Keep Leading!® Podcast Episode 022: Women and Wealth

Keep Leading!® Podcast Episode 022: Women and Wealth

Beata Kirr
National Managing Director, Head of Private Client Core Strategies at Bernstein Wealth Management
Women and Wealth

Episode Summary
This episode is dedicated to women and those that love them! I sat down with Beata Kirr to talk about wealth creation and management for women.

Bio
Beata D. Kirr is the National Managing Director and Head of Private Client Core Strategies at Bernstein Wealth Management. She is a member of Bernstein’s Private Client Investment Policy Group, which oversees strategic asset allocation for high-net-worth, nonprofit and family office clients.

She holds a BS in economics (magna cum laude) from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Beata has provided market commentary for the Chicago Tribune, WGN News, NPR and the Wall Street Journal. She is passionate about helping women investors succeed, speaks frequently to women’s groups nationally, and is the host of “Bernstein Insights” Women & Wealth podcast series. Beata is on the Board of Women Employed.

Website
https://www.bernstein.com/women/

LinkedIn
https://www.linkedin.com/in/beata-kirr-69892b/

Leadership Quote
“There is a special place for women who don’t help other women.”

Subscribe, Share and Review

Listen to Beata Kirr on Bernstein Insights Women & Wealth Series!
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/bernstein-insights/id1332475502?mt=2

Transcript

This podcast is part of the C Suite Radio Network, turning the volume up on business.

Welcome to the Keep Leading Podcast, a podcast dedicated to promoting leadership development and sharing leadership insights. Here’s your host, the Leadership Excelerator, Eddie Turner.

Eddie Turner:

Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Keep Leading Podcast. I’m your host Eddie Turner, the Leadership Excelerator. I work with leaders to accelerate performance and drive impact.I’m dedicating this episode to women and those that love them. We’re going to talk about something many women may not be giving enough attention to – wealth creation and wealth management. You want to listen to this episode where we are going to talk about women and wealth. My guest today, Beata Kirr, is an expert in this area and she is passionate about helping women investors succeed. Beata will share her expertise with us right after this.

This podcast is sponsored by Eddie Turner LLC. Eddie Turner LLC delivers executive and leadership coaching, professional speaking, facilitation services, and management consulting across the globe. Eddie Turner LLC also creates voiceovers, serves as a master of ceremonies, as a panel and event moderator, and provides national media commentary. Visit EddieTurnerLLC.com to learn more.

Eddie Turner:

Hello, everyone. Welcome to the Keep Leading Podcast, the podcast dedicated to leadership development and insights. I’m your host Eddie Turner, the Leadership Excelerator. I work with leaders to accelerate performance and drive impact.I’m dedicating this episode to women and those that love them. We’re going to talk about something many women may not be giving enough attention to – wealth creation nation and wealth management. You want to listen to this episode where we’re going to talk about women and wealth. My guest today, Beata Kirr, is an expert in this area and she is passionate about helping women investors succeed. Beata Kirr is the National Managing Director and Head of Private Client Core Asset Strategies at Bernstein Global Wealth Management. She oversees strategic asset allocation for high-net-worth, nonprofit, and family office clients. She holds a degree in Economics. She graduated magna cum laude from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and holds an MBA from my alma mater Northwestern University and she got there from the Kellogg School of Management. As a highly regarded expert, Beata has provided market commentary for the Chicago Tribune, WGN News, NPR, and the Wall Street Journal.

Beata, welcome to the Keep Leading Podcast.

