Women of Power: Financial Advisor Robin A. Young Asks “What’s In Your Purse?”

The value of your purse and its contents tells a lot about you

On average women own six handbags. A woman owns even more as she ages, buying three new handbags every year and spending $40 to $65 per bag. Plus, studies show that 1 in 10 women who purchase a handbag is an upscale handbag buyer, willing to spend $150 or more per bag. On top of that, women shop for makeup at least five times a year, spending around $40 to $50 each trip with a total tally of about $15,000 over her lifetime.

“The value of your purse as well as what you carry in it each day says a lot about who you are, and more importantly, how you manage your money,” says Robin A. Young, a certified financial planner.

Young will facilitate a special Women & Money session, entitled “What’s In Your Purse,” at the Women of Power Summit (February 26 – March 1, 2014, Boca Raton Resort and Club, Waldorf Astoria Resort).

A “purse check” is one way women can do a quick financial assessment, says Young, who is the president of Women Behaving Wealthy (www.womenbehavingwealthy.com) in New York. If your bag is more valuable than its contents, then it’s time to rethink your fiscal priorities.

“Financial behavior often reflects how you feel about yourself. Money is personal and emotional—and what you carry around every day says a lot about your relationship with it,” adds Young.

Here’s a quick exercise you can do. Add up the value of your purse and its contents. For example, if your purse cost $500, your smartphone $350, your wallet $200, your cosmetics $250, and your iPad $750, then the value is $2,050. Now, ask yourself if you’ve invested that same amount into savings or retirement accounts, including your 401(k) plan, over the last month? If you have indeed invested at least $2,050 in the last 30 days, then you are building wealth.

“You need to find balance,” meaning, “you want to make sure you are saving as much as you are spending,” explains Young.

She often advises her clients to redirect their income on the basis of what matters most to them. “I have them list and rank eight categories. I tell them to keep spending on items 1-4—what’s most important—but to decrease spending on 5-8—what’s least important.”

Part of the challenge, she says, is that the male-dominated financial services industry is oriented toward the male mindset.

“The industry doesn’t meet the unique needs of women, who have more questions and approach money more holistically,” explains Young, who has worked in financial services for over a decade, formerly at Fidelity Investments, where she advised 500 millionaires how to invest their money.

Embrace your financial power by joining Young and other accomplished professionals who will share their secrets of success at the Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit hosted by State Farm, Feb. 26­ – March 1, 2014, at Boca Raton Resort and Club a Waldorf Astoria Resort, Boca Raton, FL. Register today!

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