Myth: Financial planning is all about the numbers

April 25, 2018

Traditional financial planning focused on producing a plan with lots of numbers, charts, and graphs. This can leave clients feeling that finance is complex and hard to understand. For some clients, especially women, the perceived judgment by financial professionals gets in the way of them taking care of themselves financially. In this episode, Kathleen interviews Stephanie, an advisor dedicated to busting the myth that planning is all about the numbers and showing her clients that they can be empowered by working with a client-centric professional. 

Take aways:

  1. Financial planning is the intersection between money and life. Knowing your numbers is important, but it is only one piece of your financial puzzle. Find an advisor who will help you identify your values and goals, then craft a financial and investment plan to assist you in living the life you desire. 
  1. You don’t have to have all the answers. You do, however, have to know the questions to ask when looking for a financial advisor. Consider what you want an advisor to help you with and then be clear about these goals when interviewing potential advisors. Take time, interview several professionals, and then hire the financial advisor who is the best fit for you. 
  1. Spend less than you make. Living within your means can be challenging because we live in a consumer-driven society. Practice mindful spending and examine your spending habits. Make sure you have an emergency fund to cover unexpected finances and develop a spending plan to keep you on track. 


Stephanie McCullough is passionate about helping women make wise financial decisions so they can control their future. In 2011, she started Sofia Financial after 13 years working as a financial advisor because she saw the needs of women not being met by traditional firms. The women who come to Stephanie are concerned about getting ready for retirement, wondering about how best to manage their financial risks, and, in general, worried about making smart decisions with their money. 

Special Offer: Sign up for Sofia Financial’s quarterly newsletter and blog at Mention the Breaking Money Silence podcast and receive a complimentary 30-minute telephone call to chat about your personal situation.


Myth: Women have lower financial IQ than men.

March 28, 2018

Adrienne Penta, Executive Director Center for Women & Wealth, Brown Brothers Harriman

While the audio quality of this episode is less than ideal, the information is valuable so we decided to publish it. Thank you for your patience with the sound.

Adrienne Penta is truly a breaking money silence revolutionary! In this episode, Kathleen and Adrienne debunk the myth that women are less financially literate than men. Using statistics and her wealth of knowledge on the topic, Adrienne shows women and their advisors how to bust this falsehood and instead work at having a collaborative, and authentic advisor-client relationship.

Take Aways: 

  1. Gender does not determine your financial IQ. Men and women pass financial literacy tests at the same rate; however, women are more likely to feel as if they don’t know enough about investing or managing money. The real issue is not literacy. It is a financial confidence gap that many (not all) women feel that is the problem to be solved. As Adrienne says, “We need to close the confidence gap.”
  2. Advisors can’t read your mind. As a client, it is important to speak up and let your advisor know what is working and is not working in the relationship. While this may be uncomfortable at first, it is the only way a professional will know that they are missing the mark when meeting with you.
  3. Collaborative meeting agendas help. One way to aid in advisor-client communication is to work on meeting agendas together. One week before the appointment, the advisor can send a tentative agenda to the client asking for feedback. The client then has an opportunity to add to the agenda or let the advisor know if there is something that feels more important to discuss. This simple step takes very little but has a big return on investment for both parties involved. 

In this podcast, Adrienne mentioned a book she loves called “The Confidence Code.” As promised here is the link to that resources. Also if you would like to subscribe to the Center’s Women and Wealth Magazine, click here. 


Adrienne Penta is the Executive Director of the Center for Women & Wealth (CW&W) at Brown Brothers Harriman. She is passionate about helping advisors and the women they serve engage in the creation of integrated, holistic wealth plans that help them accomplish their goals. CW&W seeks to create a dynamic and inclusive environment where women can engage in conversations about wealth, family and leadership. For more information about the Center for Women & Wealth,


Myth: To be a true artist you must starve.