Beata Kirr:
Thank you so much, Eddie. I’m excited to be here.
Eddie Turner:
I am super excited to have you, Beata. I was so impressed with you when I met you and I thought “Wow! I have got to get her on the show.” Please tell my listeners a little bit about you and your background.
Beata Kirr:
Well, thank you so much, Eddie, and I felt the same about you. We met at a wonderful panel here in Chicago probably a year ago but what can I say after that introduction. I’m honestly embarrassed. I have been in the financial services industry pretty much by entire career and the last 12 years I have been at Bernstein, helping clients invest their wealth, think about long-term goals, and all of the implications around that. And I would say in the last two years in particular I’ve really come into my own voice and spoken up about my passion of helping women engage, explore, interact with their assets. And it’s not something that I think women have naturally done and that is something that I feel very strongly about today because we need to do it and it sometimes can be intimidating and a lot of jargon, right? So I’ve spent the last couple of years really building out our efforts to engage with women and that’s under the context in which we met.
Eddie Turner:
Well, yes, that was a fascinating panel of brilliant women there for the Women in Leadership Symposium at what used to be the world’s largest building, the tallest building, the Willis Tower, formerly the Sears Tower and you clearly stood out and one of the reasons we wanted to talk with you but you said something there that I find interesting. You help women engage, explore, and interact with their assets. That’s a mouthful. Can you just give us a little bit more about that?
Beata Kirr:
Yes, there’s a lot of adjectives there. The reason we use a lot of adjectives is because we don’t want anybody to think that we don’t think women are engaged already, right? And no way are we talking down to women or trying to oversimplify. It’s just based on an observation I’ve had being in the services industry my entire career. And I’ve been in many conference rooms and board rooms and client living rooms and I’m used to being the only woman in the room in a lot of those settings but I’ve also noticed that when I’m speaking about our views on the market and the economy, there weren’t that many women in the room and when there were, they weren’t asking the questions. And so when I had the one-on-one conversations with them afterwards, I would learn they had plenty of questions but just didn’t feel the environment was conducive to asking and sometimes maybe we’re embarrassed that their questions were too simple. And no question is too simple and no question should remain unanswered but really that’s what I mean. I mean just connecting with women about what matters to them, getting questions answered. And I have to say on behalf of the financial services industry, I hardly represent the entire industry, and it’s a big one, but I think the industry has done a great disservice to women investors over long periods of time by not listening and by not engaging, really not meeting women where they want to be met.
Eddie Turner:
Well, you and your firm have certainly done a lot to address this. And so this whole area about wealth management, can you talk about what that really is and why it is uniquely important for women to focus on?
Beata Kirr:
Absolutely. I mean, look, wealth management is for everybody. It’s not defined by gender or any other social category, right? It’s about achieving your financial goals. And our tagline at Bernstein is actually about “Making money meaningful.” And hopefully that’s not a mouthful. Hopefully that makes sense.
Eddie Turner:
I like that though.
Beata Kirr:
Money can be viewed as a burden or it can be viewed as an opportunity. And I think one of the areas that I’ve seen sometime split by gender is that women view it more as a burden. It’s a chore. It’s something they have to understand, investigate, work on but instead we’re really trying to flip that conversation and say use it as an opportunity. Think about it like everything else. Time is an opportunity. Money is an opportunity. So in wealth management we work with clients who have acquired enough wealth, high-net-worth clients, where that money really can be used as an opportunity and they think about business investments, furthering their family goals, of course their own retirement goals, and oftentimes there charitable goals. And we really act as a trusted advisor across all of those different ways in thinking about how to deploy their capital but the most basic thing that we do, if you will, is invest their money.
Eddie Turner:
Is there a relationship between wealth management and leadership?
Beata Kirr:
Sure. I think there’s a lot of different ways to think about it. First of all, I’m thinking about how we deploy wealth management and what vehicles and conversations we’re having with our clients. I think it takes great leaders in the business of wealth management to connect with clients and create a platform of offerings that makes sense for clients. This is a big market, wealth management. There’s thousands sounds of firms that do this. So I think it does take great leadership to differentiate yourselves and to communicate in a way that’s clear too. I think great leaders are not just executing leadership. They’re communicating leadership. I’m sure you spend time talking about the importance of communication in leadership, right?
Eddie Turner:
And that’s the parallels that I see that at Bernstein we feel it’s really our job not just to deliver on investment results but to make sure that we’re communicating clearly, honestly, openly with transparency about what we’re doing and that shouldn’t be difficult but sometimes it is. So I think that’s the corollary.
Eddie Turner:
Thank you. Now, if you could put your finger on one singular thing, I’m sure there might be a couple, is there one mistake that you see surfacing more than others when working with women in their finances?
Beata Kirr:
Well, I have to say the biggest mistake is that women aren’t paying attention to their finances. And so what do I mean by that? If you’re a single mom, you’re likely very much paying attention to your budget. You know exactly what it takes to run your household and you’re striving for your kid’s success but oftentimes what I see in, let’s say, a traditional marriage, I see the husband being responsible for the finances and the wife are not meeting for a decade or longer while they’re a client and then reality strikes. And what I mean by that reality is women are outliving men. And we see a lot of tragic situations in our client base where unfortunately the first time we’re meeting the wife is after her husband’s death. And she may or may not be in the financial position that she would like to be in. She may or may not know what position she’s been in or where the assets are, right? And so I think that’s really what I refer to when I say women need a wakeup call on engaging with their assets, joint or individual assets, right? That’s the biggest mistake I see is that we have to own it, we’re outliving men oftentimes whether it’s divorce or death, the chances that women and are going to be the primary decision maker on their assets in their lifetime are enormous. Surveys show 95% of women will be making financial decisions for their household at some point in their lives.
