Financial Advisor, Financial Planning, Investing, Podcast, Retirement, Saving
March 03, 2019
Listen to Podcast Episode:
“It is far better to do nothing than something you don’t understand.”
Hey, you thanks for joining the Women & Money podcast. I love that you are here. A few things, March 16th at the Apollo Theater in New York is right around the corner. I am doing a one woman show called Women and Money. It is only $20. If you go online to apollotheater.org, if you buy your ticket that day at the theater, it's $30. I want to see you there. If you are in the New York area, it starts at five p.m. And it's always a lot of fun. A few more things that are a lot of fun is if you want, please write in a question to email@example.com and if your question is chosen on Thursday’s which are Ask Suze Anything day, I very well may answer it again. A favor out there, go to Apple podcast and rate and review Women & Money. Can you do that for me? Alright, let's get to this week's topic. You know, every day before I go to do something, I usually say prayers but I say them when somebody is either doing my hair or doing my makeup or I'm on the way to an event or whatever. It may be very seldom. In fact, I can't even remember the last time before today when I did those prayers, sitting down by myself not doing anything else but those prayers. And today I sat down to do my podcast and I did my prayers. But this time when I did my prayers because you know I pray that everything that I say is something that really helps you. I also pray for only those who will benefit from my products that I create my books, whatever it may be by them. So I'm having a joint prayer for you as well as for me and I sat today before this microphone, and rather than just doing them to get them over so that everything could be okay, I took my time, I closed my eyes, I concentrated and I only did my prayers. Nothing else. I didn't wish for an outcome. I just did that for five minutes. And as I was doing them, I felt totally centered like I felt this energy enter me that even enhanced how intense I normally am. Even though I probably sound more calm right now. But from there I realized that it is within all of us, it is within you. If you just got in touch with what you wanted to do, not what somebody else wants you to do, not doing something in all the business of life, just to get it done, but if you sat down for just five minutes to ask yourself or to pray or to do whatever, what is it that you want in your life? How do you want to deal with your money? How do you want to deal with every decision that you have to make? Do you want it to be one that enhances you, and it makes you feel stronger, just like I did a little bit ago, or do you want to just do something to just get it done and move on? Now what does this have to do with money? It has a lot to do with money, because here's the point of today's podcast. You have got to learn to trust yourself more than you trust others. Every single one of us always asks others what to do what to do, what do you think, what should I do? And you really listen to others advice. When it comes to your money, you can listen to what other people say, but you have to trust your gut. Many emails that are coming in are saying to me things such as Suze, I've saved $500,000. I've saved $10,000. I've saved whatever it is that you've saved, you go to a financial advisor and they tell you to do something and you don't feel good about what they're telling you to do. Some of you go ahead and you do it and then you write me and go, oh my God I can't believe I put all of my money into this annuity. And why did I do that within my retirement account? I just heard your podcast and I realized I may have just made a big mistake and blah blah blah blah. It's essential that you listen, but you trust your gut. Because undoubtedly in these emails, it also says to me, but Suze, when I was doing it, I didn't feel right about it, I didn't know what to do. So I just listened and I just did it. Trust your gut more than you trust others. It was 1980 and I had first gotten a job as many of you know, at that time, as a stockbroker for Merrill Lynch, having been a waitress for seven years at the Buttercup Bakery in Berkeley, California making $400 a month. So here I am, almost 30 years of age, no training, nothing. My world has been serving a platter of food, not a platter of financial advice, I am so afraid because I don't belong there. I don't know what to do. I don't know who to believe. And I would go every Tuesday would be a sales meeting and it would be this sales meeting where many people would present ideas that all the brokers in that room starting the next morning should go out and sell to all their clients. And I would listen to some of these ideas and many of them didn't make any sense to me. But then again, what would I know I was just a waitress prior to being a financial advisor. You know, I'm really not your typical financial advisor. If I could tell you the stories of what went on at Merrill Lynch, at Prudential Bache, at all these places with me. You would laugh like, all right. I'll just tell you a quick story here. So, here I am a vice president of investments for Prudential Bache. Have now moved on from Merrill lynch. I know I'm skipping all over the place today. And all the offices had these big wooden desks. They were all four men because again, even in 1983, three years after I was an advisor with Merrill Lynch, I was still the only woman who had come into Prudential Bache at that time. Are you kidding me? But anyway, I didn't want an office that was all wooden desks and this and that and that was so male, it wasn't even funny. So, I had money then. So one weekend I brought in all this furniture that I had made for my office. That was cool, looked great. In fact, it was like black lacquer with the silver trim and I brought in curtains I made and like beautiful chairs to sit on, and I put all of the furniture that was in my office in the manager's office. In his exact office and said deal with it. Anyway, I don't know why I thought I should tell you that story. But all right. I did. But what's important is that here I am a broker for Merrill Lynch and I don't know who to trust. And as I was starting to say, and