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Lose excess debt by dieting
By SHEILA MULLAN
Comment Last Updated: 4:41 AM, October 31, 2010
Posted: 10:26 PM, October 30, 2010
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Financial expert Susan Hirshman, author of the ironic "Does This Make My Assets Look Fat? A
Woman's Guide to Finding Financial Empowerment and Success," knows some women might not
want to read about personal finance, so she wrote a book about something women are familiar
The result is top-flight advice. Imagine a banker with world-class credentials sitting down at your
kitchen table to hold your hand, offer you tea and sympathy and set up your financial life,
savings, retirement, insurance and tell you how to keep it all going. Hirshman has the CPA, MBA,
Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and CFA credentials and worked at a top accounting firm, and
most recently was a managing director at a global investment bank. But she recently left the bank
to embark on her mission to educate women (and men!) on how to manage their own money. "I
left to live my passion," she said.
Now she likens money to being on a
diet. Just the way the scale won't lie,
neither will your checkbook, so it's best
to overcome one's financial fear, cut
down credit-card debt and create a
financial plan with saving and retirement
goals. Both women and men should
both be aware of what's going on in their
financial lives, and create a financial
"I have seen bad things happen to too
many good women and too many good
men, also," said Hirshman. "Don't be
part of the 'if-only' club. Especially
during the financial crisis, people said, 'If
only I knew my husband was invested
so aggressively,' or 'if only I knew that I
should not have been spending so much
money.' All of us have stories. But it's
not fun to be part of the 'if-only' club. It's
painful. And to me, personal finance is
all about having choices, now and in the Today in Pictures
For example, just the way that too many
potato chips will catch up to your
waistline, so will too much credit-card
usage: Eventually "you will have to
make really tough, unfortunate choices,"
She maintains you could set up your
mutual fund retirement investment
strategy in about 10 hours through her
Sponsored Links book, and do a few hours' maintenance
each year. But her fund advice boils
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And the detailed goals quiz alone is
worth the book price. She also salts
financial advice with humor: New Yorkers who feel they don't need to save for retirement because
they might be dead by then due to a partying lifestyle should know that many who once felt that
way lived into their nineties.
"It's never too early to begin a financial plan, and it's also never too late," she said.
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