Read this Periscope for some actionable advice for folks who have just received, or might be about to receive, a large amount of money.
Catherine worked for her employer for several years before they went public, recently, and her whole life changed. She had owned stock options and shares in the firm since the day they started but she’d never really paid attention to them. Instead, she called them “nice but…” money. She said things like:
“Nice, but what if nothing happens?”
“Nice, but I’ll never get any of that.”
“Nice, but these things never happen to people like me!”
Nice, but…Really Nice!
Catherine was pleasantly surprised by the quick run-up of her shares. Her colleagues at work started to change. They bought new cars. Some bought new homes, and vacation homes! Everyone started to feel upbeat. The entire office culture changed. People saved the stock price as their home page on their computers. They looked at it every day. Sometimes more often than that!
When the price would decline, people would brush it off. Others would say, “It’s a buying opportunity!” When it rose even higher, they would whisper excitedly and say things like, “did you see what it did today?” Sometimes they would high-five and hoot and holler with joy!
Catherine had trouble keeping her perspective. She felt both elated and worried. She had heard stories like this on the television. She had read about it happening to other people on the internet. Suddenly, she was rich! At least she had a lot more money than she had ever had before. What was she worried about?
What Should I do?
Catherine’s emotions flipped from elation to terror. She didn’t know what to do. She didn’t want to lose it. She wasn’t sure about the taxes. She wanted to protect the money. She didn’t want to be taken advantage of. She wasn’t even sure if she should tell her family or friends. What if they were jealous? What would she do if they asked her for money?
“What should I do?” She asked her friend, who introduced her to us.
Catherine spoke with one of our fantastic women financial advisors. They discussed what the money means to her. They talked about what meaning she would like it to have. They talked about where she’d like to go and what she’d like to do. She used to say, “I just don’t want to be a bag lady.” Now, she has a completely different opportunity set. After talking with her financial advisor, she feels knowledgeable and confident.
Catherine achieved a sense of calm and purpose. She talks about what is important to her, like her goals, values and relationships. She can visualize a future where she is both safe and happy. She has enough money invested that she could, possibly, become much more wealthy than she is today!