Women learning how to grow their money

WISE: Women's Investors Strategic Exchange

By Jodi Mohrmann - Managing Editor of special projects
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BROOKLYN, New York - What would you say if you were told you can turn $1 into a $1 million? That is the goal of a group that's helping women become more financially savvy. The point is learning how to take a little money and grow it.

Attorney, real estate investor, and entrepreneur Teresa Martin, heads Women's Investors Strategic Exchange (WISE).

"We want to focus on your money, but more important than money we want to grow and manage your wealth," Martin said.

She lost everything during 9-11 when her business in New York's Financial District downsized, destroying her finances.  She hopes to help women like herself and others like Natasha Vaughan, who was always top of her class and did everything right.

"And then I got the pink slip," Vaughan explained.

With little savings, she became homeless. 

Heather Robinson also found herself in deep debt.

"I was buying things of no value," Robinson said.

Attorney Joell Barnett was also not making sound financial decisions.

"These days and time you are not waiting for a knight in shining armor," explained Barnett.

Jacqueline McKinnon's financial concerns are not just for herself, but also for her daughter Imani.

"When you have someone in your family disability a lot of things health-wise can happen," McKinnon said.

These women are the reasons why WISE was formed, which gave them the principals for amassing wealth.

First off, Martin suggests finding residual income, such as real estate.  It's the only way to become financially free. Next, start paying into your own Roth IRA and put in the maximum allowed by the IRS.

Then, research four or five stocks to buy that you will hold on to for 40 or more years. Set up trusts to shelter your dollars from taxes you'd have to pay in the future. Most importantly, learn to live beneath your means, and be able to afford everything you need.

These women have learned to live a new life and have now turned their finances around, learning dollars and making sense.

"I only buy assets," Robinson explained.

"In hitting rock bottom you have no choice but to rise," Vaughan said.

And rise, they will. WISE members believe the key to growing money is through financial freedom. It also comes from knowing how to start your own business, even if it's on the side, at night and on weekends.  

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