I say it at the beginning of every podcast, this is not your ordinary podcast because there's nothing about me that's ordinary. I somehow, remember California, that's where I was. I somehow start taking this crystal. I got a little tiny crystal that was maybe an inch long, and I tied it to a string. And I decided at that point in time, that before I bought a stock for a client, I would ask my crystal. And if it's, just stick with me here, alright, everybody. And if it swung clockwise, I would know that I should buy it, and if it swung counterclockwise, I should know I should not buy it. Okay? All right now, I learned that by the way from an acupuncturist that I was seeing that would hold a little crystal over your chakras and all of that. And again, like I said, it was California. So I would go into these meetings, and when I would come out, I would ask my little crystal. And sometimes it would sing swing clockwise, and sometimes it would not, but I never ever bought a stock that didn't. And the other brokers would see me do this. And they would go, you are crazier than we had any idea. Until months later, when my stocks that were being chosen by my crystal were all going up, and the ones that I chose not to buy, we're all going down. Little by little, one broker would come to me and they'd sit down and he'd say Suze, can you ask your crystal if I should buy XYZ stock? And I would go, no, you made fun of my crystal. I'm not asking my crystal anything for you. As time went on, and I had winners and I had avoided losers, I started to realize that I was the crystal. I did not need this little device to tell me what to do, all I had to do was trust my gut. To learn, what did I think, what did I feel, what was my gut telling me? And that probably is the most important lesson I have learned in my life. And I want you to learn that as well. One of the emails I got was from a woman who has saved $500,000 in her IRA, she has another 800,000, whatever it is, she's paid off her house, she's been listening to me for years, she's done everything that I've told her to do, and she now goes years later because she's been with me for a long time, goes to see a financial advisor that tells her if she continues to invest the way that she is investing, she's going to outlive her money. And now she gets afraid, now she writes me and says, Suze, I'm told I'm investing like an 80 year old. Are you kidding me? If she has amassed the amount of money that she has amassed knowing that her husband, who's a policeman, is going to absolutely get a pension and everything else, and they're going to be more than fine, why should she change her ways? It has been working for her. I doubt highly she may even need to touch any of this extra money given the pensions that she's going to get. But yet she is totally confused now. She's not trusting her gut. She's not doing what she has been doing all these years, which is investing her money in a way that makes her feel secure, and I go back again to what is the goal of money? The goal of money is for you to be secure. You are not to do anything an advisor tells you, if your gut tells you you don't want to do it. This is your money. How many times do I have to say, what happens to your money directly affects the quality of your life, not my life, not your financial advisor’s life, not your insurance agent’s life, but your life. And your life has to be one where you know your thoughts, you know your fears, you know what makes you feel good, you know all of that about yourself. And how do you do that? Oh here we come back to the beginning of today's podcast. Do you just take five minutes and sit with yourself. See what it feels like to sit and just close your eyes, and you will find that the thoughts in your mind are going rampant. Try to still your mind. Try to not think. Good luck, good luck! We are so busy. We are so busy all the time thinking, doing, feeling, wanting, needing, we don't even know who we are on most levels. We can't even sit quiet. When you are confused, it is better to do nothing than something you do not understand. Everything can be made to sound really great. People can make numbers work any way they want to, but all that matters is you know if you understand something. You know how it feels in your gut. Two things from today's podcast. Try really hard to stay in touch with how you feel about something. If it doesn't feel good to you, and I'm not just talking about money here. I am talking about every aspect of your life. If it doesn't feel good, don't do it. So write this down. You need to trust your gut more than others. That is just one law of money. Second law of money. You have got to understand, it is better to do nothing than something you do not understand. Do you get it? Do not pretend like you know what somebody's talking about. Do not pretend that oh, I get this so I'm just going to do it. If you can't understand the investment that somebody is asking you to do, and if your gut also tells you not to do it, don't do it. Both those things have to be true all the time. Even if your gut says do it, but you don't understand it, don't do it. If your gut says not to do it, but you do understand it, still don't do it. Both those things have to be going on. And here's the image to keep in your mind. And again, write that second one down. It is better to do nothing than something you do not understand. But here's the image to get this. You have one foot in one boat, you have another foot in another boat. When they start to spread apart and go in different directions, what happens to you, you fall in. But if you have both feet in one boat, then you always go in the direction you need to go. Hopefully you will not fall in as long as you're also the captain of that boat. You steer that boat where you want it to go. And if both feet are in that boat, you will get there. So again, one foot, trust your gut more than you trust others. Trust yourself more than you trust others. One foot in a boat. It's better to do nothing than something you don't understand. Another foot that foot goes in the boat. And you are the captain of that boat. Be a strong captain, be a smart captain, and therefore you will become a secure captain.
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