Eddie Turner:
Wow! That’s a staggering statistic.
Beata Kirr:
Yeah, it’s overwhelming. So, yeah, everybody’s busy and they want to kind of delay that engagement because it takes work and time but if you start early and often, you build up knowledge. So don’t wait. Don’t wait until it’s the unfortunate circumstance that drives you to focus on it.
Eddie Turner:
Very interesting. Thank you for sharing that and thank you for that statistic. There’s another statistic you shared at our event and I won’t put you on the spot by trying to ask you to remember it but closely related, you said this and I fell over my chair. You said 80% of men die married while 80% of women die single.
Beata Kirr:
Yup, I did say that. I have to say I don’t own that statistic. It was a survey, I forget which company but it was in the insurance industry, right? When you think about an industry who’s very focused on getting statistics about longevity right, it actually helps giving even more credence to the data because you better believe the insurance industry is extremely interested in understanding longevity by gender as they’re underwriting life insurance, right? And so when I started creating materials for our women and wealth efforts, I really did go out in field and say “What are the most interesting and compelling statistics out there?” and that one, I nearly fell out of my chair too. So that is right. That is the one.
Eddie Turner:
Well, thank you for sharing what mistake you’re seeing most often being made. And I certainly can see why that would be important for women to correct immediately as you suggested. What’s the number one thing you see women doing well?
Beata Kirr:
I guess it’s on the flipside, right? It’s not surprising that that’s my answer but I think that women are doing well when they are engaging and when their owning their decision making. And I think the real challenge with investing … By the way, like many things in the world there’s no certainty in the outcomes. And I think when women really accept that there’s a range of outcomes and they’ve planned for those outcomes and they’ve made the best decision possible based on that range, usually in partnership with an advisor, then they feel confident in their choices. And studies have also shown that actually women have tended to be better long-term investors than men.
Eddie Turner:
Really?
Beata Kirr:
Yeah and that one is interesting, right? Sometimes controversial but pretty well known studies are out there that show this. And one of the reasons for that has been that when women make decisions around investing, they tend to stick to their plan and not ebb and flow. This is one of the differences by gender that men tend to want to make change more often and more volatile trading, if you will. And when they’re doing that, a lot of times it’s not the right decision. And so it’s as simple as understanding the long-term premises of investing. There’s a reason they’re long term. And you don’t have to get very cute with a lot of short-term changes to that to actually have good outcomes.
Eddie Turner:
Well, based on your answer here and the previous answer that my wife is going to outlive me, I think I’m going to have a conversation with her after this is over and let her take over.
Beata Kirr:
It’s probably really good idea, Eddie.
Eddie Turner:
So do you find that many women have financial advisors?
Beata Kirr:
Well, these are some interesting surveys that have been done. I pulled a lot of information from the Center for Talent Innovation. They had a survey called ‘The Power Of The Purse’ back in 2015 and they actually showed that the majority of women do not have financial advisors. I think the statistic was around, I think, it was just over 50% of women.
Eddie Turner:
That’s significant.
Beata Kirr:
Yeah, I mean it was the majority, right? And women under 40 even more don’t have financial advisors. And the survey did ask why, what’s the problem or what has their experience been with the financial services industry. And one of the answers was that women felt that their advisor do not understand them, do not listen to them, or was not interested in them. The investment advice industry grew up in a way where there was a sale of product as opposed to a partnership around advice. And at Bernstein, I feel that we’ve really delivered on that partnership of advice and stayed very true to that concept but not every the organization has historically been set up that way, right? Just the incentives for the advisor were not aligned with the incentives for the client. And a lot of men run the industry and are still are, right? They dominate investment management. So it’s easy to see why women feel they’re being sold to and there’s a lot of jargon and complexity. You can kind of pull back and detach and say “Forget it. This isn’t worth it” or “I’m just going to try to figure this out on my own.”
Eddie Turner:
Right. So what advice would you give to a woman listening to our discussion right now who does not have an advisor?
Beata Kirr:
Well, I would say that everybody should seek out advisors partners that they feel comfortable engaging with. And in all my speaking about this topic around the country I have been presented with some thorny questions where women have come up and said their husband hires the advisor team and she really doesn’t like them but the assets are joint and she doesn’t have individual assets. So how do you make that change? And I don’t have the ultimate answer that other than raising the awareness and saying there’s not a reason that you should be working with any professional advisor that you don’t feel comfortable with. And to start to bring that up in that setting that particular question with your husband and see if change can happen but if you don’t already have an advisor, there’s lots of great options out there for you. And just understanding how advisors are compensated, understanding and feeling that your best interests are aligned with the advisor’s interest. It’s very possible to get that in the industry and you just have to ask around, I think, for other people that your friends trust. And those are probably great people and partners for you to have.
Eddie Turner:

