status. Oh, but she said, "you have to buy her. Those boots. Every one of her school has those boots." And I looked at her. I said, if you want to spend 150 bucks on my kid's feet, you go right ahead. Otherwise, stop interrupting my conversation with my kid. I don't want that feedback. My kid needs to understand that she's not going to get everything that she wants because as a single parent household, we're in a different situation than some of her friends. And I'm not sure I would spend 150 bucks for a 10 year old kid, no matter what the situation was. You know?

Chase Peckham:

Thank you.

Ilene Slatko:

So I , I, relativity is relativity is important.

Felipe Arevalo:

Well , Chase's daughter is going to listen to you and say, Oh man, I was close to thous Ugg boots!

Ilene Slatko:

I don't like that woman. Dad don't listen to her.

Chase Peckham:

Oh no she hears it enough from her mom, from her mom. And I. Katie, you said something is really interesting. You'll hear terms that kind of make you uncomfortable. Cause you're like, wait, wait, should I know what that is? How often does that happen, Ilene in your experience?

Ilene Slatko:

You know, it's a great question. I um, and I tell this to people all the time. Cause I have, I have a program that I do where I actually coach also, and that coaching can be for people. It doesn't have to be women, but for people that have a lot of money or people that have not very much, and they're starting at the basics, but it's universal that for people who aren't in the business , um, or even sometimes people who are affiliated with the business, like Katie , there's a lot to learn. And so you don't necessarily know it all. We have been, I think women more than men have been inculturated. You know, when you're a young girl in school, you're not usually encouraged to raise your hand. If you raise your hand all the time and ask questions, you know, they're oh she's sort of a pain in the neck or, you know, trying to show off or , um, it's a different, it's a different set of inculturation rules for boys than there are for girls. And so girls grow up to be women who think, I shouldn't ask about this, but I probably should know because other people are talking about it. So one of the benefits of having women and their money programs is that women can drop that, that insecurity. And they all look around and they say, Oh, I didn't know that either. And so it's a much different conversation than when you have, when I've done seminars that are, you know, everyone , um, the women don't feel like they can ask the questions and that's one of the benefits to having a women in their money program is that women do , um , ask questions and feel like it's okay.

Katie Utterback:

I want to bring this up because I, when you were talking earlier about seeing these strong women from earlier generations kind of get lost when their partner dies and they don't know what's going on with their finances. Um , there was a study that came out this summer by UBS wealth management. I'm not sure if you saw it, but the study found that 49% of women defer financial decisions to their partner , um, including same-sex partners. Um, and the number of millennials that do this is astonishing, 54% of millennials defer financial decisions to their, to their partner compared to 39% of boomers. I'm shocked. But as a millennial, I have to admit when I got married, I was like so excited. I was counting down the days because I was like, as soon as we're married, he's going to deal with the finances. That didn't happen. That was my thought process. I wanted this like weight of dealing with the money and the managing of it to be lifted off of me. Because like you said, the, even though I don't have a human children, yet my dog is my child and managing that is exhausting.

Ilene Slatko:

Yeah . It's a big responsibility. Those financial decisions, you know, in the short term and in the longterm can, can sometimes be, make or break, you know, I mean, there's always a way to right the ship. But it's a big responsibility. And you know, again, I, I did a program a couple of years ago and there was a guy in the back of the room and this was a sort of , um, it was a financial goal setting in, in the midst of job loss. So this was an organization that was helping people for free, you know, get , get new jobs and reestablish and they were all middle-aged right. So that's the context of this, of this talk. So I'm giving this talk, guy in the back, raises his hands at the end and he says, you know, great talk really appreciate it. I think he goes, I have a question. So I'm retiring this and I don't have enough money. What do you suggest? I sort of looked at him and I'm like, I don't know, even have a soft pedal this, but I said that I can't make money magically appear now. So the best thing that you can do now is to cut back on your living expenses, make a life change now, so that the money that you have in retirement will last longer. You know , now's not the time to be taking big risks with your investment portfolio if you're already retired. And , um, I , I like, I was like, I don't even know how to answer that question. No magic wand, just because I , you know, during the financial business, it's not a magic wand. So it's a big, it's a big decision. I mean, it's a big responsibility

Chase Peckham:

And you know, it's funny. I think there are a lot of men like that too, by the way, Katie, I think it just, we don't, I , I don't want to speak all around, but I felt that same way when my wife, it was kind of like, who's going to do, you know, we're going to Roshambo for who does it. And yet here I am. Right. And this is what I do for a living. And yet my wife for the most part pays the bills. But we have, we , we came up with this system of having like a business meeting every month and we discuss how we did at the end of the month. Like you would in a corporate, you have an annual meeting where you sit with your HR or your accounting and you go, all right, how do we do this month? And , and, and that's what we try to teach. You don't have to necessarily take on all of the , the burden of making those decisions, right. Unless you're a single parent and that's really hard, right. And then I take my hat off to single parenting, not just because of finances, but literally, I mean, being a parent and having another parent to roll things off of is hard. I can't even imagine what it would be like being a parent and then running the household as well. I mean, that's a whole different level of a Pat on the back that I'm going to give those people. Cause that's incredible, but purely the idea of a lot of us as men with egos, we don't want to ever admit that we don't want those responsibilities, but I can tell you as a person, I w I would have handed that off. If my wife would've let me. But , um, so I don't, I don't know if you tell me when you created this woman and money, where did it start and where has it gone? What have you found through the years and has it changed much from the time you started in the, in the mid to late eighties to now? I mean, that statistic that Katie just threw out there to me is shocking considering how it seems independent. We all are now, except it seems like it's going with that statistic backwards.

Ilene Slatko:

So I, I have seen that statistic, Katie, and it is very disheartening, Chase , uh , you know, all , all of you, very disheartening to me, but I think it just speaks to the enormity of, of so many things that , um, you know, I think, well, this is a whole different conversation about why millennials might be relying on , uh, on their parents or their partner , uh , because I've seen it with millennials and , and parents to , you know, sort of helped me do this.

Chase Peckham:

Oh, we'll have you back for that one. We'll just do that all on itself , because that would be fun.

Ilene Slatko:

Yeah. It's a lot to do. Well, what I have seen Chase to answer your question is that it, it hasn't changed that , um , the knowledge that people have and the confidence that people have has not increased. One of the problems I think is that we have , uh , we have a world now that's more complex and we have so many more options in terms of investments. You know, when I still, I still talk about, as you've heard me a couple of times, I'll say, you know, we've talked about stocks, bonds, mutual funds. That was so easy. Um, I'm still convinced that starting with a clear definition of what your goal is, is very important to figuring out what instruments you need to use to get yourself to that goal and what you need to put into place today to get yourself to that goal. Um, I find women often come to the program when they have to, I used to take when we were in doing in-person, you know , seminars, right. I would always look for a show of hands at the very beginning, who here is a widowed who's divorced is single the majority of people that came women that came to the coursework widowed or divorced. And so it was a through need that they came. So I think it answered your question. It's the same as it's been. There are people that have, there are women who have taken upon themselves to be better educated than they used to be, but the world keeps changing. And so we constantly feel like we're behind what we should know. And then there are women who have just sort of left it all to an advisor or a partner , um, whoever that other person is. And they've never really taken the time to learn all of this, to be able to make their own decisions, or at least understand the decisions that they're agreeing to

Katie Utterback:

Do you have any advice for women who are listening right now and are realizing, I need to figure out what's going on with my finances. Is there something that they can say that's less confrontational to their partner that just kind of lets them know like, Hey, I just, I just want to know what's going on. I still trust you.

Ilene Slatko:

Are you talking about with a partner?

Katie Utterback:

Yeah. Cause you , you mentioned that so many clients that you have are divorced or widowed. So I'm just wondering for the , the individuals too , don't want to wait till their partner dies or they go through a divorce to figure out their finances, what can they say?

Ilene Slatko:

Yeah, it's a great question. And I think, you know, the answer is probably not one size fits all. Although I like Chase's , um , what chase and his wife do? I think that, I mean, I always tell people, you know, you've got it , you've got to incorporate all your decisions into a decision-making process that includes the people in your life. And so I would approach it that way, you know, like we're in this together and I'd like to better understand our situation and, you know, is there something that I should know, is there a way that I can help? Should I be more active? I know it's a big responsibility. And I think all of those ways are, you know , ways to be direct, but not confrontational about it because I think it is important. And hopefully, you know , marriages stay together and partners stay together, but it really should be a joint thing. This is, you're talking about a joint future. You might as well be a joint journey

