In honor of Women’s History Month, #HacksTheNewsletter is continuing with part two of our three-part series honoring women in business. I am thrilled and enlightened that my friend, entrepreneur, wife, and mother, Myah Moore Irick, agreed to share her insights on the crucial importance of financial literacy for women and girls in this #womenshistorymonth newsletter.
AJR: What inspired you to pursue a career in finance?
MMI: I always knew from a young age that I wanted to be in a position to help educate others, help them realize their impact, and help empower them. What better way to do that than to provide guidance on how to optimize precious resources such as money and time? Effectively managing these resources results in more freedom and life choices. I was drawn to the world of wealth management because I love helping people identify solutions to financial and life problems. I help people make long-term decisions for themselves and their families. I believe it’s about providing them with the tools they need to confidently make the big decisions in their life. Why did I pursue a career in finance? I love helping people with LIFE planning.
AJR: Where do you feel there is the most opportunity for women to improve their financial literacy? What steps do you take at the Irick Group to help all of your clients, but particularly women, do so?
MMI: Women ask questions. We do our homework. We conduct research. We read and listen carefully to experts. These actions are key when it comes to making financial decisions throughout our lives. In order to confidently make astute financial decisions, women need to be able to rely on experts. Objective professionals they can trust. That’s why I created the Irick Group. We’re a team of financial advisors who have a common goal: Serve clients who want to learn how to manage their financial life and we do this with respect, inclusion, and empathy at the forefront. It’s about helping our clients lead purposeful, fulfilled lives and do so with confidence.
We are a team devoted to helping people build, preserve and manage their often-sudden wealth. We take very seriously the responsibility of sharing insights and strategies to sustain wealth across generations. We offer resources to support all aspects of one’s financial life – including banking, credit, investment management, philanthropy, and wealth planning. We partner with our clients, many of whom are women, to understand their financial goals and align their values with their money. We believe deeply in putting our clients’ best interests front and center, through transparent communication and the knowledge to be confident in their financial decisions.
AJR: What’s the best financial education tool (“Hack”) you can recommend to readers for teaching children about the importance of saving? Investing in the stock market?
MMI: Our children are our most important “assets.” We teach them to love. We teach them to be kind. And, we teach them to aim high. Yet, we often avoid teaching them about money. It’s critical that we teach financial literacy to our children. It is a skill fundamental to their success as adults. There are 7 critical skills that children need to learn to handle wealth effectively- 1. save, 2. spend, 3. invest, 4. earn, 5. share, 6. borrow, and 7. protect (risk awareness). The easiest “hack” I would suggest is to use simple activities to teach COMPLEX lessons. Infusing choices in daily decision-making is a great way to teach. For example at the age of 5, I might suggest that we visit a local bank branch and open an account with money saved from the tooth fairy. Or another example, at the age of 8, I offer an age-appropriate alternative to a birthday party. I might suggest the purchase of one share of stock in a company that they are familiar with to introduce the concept of investing. The key here is that whether your child is 7 or 17, you are meeting them where they are and explaining terms in a fun way at their level.
AJR: If you had one piece of advice to give the younger you, what would it be?
MMI: I would tell my younger self to be more empowered when it comes to speaking up for my worth and encourage other women to know that talking about money is ok. Additionally, I would encourage my younger self to never stop learning. Pick a passion and go for it. I knew early on that I wanted to help people lead purposeful, fulfilled lives and do so with confidence.
To learn more about Myah and the Irick Group at Merrill Lynch, please click here.