Well, thank you. We’re talking to Beata Kirr, the National Managing Director and Head of Private Client Core Asset Strategies at Bernstein Global Double Wealth Management and we’re talking about women and wealth.We’re going to pause now for a word from out sponsors.

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This is Simon T. Bailey, author, and you’re listening to the Keep Leading Podcast with Eddie Turner.

Eddie Turner:

Okay. So we’re back and we’re talking to Beata Kirr and Beata is discussing with us, we’re talking about women and wealth.And so, Beata, you were sharing the number of women who don’t have financial advisors and given us an advice around that right before our break. When I began my work as an entrepreneur many years ago, my attorney told me I needed to learn my ABCs. He said there are three people I have to have in my life if I’m going to operate successfully as much manure. He said I had to have an attorney, which of course is him right, get a good banker, and get a CPA. And so we were talking about women needing to have a financial advisor. Is there anyone else they should have in their life to be successful?

Beata Kirr:
That’s great advice that he gave you. One of the five things that I advise on when I talk about the five things you need to know for women, one of them is build your dream team. And I did not come up with that same acronym of ABC but many of the people are indeed the same overlapping set of advisors. I want to expand on the A though. The attorney is an interesting point because the type of attorney that you should have as an advisor will vary over your life cycle and depending on where you’re at. So, for example, a corporate attorney could be extremely valuable to you as an entrepreneur that you have outside of your business. An estate attorney is going to be important to you. It should be on your list. And estate attorneys are not just for people that have … Today’s lifetime estate exemption is very high, about 22 million dollars for a household. So I want to make it clear though. You shouldn’t just engage in estate planning attorney if you only have over 22 million dollars of joint assets in the household. It’s not just about the estate planning. It’s about your intentions. So you need a will and you need a power of attorney and women in particular need healthcare directives, right? An attorney is an important partner to you and there’s a variety of attorneys that you should engage. And the last type of attorney I would point out is an employment attorney, negotiating contracts being prepared if you are subject to a layoff or need to resign and have ability to negotiate that exit. And oftentimes it’s too late to find that employment attorney once you’re in that situation, right? So network to identify the appropriate attorney for you depending on where you are in your life cycle.
Eddie Turner:
Wow! So you’ve given us a lot of rich information there and I love the concept of coming up with your own dream team. So those three were just one ideal I’ve operated under but I like the concept of having multiple attorneys and especially some of the things you highlighted thee become really important, people don’t realize. You said a power of attorney, healthcare power of attorney and there was another one that you had mentioned in there.
Beata Kirr:
The will, your basic will. And your will should apply to everybody, not just be based on estate planning because people think an estate attorney is really just for people with enormous amount of assets. And while they incredible work to help clients prepare for their ultimate demise and their estate tax consequences, a will is critical for making sure your intentions are met. And there are just too many stories about people dying without a will. And we’ve seen some very, very famous celebrities recently in that situation and you see years later they’re still arguing over their estate because there was no will.
Eddie Turner:
Yes. And I’m glad you mentioned that. There’s a couple of pieces I want to unpack right here. So we’re talking about the dream team but what if I have someone who’s listening and she’s thinking “You know what, this is great for if I had money. I don’t have a lot of money right now. So this doesn’t apply to me. And in terms of a will, I don’t even like to think about dying and I’m much too young to think about that. So this really doesn’t apply to me.” What advice would you give?
