What qualifies me to talk to you about your money & your life?

Money is such a personal and important subject. You deserve to know more about me so you can decide if I’m someone you want to listen to when it comes to financial life planning. Below is a summary of my academic, work, and media experience.

Academic Qualifications

I earned my MBA from Harvard Business School in 1997, my BA from Wellesley College in 1992 (spending my junior year abroad studying at Oxford University studying Politics, Philosophy and Economics). I am also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP) professional.

10 Things to Know About Personal Manisha

SIGN & BIRTH YEAR:  Leo – 1970

GUILTY PLEASURES:
Eating marzipan & reading latest on UK’s royal family

INSPIRATIONAL FEMALE ICONS:
Coco Chanel, Edith Wharton, Katherine Hepburn, Princess Di

WHAT BRINGS ME EXTREME JOY:
My 2 nephews & niece, spinnng-swimming-yoga, being outside

HAVE STRUGGLED WITH:
Depression/anxiety (I’m bipolar2), weight/body image, punctuality

HOME BASE:  Portland, OR

COUNTRIES VISITED:  37… so far!

BEVERAGE OF CHOICE:
Tie between a strong Cappucino (5.5oz, double) & a big Cabernet

HOW TO PRONOUNCE MY NAME:
Ma-Nish-Ah (rhymes with Patricia)  and Talk-or (“taco” with an r at the end)

DREAM JOB:
Helping women & families “Live a Richer Life” – literally & figuratively – at Brighton Jones

Professional Experience

My entire 25-year career has been spent working in the financial services industry. I started off on the institutional side of the business, working at various points as an analyst, portfolio manager, and client relations executive for institutional money management firms with billions of dollars in assets under management (SG Warburg, Atalanta/Sosnoff Capital Corp, Fayez Sarofim & Co. and Sands Capital Management). At the peak of my institutional career I built out and ran a $6 billion separately managed account business.

In 2009, I switched gears to focus on individuals, launching my Financial Education consultancy. In 2012, I started my own female-focused registered investment advisory firm, MoneyZen Wealth Management as a member of The BAM Alliance. In 2015 I merged that practice into Buckingham Strategic Wealth where I took on the role of Director of Wealth Strategies for Women. Today I serve as the Vice President of Financial Education at Brighton Jones.

Additionally, wearing my financial literacy teaching and advocacy hat, I serve as Visiting Faculty at The Omega Institute, 1440 Multiversity, The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (“IIN”), and Rancho La Puerta. Wearing my broader community hat, I also sit on the board of The National Endowment for Financial Education (“NEFE”) and am a founding member of the Portland based women’s charitable giving group, 99 Girlfriends.

Media Presence

I am currently a member of TheWall Street Journal’s Wealth Experts’ Panel and contributing expert to Women’s Health magazine. Over the years my financial literacy advocacy work has been featured in a wide range of other national publications including The New York Times, The Boston GlobeReal Simple, Essence and Glamour. My national TV national TV appearances span CNBC’s Power Lunch and CNN’s Your Bottom Line to The Today Show and Rachel Ray. For a full listing, visit my MEDIA page. To watch a 30 minute PBS special highlighting my financial literacy advocacy work from 2008, click to the left.

Why I Focus on Women

While I’m thrilled when my work reaches and helps the widest possible audience, I am extra passionate about helping women joyfully claim their financial power. This is why…

First, I grew up a nerdy, book-loving girl in a Midwestern town where cheerleaders ruled. Lacking the prom queen gene (truly – check out this photo circa 1982!) , I learned early on that “a man is not a financial plan.” Thankfully, my wonderful parents gave me the ultimate gift – that of financial literacy. As a result of being financially self-sufficient, a whole world of choices opened up for me. I want more women to have that same opportunity.

Second, while personal finance is important for both genders, it is extra important for women. Statistically speaking we earn less, live longer, and spend more time out of the workforce caring for family. As a result, two-thirds of women over the age of 65 today rely on meager Social Security payments as their primary source of income. To change these gut-wrenching statistics, we must make our financial well-being a priority.

Third, after spending my entire career in financial services, I’d say the default language of the industry is “male-speak.” Whether it’s “winning,” “fighting,” or “beating” the market, the day-to-day financial lingo is alienating and unappealing to many of us women. Through my work, I am committed to promoting the positive qualities I observed in the Wall Street world (yes, there actually are some!) with language, values and goals that resonate with me and many other women: Simplicity, Abundance and Freedom. In short, I want women to feel that personal finance is our language, too. My deepest desire is a world where one day there is no need for separate women’s initiatives because all genders are on equal footing.