Katie Utterback:

With the coronavirus pandemic. I read a couple of different types of reports. I've seen some reports saying because of the financial pressure that almost everyone is under now, a lot more women are starting to say, Hey, I want to know what's going on with my finances. Just because it matters maybe more than it did before. Um, but then I'm also seeing that women are leaving the workforce in record numbers, kind of falling back into those traditional gender stereotypes. And I mean, just to be completely transparent if that were to happen to my husband. And I like if we had a , we don't have a baby today, but he makes twice what I make. So it's literally like, there'd be no question. We'd have to keep his salary. If it came down between the two of us, I'm just wondering, how do you see that affecting women in finance in the short term and then longterm ?

Ilene Slatko:

There's a lot in that question. And , um, you know, certainly on the sh from the short term, it's very difficult when you leave the workforce to reenter the workforce. Now I suspect that six months or a year from now, because there will be so many people that have the same story. There, there will be less of a stigma, although there will also be a lot more people trying to reenter the workforce. But I think that, you know, traditionally people look at, Oh, you took off to, you know , raise your kids. So, you know, you're going to be, and that , what they're really saying is maybe you'll be unreliable because you've already put your kids first. So, you know, you're going to be calling in sick all the time. And so I don't think that's going to be the case. I worry more about the long term . So there's a really excellent book that I referenced sometimes. And it talks about how our brains work and how we tend to think in analogies. Right. So , um, so if you've ever had this experience, right, and I'm going to answer your questions, it's going to be a little bit longer to get there. If you've ever had the experience of standing with a group of friends, and one of your friends starts to tell a story and someone, maybe you or someone else says, Oh, the same thing happened to me. Well, the same thing didn't happen to you probably, but it was enough similar that your brain goes, I totally understand what that friends saying right? Because our brains are actually set up to think in analogies, which could just be an interesting thing. The thing that worries me is the same way that I have seen over the years when I was working with people, children of parents, children , uh, that were people who were children, let rephrase it . People who were children , um, in the great depression, their response to getting into the stock market was, but I can't get into the stock market. I saw my parents lose everything. I worry that , um, we will use this time as our analogy. And so I worry that we'll begin to confuse fear and risk in the future, right? And risk is a mathematical construct. We can actually figure out what the risk in an investment is. Fear is an emotion. There are two different things, but because our brains think in analogies, I worry long-term that this could have a very deleterious effect on how we this period in time , um, could be very bad for us in the future because we'll look back on how scary this was, and we'll tend to be less , um, less thinking about a true risk reward scenario and more just being fearful. Does that make sense?

Katie Utterback:

A hundred percent.

Ilene Slatko:

So you know that also for women, I should say that , um, anytime you take, as anytime you leave the workforce, right, you take a zero on your earnings unless you have. Um, so social security is based on, you know, many years of work. And when you take a zero that's average down, when you take a lower paying job, that's averaged in , right. We used to think that socially , I used to think social security was based on like your high five years. It's based on a lifetime of earnings. So when women leave the workforce, what they're actually doing is , um , severely restricting what that future payout is going to be, because those will all be zeros averaged into whatever they use to earn . Well, then it becomes more , you know, becomes harder. If you remember back when you were a kid in school and you had, you know, straight, straight A's and B's right. And then all of a sudden you got an F in something, or E depending on your school system, it took a lot to bring your average up. Cause that average was like this endless hole, right? That's what a zero on your social security looks like. So I worry about long-term on that, those two things.

Katie Utterback:

Yeah. I mean, that's a good point. I will never forget the year that wood shop just dramatically pull down my GPA.

Chase Peckham:

If you could give us , uh , where can they find you? I know that you have women in their money program coming up here and , and it's going to be held virtually, I would imagine. So give us a little background on that, where people can find you and , uh , and dates that those are gonna happen.

Ilene Slatko:

Yeah . So thank you. Um, so the women and their money, the full program is getting , uh, loaded online and that should be available later this month, the intro to women and their money is very fast, 30 minute program , um, uh , which is talking about the economic realities, the way our brain works, and then several things that women can do as soon as they leave the class to trick their brain or retrain their brain or , um , jumpstart the way they look at things to make a better financial future. And that's coming up, I will have everything listed on the website, which is , uh , at DSSfinancial.com, trying to ascertain, you know, like when in December is the right time, we just did one a couple of weeks ago and it was really well received. And , um, so there's that the, the , um, of course people can find me on LinkedIn and Facebook and Twitter, and I post, you know, all the time about financial things. Uh , but they can find information about the webinars and , um, the , both the full program and the short , uh , free program. Cause my full program does have a fee to it, but the short program is free. And I just want to give people a way to look at how, you know , how we think about it and change that.