Beata Kirr:
Well, it is difficult to talk about these issues and we’re all in the same boat, right? So I don’t know that you need a corporate attorney in that setting but I do think you need basic legal protections. And even if you don’t want to tackle the will concept, maybe you don’t have family that you’re worried about how money would be split up, the healthcare directive would apply to you nonetheless. And I am not a lawyer and I need to insert that disclaimer right now. I should not officially be giving any legal advice but we also see those horrible scenarios where you become incapacitated. Who is making decisions on your behalf? So absolutely everybody should have a healthcare directive because that’s a terrible situation to be in when your own intentions are not being met on yourself, let alone who the beneficiaries are.
Eddie Turner:
Thank you. Yes, you’re letting us know that we need to find the right type of attorney and this is something many may not have considered. You said though that there are five things you have on your list and I only asked about one. Can you tell us what those five items are that you believe every woman needs to know?
Beata Kirr:
Yeah. This might be a long answer though, Eddie.
Eddie Turner:
Take your time.
Beata Kirr:
So, get ready. We’ll have to go back and forth.
Eddie Turner:
Okay.
Beata Kirr:
So there are five things. Build your dream team is clearly one of them, right? And we covered that and variations around it but the single most important thing, number one, on my list of five things is what I call ‘Know Your Numbers’. And so for the women listening to this episode, my guess is that most of you know your height and your weight but do you know how much you spend in a year? Do you know your net worth? And do you know how much you need to retire if you’re working or if you’re not working how much you and the members of your household need together to retire? And I’m going to take a pause there because it takes time to learn those numbers and it can be painful. Nobody wants to know their spending. It’s kind of like you know your weight but you don’t want to know your weight.
Eddie Turner:
When you said that, what went through my mind is “That’s one of those questions I’m never supposed to ask. Even my own wife slams the door when she goes to do that.”
Beata Kirr:
Well, I’m in the business of asking people all kinds of uncomfortable question and I do say that meeting with us is sometimes like going to the doctor, right?
Eddie Turner:
I could only imagine.
Beata Kirr:
It’s painful. It can be painful like a financial checkup. Instead of your annual physical, it’s an annual financial physical.
Eddie Turner:
Yeah, that’s why we’re looking at it.
Beata Kirr:
Yeah, the same way you take care of yourself health wise, you got to take care of yourself financially. There have to be hunches of what those spending numbers are. We’re not here to judge your spending but we’re here to help you calculate it, figure it out. There are some great apps you can use. I tend to recommend Mints. I think Mint is terrific. Again, don’t work for them, they did not pay the here for an endorsement but I think they are a practical app. You can aggregate all of your financial assets and you upload your credit cards, you can see your spending over time. You can set a budget and they will give you alerts if you’re exceeding your budget. Nothing’s perfect. You have to spend time on it categorizing information but you can know your net worth every single day, if you want to, with technology, right?
Eddie Turner:
Thank you for sharing that app because some may be wondering how they can do that on their own and get help. So thank you.
Beata Kirr:

Yes. So knowing your numbers is really the beginning. And spending is a critical number to know because once you know your spending, then you can with the help of an advisor really understand what is your number that you need to sustain your spending for your whole life when you no longer have income. We’re all going to get there at some point somehow. And so that’s the beginning of the building blocks of knowing what you need. So that was just point one – know your numbers.So you want to go to point two? What do you think?