February 28, 2018

Erin Bagwell, Dream, Girl Director; Feminist Wednesday Founder

Do you really need to be a starving artist as you pursue your life’s passion? Many artists do allow the everyday pressures of simply making ends meet limit their growth and affect their money mindset. Kathleen interviews Erin Bagwell, director of the film Dream, Girl, about the myth that to be a true artist you must be poor and starving. 


  1. Many people are uncomfortable talking about money, but practice helps. Make time to practice engaging in money talks with a trusted friend or colleague. In time, these discussions will get easier.
  2. Find a tribe to support you and cheer you on as you change your money mindset from scarcity to abundance. Research shows that if you surround yourself with people who are committed to making and managing their money and letting go of under-earning tendencies, you are more likely to move up the socioeconomic ladder.
  3. Set aside a time each week to focus on your finances. If this is difficult for you to do, find an accountability partner such as a coach, a bookkeeper or another business owner. By making financial management a priority you will continue to learn and grow. 


Erin Bagwell is the founder of Feminist Wednesday, a feminist storytelling blog and the director of Dream, Girl a documentary film showcasing the stories of inspiring and ambitious female entrepreneurs. Dream, Girl premiered May 2016 at the White House and through her work with the film was named on Oprah's SuperSoul100. Dream, Girl is now available for public screenings and was the number one feminist film to watch by the Huffington Post. 

Special offer: Check out Erin’s eBook, Creative Money, it can be purchased here.


Myth: For the average America, mutual funds are the only place to invest your savings

January 24, 2018

Janice Shade, Invest in Vermont, Milk Money -

Janice Shade firmly believes that you have more investment options than many people are aware of and that crowdfunding is the wave of the future. Listen to this episode, as Kathleen interviews Janice about how you can invest in small, local businesses and see a return on investment right in your backyard. (Note: The contents of this episode should not be considered investment advice.)

 Take Aways: 

  1. Investing in a local venture still has risk. Look at your risk comfort level and carve out 5-10% of your funds to invest in local companies. Don’t put all of your eggs in a local basket until you are savvier about investing in local companies or ventures. Diversification is always a good investment strategy.
  2. Just because you love a product or company doesn’t mean it is a good investment choice for you. It’s a great first indicator that you and others love the products or a company. But be sure to do your due diligence and look at the company’s business plan and history before investing. Find out more about the company’s leadership, mission statement, and short and long-term business plan before making a decision.
  3. The rubber hits the road when you look at the numbers of the company. Review the company’s profit and loss statement and consult with your financial advisor to help you assess the financial health of each enterprise. Here are some questions to consider asking the owner:
    • How does your company make money?
    • How much of your products or services do you think you are going to sell each year?
    • What are the costs associated with making your product or providing your service?
    • What are the other costs of running your business?

Numbers don’t lie and owners should be able to answer these basic financial inquires if they want you to invest in their business.


Janice Shade is the co-founder of Milk Money, a pioneering "invest local" crowdfunding platform that supports Vermont’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. She is also a founding board member of the National Coalition for Community Capital and is seen as a national thought leader in this burgeoning movement. Her entrepreneurial experiences are the basis of an upcoming book that explores the impact of traditional capital markets on social entrepreneurism and provides a vision for how "Main St. investors" can be a positive force for change in their communities. 

Janice received a B.S. in Finance from Boston University and an MBA in Corporate Strategy from Yale School of Management. She is an avid skier and hiker, and enthusiastic soccer/ballet Sherpa. She lives in Jericho, VT, with her husband, two daughters, and dog.



Myth: Women are not interested in finance.

December 18, 2017

Kathleen Peace, Partner and Financial Consultant, Woodgate Financial

Join Kathleen and her guest Kathleen Peace as they bust this myth wide open and show you how women are just as savvy and interested in finances as men. Find out how even women who are labeled as “gold diggers” are demonstrating their interest in money and wealth, and discover tips for challenging your thinking when it comes to this fallacy. 

