Successful Women Find Ways To Multiply Money
The Game of Golf
Talking money, let’s play a game of golf.
It’s a magnificent day. The sky is spectacularly blue, clear, and sunny. The air is crisp, and the grass crunches under our feet as we walk out onto the course.
To make things interesting, why don’t we put a wager on our game. How about $10,000 for eighteen holes?
Oh, you don’t want to do that. Too steep, huh? Well, let’s make it fun, then. How about 10 cents a hole? Ah, you like that. Okay. Now let’s make it even more entertaining. Suppose we double the dime at each hole?
You’ll go for that, too? Well, guess what? That dime, doubled eighteen times as we play our round of golf, grows into a whopping $13,107.20! Here’s how it works:
For the first few holes, not much seems to be happening. At the first hole, our bet is 10 cents. At the second hole, it’s 20 cents. At the third hole, it’s 40 cents, and at the fourth hole, it’s 80 cents.
The action gets a little hotter as we move into the middle of our round of golf. At the fifth hole, our bet is $1.60. At the sixth hole, it’s $3.20. At the seventh hole, it’s $6.40. At the eighth hole, it’s $12.80, and at the ninth hole, it’s $25.60. Now we’re talking about money that you’d notice if you were to lose—or win—it. But watch what happens on the back nine.
At the tenth hole, the wager is worth $51.20. At the eleventh hole, it’s $102.40. At the twelfth hole, it’s $204.80. At the thirteenth hole, it’s $409.60, and at the fourteenth hole, it’s $819.20.
What’s become of the meek little dime we started with? Suddenly, you feel like a women’s golf pro, competing for some serious bucks. But let’s complete the course.
At the fifteenth hole, the bet is $1,638.40. At the sixteenth hole, it’s $3,276.80. At the seventeenth hole, it’s $6,553.60. And at the eighteenth and final hole, our bet has grown from a measly 10 cents to $13,107.20.
Suppose you were winning the bet but had to skip the last five holes because of a sudden thundershower. Your results would be very different, wouldn’t they?
Money Grows At A Steady Rate When Untouched
Our fantasy game of golf offers a good example of how quickly money can multiply when it grows at a steady rate without being disturbed. Our illustration was a wager. But imagine what a good investment could do. For example, let’s say your grandparents had given you $1,000 when you were born, and your parents put it in an investment that earned 12 percent per year. (That’s not an unusual rate of growth for a well-managed portfolio, by the way.) If today were your fortieth birthday, your investment would be worth $93,051.
And if your investment earned 20 percent interest—a fine performance, but not unheard of—you’d be a forty-year-old millionaire! And, remember, it was $1000 that you started with forty years ago. Invested money grows naturally over time.
So, you see, it’s easy to cultivate money. And all of us have the power to plant the money seed, water it, nurture it, sit back, and watch it take root and flourish. Just picture harvest time!
But to reap that harvest, you have to take action to let your money work for you. If your money isn’t working, then you’re throwing it away. And if you have no control over your investments, then you are powerless to enjoy their full potential.
That was the case with Betty Scott, the San Francisco lawyer. As far as her business goes, Betty is sitting pretty. Her ﬁrm has tripled its profits over the last three years. She is secure in her job and is highly respected. She loves her work, so she is not going to quit anytime soon. And it’s unlikely she will be ﬁred. She described all these positives to me with well-deserved pride as we talked about her money picture.
“All of that is wonderful, Betty,” I said. “But there’s another side to the story. The fact is, you’re losing money right now, every day. By failing to set up a way for your money to work for you, you’re losing the money your investments could be generating for your future. They can work even when you’re not working. How are your skills with money? Have you managed to keep any in the bank as a safety net for the time when you’ll stop working?”
Betty shook her head and sighed. “I don’t know what it is,” she said quietly. “I make a very good salary, more than I expected to be making at this point. And I keep thinking I should have been able to save a lot more money by now—I mean, I’ve been working at the same place for almost ten years. And believe me, I put in long, hard hours, and I don’t have much of a life outside of work. But finding the time to invest is just so hard. It seems easier to keep going month by month, and to let the future take care of itself.”
Betty sighed again, and so did I. It’s a familiar story. Betty wasn’t very different from many other women. She was using her money one month at a time to meet her obligations when, with a slight shift in perspective and spending, she would have the opportunity—as does everyone who earns a steady income—to create an investment vision that will keep her safe and solvent when she’s no longer earning cash. She also had within her reach the tools to carve out a more fulfilling life for herself. Betty was young, attractive, witty, vibrant, loyal, caring, bright, and ambitious. But she was also lonely when it came to a relationship.
The dent in the financial spoke of her Wheel of Life was throwing her whole life out of balance. She was spiritually poor and fearful of relationships because she spent all her energy working or worrying about paying her bills. The men she dated tended to be less ambitious than she and Betty wondered whether they were attracted to her or to her ability to care for them financially.
We talked about what was preventing Betty from leading a more balanced life. She agreed that the same misconceptions, fears, and myths—including the White Knight Syndrome—that hold back most women were part of her challenge. But luckily for Betty, she has awakened from her financial slumber and is beginning to give her future some serious thought. She hasn’t hatched her strategy yet, but she’s well on her way to make one. And, more important, Betty is overcoming a central fear she’s harbored much of her life— that she’ll be short of money and will not be able to take adequate care of herself. That particular fear—one shared by many women— underlies her driving work ethic. However, it had rooted her in place so that she couldn’t move forward in her financial life and now is the time to get rid of it.
It was time for Betty to put the game of golf to work in her life. Time to spend less than she earns so that she has the capital to plant for harvest later in her life. Betty was intrigued and imaginative about this new perspective for her money.
Hummmm, she mused, how can the game of golf work for me? She asked me, “what is the first step”?. I answered, “set your life up to make a profit”.
Joan Perry is the publisher of www.WomensWealth.money, the national authority site for women and money. She is a Best Selling Author of ‘A Girl Needs Cash’, Random House; and Living Proof, Celebrating the Gifts that Came Wrapped in Sandpaper (co-authored with Lisa Nichols). Joan is also the creator of The Women’s Wealth Model, A Heroine’s Journey to True Wealth,. As a pioneer in the field of women’s wealth, she founded the first female-owned investment banking firm that underwrote and traded municipal bonds for major governmental entities. Now as a women’s wealth advocate, she serves as a teacher, coach, writer and speaker.