Eddie Turner:
Yes, I love that. So know your numbers is number one. What’s number two?
Beata Kirr:
Protect against worst case outcomes. So you’ve already heard me describe some terrible scenarios that we see in working with the hundreds of clients I’d seen over many years, as you can imagine, and just meeting lots of people on lots of different scenarios and some of those are wonderful and some of them are terrible. And what this is, is, again, I’m not here to sell anybody insurance, but insurance can be very meaningful to protecting against those worst case outcomes. And in fact, long-term disability insurance is oftentimes more important than life insurance.
Eddie Turner:
Interesting.
Beata Kirr:
Yeah, we’ve found people are much likelier to tap into that. It’s likely at some point in your lifetime you’re hit with an injury or an illness that does take you out of the workplace for more than six weeks. And oftentimes just understanding do you have a benefit from your employer, how much is that benefit, is the benefit paid out and still taxable, is the benefit on your base salary or is it on your total compensation including bonus? Those are the questions you want to ask when you log into your benefits portal and you download. If you have all of that information, it’s worth taking the time looking into it and contacting your HR team to just get the facts. And if the answer is you’re not comfortable with how much you have, then you may have to go outside to supplement.
Eddie Turner:
Okay, thank you for sharing that as well.
Beata Kirr:

So that’s number two – protect against worst case outcomes.Organize your financial house. I like metaphors. So it’s a bit like spring cleaning. You got to do that here too. And again here there’s an overlap with that technology recommendation. I can’t tell you how many times I meet clients. Again, our clients tend to be quite blessed with wealth of assets but I had seen many situations where clients have literally forgotten that they have IRA from former employers or 401Ks that’s are still at former employers from decades ago.

Eddie Turner:
Wow!
Beata Kirr:
It can happen. And so where is your money is the simple question here. Organizing your financial house is knowing where the accounts live and knowing their passwords. Oftentimes, it’d be the biggest barrier, right?
Eddie Turner:
Know where they are and be able to access them.
Beata Kirr:
Be able to access them. And I am still searching for the magic solution here that’s foolproof because there isn’t one. We do hear horror stories upon death where people can’t access their spouse’s accounts. So you need to have kind of a master password system or every six months print into out a list of accounts with a password and keep that in a safe place. So I think here it’s a combination of paper and electronic that can be the most helpful.
Eddie Turner:
Yeah, I’ve seen some digital vaults that have come available. There’s a C Suite audience that I’m a part of and they made a vault available to help families with this particular one. I don’t remember the name of it but I would suggest that listeners look online for digital vaults and there are some apps that allow you to store not only passwords but different types of accounts in those apps. Then you’d of course make sure it’s unbelievable to the family.
Beata Kirr:

Yes. I think one of those apps is called Last Pass. And I think that has been good password manager but you’re absolutely right about the digital vault concept. So thank you for bringing that up.So we’ve gone through three – know your numbers, protect against worst case outcomes, organize your financial house. And then we had already covered build your dream team. So last but not least I’m going to come back to honestly where we started the episode and thinking about money is less of a burden and more of an opportunity. And my takeaway there is really fund your favorites. Fund your favorites. So know where your money goes. If 30% percent of your spending is going to shoes, is that bringing joy to your life? Maybe it is or maybe it is. Maybe it’s just accidental spending, what I refer to as accidental spending. It’s impulse buying. It just happens and you just don’t realize how much of your budget it’s taking up. So, first, figure out what makes you happy and what are you passionate about. Is it spending time with your kids? Is it experiences. Is it investing in your kid’s? is it investing in yourself – do you want to go back to school, take a sabbatical, is there a nonprofit you’d like to be more involved in? And then make sure when you see that pie chart at the end of the year that says “This is where my money is going,” can you point to the pie chart and say “A large percentage of where my money is going is something that makes me happy. I’m happy about seeing where that money is going.” That’s not easy to do.

