Sharon Kedar is the co-author of two personal finance books, On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girl's Guide to Personal Finance, and Get Financially Naked: How to Talk Money with Your Honey.
Q: Your books are directed at women, particularly younger women, but do you think the financial advice you provide can be applied to other people as well? Why or why not?
A: The advice definitely applies to both genders. However, women are twice as likely to live below the poverty line vs. men at retirement, so we wanted to do our part to help our fellow females. Also, the general basic financial advice applies to everyone, but how much you save has a lot to do with your age. In your 20s and 30s you can save less of your paycheck than if you start in your 40s or 50s.
Q: Your most recent book, Get Financially Naked: How to Talk Money With Your Honey, focuses on the importance of couples being open about money, discussing it wisely, and planning carefully together. Why did you choose to focus on this particular topic?
A: We didn't plan to write a second book. After On My Own Two Feet, we thought we'd be done! But as we spoke to women across the country, so many women turned out to get the short end of the financial stick when it came to their relationships. That was a small part of On My Own Two Feet (chapter 13 that we almost didn't write), and after hearing enough stories from women who had wished they read about love and money earlier, we ended up writing Get Financially Naked. It's amazing. So many women would prefer not to fight about money and thus end up with little or no money vs. standing up for themselves. That's what Get Financially Naked is about.
Q: Both your books have been written with a co-author, Manisha Thakor. How did the two of you decide to co-write these books?
A: We both wanted to help our fellow females. We are both Chartered Financial Analyst Charter holders (CFA), MBAs, and have worked in investment management, which is a very male-dominated industry. We just felt it was right to help our fellow women.
Q: How do you apply the lessons from your books in your own life?
A: I live it!! To me this is all about independence and choice. Not having to choose a job or partner because your finances are not the way you want. I don't personally love the details of personal finance but I do love knowing they are taken care of. That's empowering, as cliche as that word is...!
Q: What are you working on now?
A: I'm full of ideas, but also work full time and have two young kids. I did write my third book on moms and money but have waited to publish it. I have a bunch of stuff in my head about helping women, including girls. We will see.
--Interview with Deborah Kalb