Lessons From My Mom
We asked the women at Mercer Advisors the most important money lesson they learned from their mothers. Their answers are inspiring and quite insightful into the teams that support you and your financial dreams every day.
We believe in the incredible power of women. And who was our first influence? Our moms! In recognition of Mother’s Day, read on to hear how moms influenced us.
Education is Opportunity
My mother was a fierce example of what it means to be a sacrificing, hard-working, frugal woman. She immigrated to America with two little kids in her 30’s, worked several jobs most of her life, and rented out rooms in our home so that she could invest in me and my sister. She prioritized higher education for us and told us that in this country, we could achieve great financial freedom. She calls me IRA #1 and my sister IRA #2. I’d say she’s a pretty astute investor. =)
Director of Financial Planning
Keeping it Real
My mom kept it pretty-straight forward; she would say: “Emily, don’t worry about things you cannot control.” I took this to heart, and in this industry, I don’t worry about the stock market. Instead, I focus on the things I can control: allocation, diversification, asset location, saving and planning.
Why Saving for Retirement Matters
The most important lesson I learned from my mother – be sure to save for retirement since you can’t depend on Social Security alone or you will end up working until your funeral.
Senior Wealth Advisor, Director
The Value of a Dollar
My mom taught me that if I wanted something special, I had to contribute 50% to the cost. For example, in 6th grade I started to ski and I wanted downhill skis. I asked for them one Christmas. My mom told me I had to pay for half and my parents would pay for the other half as my Christmas present.
Senior Wealth Advisor, Senior Director
Anything is Possible
My 10th birthday cake was also the grand opening cake for my mother’s store. I saw my mother find something she loved to do and she exceled at it. Her hobby of decorating cakes turned into a strong business. Throughout my teen years, it allowed her to pay me to help her not only make cakes and candies, but also teach others how to do the same. We worked hard and she made it happen, so I learned that anything is possible.
The Value of Hard Work
Growing up with eight siblings, our mother taught us the value of sharing, being kind to one another and taking pride in a job well done. Our basic necessities were provided, but if we wanted anything beyond that, we earned it. Every one of my siblings had jobs as pre-teens and teens. Our mother taught us to spend wisely, take care of the things we purchase and be patient…in all aspects of our lives.
Ann de Zeeuw
Client Service Specialist
Talking About Money
The best thing I learned about money from my mom was to talk about it openly. Women have been socialized to think that money is an indecorous topic of conversation. However, this approach often keeps us from building our own wealth.
Learning from Challenging Times
When I was growing up, we did not have enough money for basic food and clothing. I remember we had to borrow money from one of our neighbors each month, when my parents got their pay, they would pay back the money and that lasted for quite some time. My mom doesn’t spend money on herself, and she is the most selfless person I have ever known. The financial difficulty we had when I was a child made me a person that is responsible financially. I always make sure I have savings for emergency, and I don’t have to spend even though I have cash in my wallet. By learning from my mom’s example of taking care of her children, I make sure I help my daughter with her college expense and tuition so she can focus on her studies.
Client Service Specialist
Creating Fun on a Budget
My mom taught me that you don’t need a full wallet to live a full life. Whether it was cramming us three kids into one motel bed, dressing us in hand-me-downs or serving us PBJs in the Disneyland parking lot, my mom was the queen of saving money without sacrificing on fun.
Wealth Advisor, Senior Director
Know What You Own
The best thing I learned from my mom about money is that you should always have some of your own and know what’s going on with it. Being in control of your money gives you the freedom to choose what’s best for you.
The Importance of Self-Sufficiency
My mother taught me great money lessons about independence. She encouraged me to be certain that I am able to meet all of my obligations — including savings targets — on my own. It was important to her that I do not have to rely on another person and can be self-sufficient.
Remember to Save for “Life Adventures”
Since I can remember, my mom always taught me to save money, but still have fun. As a little girl, I remember getting a dollar and then storing away a quarter in my “Savings” piggy bank and the remainder in my “Checking” piggy bank. I learned very basic finance principles as a kid, which made the transition to adulthood finances so much easier. I’ve always been thankful to my mom for this advice, saving well and having an emergency fund, but also remembering to spoil myself and use that hard earned money for life adventures.
Hannah Padaoan Spittle
Estate Planning Paralegal II
Reinventing Yourself to Success
My mom showed us how you can have an active, fulfilling professional life and still be a devoted mother. She recreated herself several times over – going back to college in her 30s to finish her degree, becoming a teacher, then a realtor, then successfully running for elected office. She never let her limitations or anyone’s expectations hold her back. She understood the importance of financial independence at a time when that was a very difficult thing for women to aspire to.
Client Advisor and Branch Manager
Learning First-Hand About Finances
Growing up, my mom had asked me to come work on “bill pay day” with her. She had me read the statements off to her while she wrote out the checks (this was before everything was paid online) and titled it to the correct utility/service company. I remember being floored that 1) It cost money to use water and electric; and 2) How much it cost EVERY month! This day taught me the importance of consumption habits, and the effort my mom made to make sure our needs were taken care of every month.
Moving Our Mothers’ Advice Forward with InvestHERS
Mercer Advisor’s InvestHERs initiative is just one way that we support the valuable financial advice our mothers have given us. This initiative’s goal is to ensure women have an opportunity to follow their dreams in the financial services profession, with the added goal of having the resources and the knowledge to serve women investors. As a result of InvestHERs, Mercer Advisors has expanded our diversity program to include numerous initiatives to educate women about career opportunities at Mercer Advisors and to grow and retain these team members.
Additionally, we have established key university relationships to recruit stellar undergraduates and to fund 13 scholarships supporting women, people of color and first-generation college students interested in careers in the wealth management industry.
We want to hear from you on how your mom influenced you in making financial decisions. To learn more about how Mercer Advisors can help you achieve your financial goals, or to read insights for female investors, visit our women and wealth insights page.
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