Eddie Turner:

Yes. Wow, that’s a great list. Thank you for sharing the five things everyone woman should know – know your numbers, protect against worst case outcomes, organize your financial house, build your dream team, and fund your favorites.Now of course once a woman has given attention to all these five things, she’s done, right?

Beata Kirr:
No. Work is never done.
Eddie Turner:
What should they then do with this list periodically?
Beata Kirr:
Well, you’ve got to know where you’re at. Think about keeping that list as the master list and if you’re checking in on those things once a year, you’re doing the right thing – Do I feel good about my team, do I know my spending, is my spending aligned with what makes me happy, and where is my money? Those are the basic questions you’re asking and you’re maintaining that relationship with money. And once you have that checklist, I think it becomes a better relationship with money where you know your long-term plans and you’re really orienting towards those goals rather than every day turning on the TV and worrying about where the S&P 500 closed. What does that have to do with your goals and your long-term outcomes?
Eddie Turner:
Absolutely. So, yes, getting these five items, giving them the proper attention, getting them in order is the step one but then periodically, as life changes occur, births and things, there’s a need to revisit this information. And something I have seen several of my executive coaching clients, this tax law that recently was passed is something that should have triggered people to go back and make adjustment but several did not. They had a little surprise this year.
Beata Kirr:
Oh boy, did they? Always saw a lot of that, yes. Yes, we spent a lot of times … Well, absolutely and I’m here in the state of Illinois where I’ll tell you that our property taxes are quite high and the constraints on the amount of deductions available on estate and property taxes really made a dent in people’s taxation. There’s all kinds of reasons why but you’re totally right that people were very surprised by the ramifications of that. So if you had a good dream team, you would have known about it.
Eddie Turner:

Goes back to the dream team. I love that. I’m going to be using all five of those but I’ll definitely be stressing the dream team. That is fantastic.So you’ve shared just a lot of great information, Beata, and there’s a lot of things that I want to talk to you about. One thing I do want to mention to people because I want them to follow you in a lot of different ways but in 2018 your firm recognized that women … well, you recognized it before that but recognizing that they invest differently, in 2018 your firm Bernstein expanded its suite of Bernstein Insights Podcast for high net worth investors and private clients by launching podcast entitled Women And Wealth and that’s I named this episode that. And you are the host. Tell us about that please.

Beata Kirr:
I am and that is all true and you’ve done great background research, Eddie. I think our firm had recognized for a long time that the tides of change were upon us and what we saw was more and more female financial decision makers. So women are earning more money, women are outliving men, and the bottom line is that more women were controlling assets. And engaging with those women has always been important to us but I personally felt very strongly that we had a lot of value to offer and content. And so we decided to launch this sub-series of our podcast called Women and Wealth and we recorded about one episode a month since the fall of 2018 and it has been fabulous. And it has also led to opportunities like this where I get to be a guest on other people’s podcast. And I do spend time really traveling around the country sharing what I’ve learned and I love it I love meeting women and feeling like we can lift everybody up at the same time by empowering and engaging.
Eddie Turner:
That is just wonderful. I saw some public data that said that you all were pulling down more than 4000 downloads on each of your initial episodes and now you’ve kind of balanced out but you’re still pulling down an average of a thousand downloads for every episode, which is fantastic, but I want to know what other impact has your podcast had on the Bernstein Podcast series overall.
Beata Kirr:
Well, to be fair, Bernstein Insights series was getting great traction with our clients. We really were focused on market and economic outlook and have a constant stream of information about our views on the economy and markets and we branched out to Women And Wealth and then we simultaneously branched out for another sub-series called Inspired Investing which is for people that are on nonprofit boards or working in a nonprofit. And so we really have these three different hosts with these three different areas of focus. And what’s happened at that time is that by branching out to meet our clients in what they’re interested in, we’ve increased our listening base for the whole podcast. And I have to admit that I thought and I feared somewhat that when I launched Women And Wealth that it would have half the listening base of our traditional Markets Podcast but the opposite happened and expanded the base of the Markets Podcast and we had a whole new listening base for my series as well as Inspired Investing. So it’s been great.
Eddie Turner:

That is wonderful to hear. So I’m going to definitely encourage my listeners to subscribe to the Women And Wealth Podcast sponsored by Bernstein Insights. And so, wonderful.Now women who’ve listened to this show are probably wondering “I need to do something about my financial status and my finances.” Where would you recommend they get started? What’s a good next step?

Beata Kirr:
Well, selfishly, I’m going to say that I think if they go to www.Bernstein.com/Women, they’ll find a lot of content, they’ll find all the podcast episodes as well as numerous blogs to go along with that and then really can access our broad portal of investing advice and if it makes sense can ultimately find a Bernstein advisor who could be part of their dream team but I think that’s a good place to start.
Eddie Turner:

That sounds like a great place to start and you have every right to be selfish. So we went encourage our listeners to go to that link. I’m going to put it in the show notes so that it’s easy for them to find it. Visit Bernstein and look for one of their fine advisors to put on your dream team.Indeed, it sounds like the overarching message of this episode is that women need to own and engage with their finances and do all they can to educate themselves long before they have to. Don’t wait. Do it now. Is that what you’d say, Beata?

Beata Kirr:
You said it very well, Eddie. That’s a great summary.
Eddie Turner:

Okay, I was trying to capture everything you said there.So on the Keep Leading Podcast we like to give leaders something to think about that helps them keep leading. What would you say to our leaders?

Beata Kirr:
Well, I suppose this message is really for your female leaders, in particular.
Eddie Turner:
Yes, that’s what today’s episode is for.
Beata Kirr:
And I’ve seen a lot of great speakers over the years and once speaker that really stuck with me was Madeleine Albright who had been on a book tour about her own family’s history but in that speaking engagement she did comment on her views on women and leadership and the obligations that women had. And she has a pretty memorable quote here. And she uses some not so nice language in it. So I’m going to edit that out but basically in short what she said is that “There’s a special place for women who don’t help other women.” And I can just edit that to say there’s a special place that is not a good place. It is a bad place to be, right? So she really loved the audience with the notion that she feels quite strongly that the women that have made it to the highest ranks of leadership really have an obligation to support women. And I feel strongly about that as well. So I think it’s a great takeaway.
Eddie Turner:

That’s a fantastic takeaway.Beata, thank you so much for taking time to be with me on the Keep Leading Podcast today. You have enriched my listeners both women and those who love them. Thank you very much.

Beata Kirr:
Well, thank you so much, Eddie, for having me. It’s really been a pleasure.
Eddie Turner:

Thank you.And thank you for listening. That concludes this episode, everyone. I’m Eddie Turner, the Leadership Excelerator, reminding you that leadership is not about our title or our position. Leadership is an activity. Leadership is about action. It’s not the case of once a leader, always a leader. It’s not a garment we put on and take off. We must be a leader at our core and allow it emanate ion all we do. So, whatever you’re doing, always keep leading.

Thank you for listening to your host Eddie Turner on The Keep Leading Podcast. Please remember to subscribe to The Keep Leading Podcast on iTunes or wherever you listen. For more information about Eddie Turner’s work please visit EddieTurnerLLC.com.

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The Keep Leading!™ podcast is for people passionate about leadership. It is dedicated to leadership development and insights. Join your host Eddie Turner, The Leadership Excelerator® as he speaks with accomplished leaders and people of influence across the globe as they share their journey to leadership excellence. Listen as they share leadership strategies, techniques and insights. For more information visit eddieturnerllc.com or follow Eddie Turner on Twitter and Instagram at @eddieturnerjr. Like Eddie Turner LLC on Facebook. Connect with Eddie Turner on LinkedIn.