Local financial advisor empowers women | ParkRecord.com

Local financial advisor empowers women

With a decades-long cultural shift in the country enabling women to play a more prominent role in the financial planning of their households, it has become increasingly important for women to become educated about finances.

Enter Kathleen Barlow, a local financial advisor at Edward Jones, at 3126 Quarry Road. Barlow has made it her mission to empower local women and give them the tools to be financially successful.

"What is shifting is (women) are becoming a bigger part of the big-picture planning," Barlow said. "Also, there are more women working in these households, so they have more skin in the game. There are many households where the women are making more money than their counterparts."

To help women take control of their finances, Barlow hosts weekly financial discussions at Hugo Coffee, as well as several workshops that tackle important money issues. She said educating women is especially important locally, because in addition to making household financial decisions, many women in the area have small businesses.

"What I really love about what I do is I feel like I’m empowering women, and that’s a really good thing," Barlow said. "Empowering women makes it easier for them to be successful."

One of the most important ways she empowers women is to help them understand what she calls their money stories. Money stories — the way people learned how to interact with money — are often passed down from parents and can play a huge role in determining whether people are financially responsible.

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Barlow often has women draw a picture of their money stories — an example she gives is of a woman standing in the middle of bouncing marbles, which represents an inability to rein in finances and spending. The next step is to identify changes to develop better relationships with money, if necessary.

"You’re much more successful in your financial planning if you have a good money story," Barlow said.

Barlow said that in addition to women learning about finances, it’s important that it’s taught to them in a way that resonates. The simple fact, she said, is women and men learn differently and view money differently. That’s why she’s excited more women are coming into financial advising positions such as hers. Her hope is that as more women become financially empowered, it creates a cycle.

"If we’re going to manage it, we have to learn about it differently than you do," Barlow said. "Money means different things to women than men. The more women who are educated about money, the better."

For more information on Barlow’s workshops, contact her at 435-649-6008.