Key Take Aways 

  • Women investors and traders actually perform better than their male counterparts due to their calm, and more methodical approach to managing and investing money. 
  • Listeners should ask the women in their lives (wives, mothers, sisters or daughters) if they are interested in finance. If these women say no, then find out why not. For those who truly are disinterested, use this underlying cause as a pathway into making financial conversations more relevant to their lives and give them a positive experience of talking about money. 
  • To find out more about where your money is going, track the inflows and outflows of cash in your life. Seeing where the money flows is a great place to start examining if you are using your resources in a way that is congruent with your values and goals. 


Kathleen Peace, Partner and Financial Consultant, Woodgate Financial, has more than two decades of experience in the financial industry and has dedicated her career to being an ally and resource for female entrepreneurs. 

After spending the first half of her working life on Bay and Wall Streets, she returned to Toronto to start a family and spend more of her professional life directly helping people. Now she combines her financial prowess and love for building community by acting as a personal CFO and champion to a group of driven, successful women. 

Her specialties include corporate reorganization, planning for and effectively managing liquidity events, socially responsible investing, financial issues of divorce and estate planning.


Myth: Men should manage the money.

October 25, 2017

Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA®, CES™, Francis Financial 

The myth that men should manage the money is one that many women succumb to when they get married. This includes women who for years managed their own money during college and at the beginning of a career. However, approximately 80% of women will end up having to manage their money without a partner at some point in their life due to divorce or the death of a spouse. Stacy and Kathleen investigate this myth and how it can severely disadvantage women throughout their lives.

Take Aways:

  1. The upside. There is an upside to men always managing the money. In the short run, some women who are intimidated by finances or who don’t feel they have the time to devote to money management get relief from this responsibility. Eventually, the upside diminishes and can create a real problem for women after a divorce, or the death of their partner. 
  1. Try a money date. A great way to get more comfortable with money is to have a date night to talk about finances in a non-threatening and engaging way. Listen and learn how Stacy and her husband have gotten creative with their money dates so everyone gets their needs met. 
  1. Use apps. It is important for each person to fully understand where the money is going. Using finance tools like is a great way to integrate spending with education about where your money is going. It is an easy online system that connects with your bank accounts, tracks your spending, and even categorizes them for you. 


Stacy Francis, CFP®, CDFA®, CES™ 

Stacy is the President and CEO of Francis Financial, which she founded 15 years ago. She is a Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®), Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® (CDFA®) and a Certified Estate and Trust Specialist (CES™). She is also the founder of Savvy Ladies™, a nonprofit that has provided free personal finance education and resources to over 15,000 women. 

Stacy has received numerous awards including Investment News Top 20 Women to Watch in the United States, Financial Planning Association’s Heart of Financial Planning Award and Financial Planning Magazine's Pro Bono Award. She was also listed as a National Money Hero by CNN Money Magazine and received the Women’s Choice Award for one of the best financial advisors for women. 

She is a nationally-recognized financial expert as an active member of CNBC’s Digital Financial Advisor Council, the Forbes Finance Council, as well as an expert contributor for The Wall Street Journal. She has appeared in over 100 media outlets including CNBC, CNN, Good Morning America, Investment News, Money Magazine, NBC, The New York Times, and USA Today. 

Special Offer:

Stacy recently released her own podcast. Every other Tuesday, tune in to Financially Ever After with Stacy Francis. Download Unveiling the Unspoken Truth, The Financial Challenges Women Face During and After Divorce.




Myth: I don’t need to worry about money, some day my prince will come.

July 5, 2017

Women can have a love/hate relationship with money. Even in today’s society, some women feel they are not going to be attractive to a mate if they are financially put together. Barbara Stanny and Kathleen delve into the notion that women are still waiting for Prince Charming to rescue them financially instead of empowering themselves to learn about investments and money management. Listen in as they discuss the importance of busting this myth wide open so that women of all ages can be more financially intelligent and set a good example for the next generation.

Take Aways:

Barbara explains that getting smart about money involves a three-pronged process – the outer work (education), the inner work (money mindsets), and the higher work (your life purpose).

You need to take small steps consistently and you will see remarkable results.

