In the early 2000s, I was a single mother of three and had to reinvent myself financially. I found BetterInvesting via a Motley Fool message board and was intrigued by the fundamental investing philosophy. After attending the 2003 Norfolk (Va.) BetterInvesting National Convention, I decided to become a Lifetime Member.
Although I grew up in New York City, neither the stock market nor investing of any sort was ever discussed in our home. I’ve changed that paradigm for my children. I encouraged my son to invest in the Thrift Savings Plan as a member of the military, assisted my elder daughter with her 401(k) plan investments and helped my younger daughter structure her college-loan payments. I’m proud of their financial savvy. Because they’re in their 20s, the value of long-term compound interest is in their favor.
I was graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in one of the first coed classes. I’m extremely proud of that achievement as well as my military service.
I’m currently an information technology project manager for the federal government. I love travel, history and reading. I’ve visited five continents and am working on traveling to the others.
I also have a special interest in visiting battlefields and have visited multiple Revolutionary War and Civil War battlefields within the United States, as well as the Normandy and Ardennes battlefields in Europe.
I’m passionate about financial education for women, who are likely to make less money than men but need those funds to last over a longer lifespan. After observing my own mother’s positive financial example, I’m passionate that women need to educate themselves about investing. Doing so will help ensure financial security for themselves and their families within the new paradigm in which workers fund and manage their own investments via 401(k), 403(b) and other plans.
I’ve found great personal fulfillment in sharing BetterInvesting’s fundamental investing message with my local community. Since joining the association, my own portfolio has increased from three figures to the high six figures. I intend to use my investment gains to travel extensively and fund my future grandchildren’s college educations. (None yet, but I’m hopeful!)
During my first BINC, an elderly gentleman asked me what I was gaining from being there. I told him I liked all the classes, but my favorite takeaway was educating myself about investing. The gentleman looked ready to bust his buttons with happiness and said my answer was exactly right. I thanked him for his kind words and left. A couple of breathless people then came up to me and said, “Do you know who that was?” I was a newbie so I didn’t realize I’d just spoken with Thomas O’Hara, BetterInvesting’s co-founder.
One of the highlights of my life was ringing the New York Stock Exchange closing bell in January 2010 as a BetterInvesting volunteer. In July 2014, I attended the NYSE’s one week Teachers Seminar. Walking the trading floor daily and being recognized as a “regular” coming through the NYSE security gates was a dream come true, both as a native New Yorker and a BetterInvesting volunteer.