Chase Peckham:

So without giving the program away, before we go, give us if you would, if you don't mind, because we don't obviously want trade secrets, but if you don't mind, give us a little bit about what is it in the mind that women look at money and how you are going to go about reprogramming that so to speak.

Ilene Slatko:

Yeah . Um, so I tell a story and I use this story in a lot of my seminars, not even if they're, even if they're not about money, but I have a saying that I love it's called Change the story, change the outcome. So I have people close their eyes, held them a story that , um, elicits emotion, generally negative emotion. And so then I say to them right now, you know, tell me what you were thinking about that person. I, I talk about a crazy driver on a crowded highway. I say, tell me what you're thinking about that person and what you would do. And you know, people always answer, you know, inconsiderate driver, stupid moron, you know, bad, whatever, all the words that you might describe to, you know, someone who was Oh , in and out of the traffic when there was a lot of traffic already and uh, and you know, they'd honk or they'd do whatever. And then I say, okay, now close your eyes again. Let's think about that story in a different way. What if there were something, and again, I'm not going to give it away, but what if there was a reason and I described the reason that you would look at this, that driver and that situation differently. And so I walked them through just changing one piece of that story, which is basically the why, so that then people are focusing on the why, and then I say, great. Now tell me what you think about that driver. And all of a sudden they have empathy for that driver. What would you do? I'd get out of the way. I'd let them go. And I like, yeah, see, that's the whole trick in life is you change the story and you change the outcome. And we tell stories to ourselves all day long. You know, Katie , you were telling a story that a lot of women tell. Um, and I say, you know, we don't walk around saying once upon a time, but we tell ourselves stories, like, I don't know a lot about financial words. And so I'm afraid to say, you know, I'm not very good at math or I'm not very good at this. Or, you know, Felipe, you've been quiet. You know, I like to be quiet and just listen, I, you know what , right whatever we tell ourselves stories, all that , Oh, Chase, that's not true? I just saw those eyes there, but we tell ourselves stories. And so I say to people use this story, this little experiment that we've done and remind yourself. And then I give them an exercise to do along with more information about how our brains work Chase. And I say, if you take those two, things knowledge about one of the reasons why we don't tend in America to save as much as some other places, which the answer would surprise you. Well, the answer surprised me and , and how we need to just change the story to change the outcome. I make them then write a story to themselves about the future, but in today's tense. So that it's all today. Even if you're 25 years old, you write a story to yourself saying today in retirement, I painted, I played with my grandchildren. We were at this park or this house or whatever that it makes it real. And then I say to people, you know, what you need to do is reread that on a regular basis to remind yourself why you're choosing the things to do today, because what we really want, the whole idea of investing and the whole idea of understanding how to manage money is to give ourselves as many choices as possible in the future when the future is unknown. Now, if I want to do a side hustle, you want to do a side hustle. You know, you want to have your job and go, you know , drive for Lyft. You can do that right in the future. When you're 65, 75 years old, you might want to not want to make those same choices. So to me, the whole idea of learning about your money is to give ourselves, give yourself as many choices as possible for the future. So what I do is I take all that together and I say, great, write yourself a story and keep reading that story. So becomes real . So when it's the, it's the, but I want this now versus I know I should invest for the future. You can, we can understand you read your story to yourself about why that's is .

Felipe Arevalo:

I was watching a Masterclass yesterday , uh, Dan Brown. And it was, he was kind of explaining how we as humans are always in some form or another always telling the story. I thought that was very interesting.

Chase Peckham:

Thank you so much for joining us Ilene. It was really a pleasure.

Felipe Arevalo:

Thank you Ilene.

Ilene Slatko:

I've really enjoyed my time with you guys. Okay thanks.

Chase Peckham:

Take care.

Felipe Arevalo:

Thank you have a good one.

Chase Peckham:

Bye. Bye .

Ilene Slatko:

Happy holidays [inaudible] .