Money doesn’t come from what you earn, it comes from what you do with what you earn. (Click to Tweet)]

 Barbara Stanny is the best-selling author of Prince Charming Isn't Coming, Secrets of Six-Figure Women, and Overcoming Underearning®.  She has been teaching women how to take charge of their money and take charge of their lives for 20 plus years. An experienced mentor, wealth coach, and sought-after speaker, Barbara can help you create the wealth you desire and the life you deserve. 

Special Offer:

Free e-book "So You've Made Good Money...Now What?"


Myth: A Man is a Plan.

June 7, 2017

Paula Harris, Co-Founder, WH Cornerstone Investments 

A man is a plan is a myth many women, unfortunately, use to avoid dealing with their finances. In this podcast, listen to Kathleen interview Paula about how to break this myth down so you can start to make simple decisions every day to reach financial security. 

Listen in and discover: 

  • Why it is important to take care of yourself financially and not wait until you are married to let your partner do it for you.
  • How to practice the “set it and forget” method of saving.
  • Ways to set realistic financial goals.
  • Why delaying gratification today is part of any sound financial plan.
  • How a certified financial planner can help.  

WH Cornerstone’s co-founder, Paula Harris is part financial therapist and part dream architect. She takes great pride in helping her clients, particularly women, obtain financial peace of mind and independence. In addition to her role as co-founder, Paula is very actively involved in the community. In the past, she has served on several boards including serving as the Past President of the Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra and the 2012 Chairman of the Board for the South Shore Chamber of Commerce. She currently is an advisory board member of empowerHER.

Paula is a graduate of Providence College and now lives in Plymouth, MA and the Berkshires with her husband and co-founder, Bill Harris.

To sign up for the Breaking Money Silence Podcast, click here.




Myth: It is okay to ignore your finances.

May 24, 2017

Anne Dickinson, Eye on Your Business

When business owners buy into the myth that it is okay to ignore your finances, their bottom line probably suffers. In this episode, Kathleen interviews Anne about how not knowing “your numbers” negatively affects your business and how more female business owners than men may suffer from this myth.

Listen and learn:

  1. Why financial knowledge is power, and how learning more about your business finances boosts confidence.
  2. How to take one small step at a time to get organized and how working with a bookkeeper can help.
  3. What it takes to be more financially savvy and how taking action reduces your stress and improves your decision-making.

Special Offer for Breaking Money Silence Podcast Listeners:

FREE Webinar, 5 Ways to Keep More of the Money You Make on June 14, 2017, at 3:00 p.m. Eastern. Click here to learn more.

Million Dollar Message Retreat, May 26 – 28, 2017, Toronto

Anne Dickinson is the cash flow and profits optimizer. She uses her profit leaks x-ray vision to help overwhelmed business leaders take back control of their business finances, stop money from falling through the cracks, and make moves that result in more money, more time, and more freedom.

Creator of the Stop the Profit L.E.A.K.S. Formula™, Anne isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty as she works side-by-side with business leaders to identify and eliminate money leaks, ignite profits and improve cash flow and liquidity to create a strong, healthy business.

Anne has an MBA from Babson College, worked in the Defense and High Tech industries, packaged and sold assets, dissected and improved operations, set up Treasury departments, and owned successful entrepreneurial ventures.


Myth: I don’t need to save for retirement because I have Social Security.

August 10, 2016

Michelle McKinnon,Financial Advisor, Payne Capital Management

Michelle discusses how through her relationships with her clients she has discovered how many people buy into the myth that Social Security will provide for them in retirement. In this podcast, she warns listeners about how Social Security can lead you into a false sense of security and how important it is to be proactive about retirement savings. Listen in and learn how to start tracking your expenses and realistically planning for the future.

Michelle McKinnon is a financial advisor with Payne Capital Management (PCM) and hosts a weekly podcast called $martWomen. Michelle is committed to helping women manage their finances with ease. To learn more, visit her website at or listen to her podcast at $martWomen.