Under the Influence

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By Shawndi Purselley, CFP®, CDFA®

I am Shawndi Purselley, co-owner and founder of Armstrong Purselley Wealth Management Group. I am a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional and business owner.  I am the wife of a business owner and together we have four great kids.

When I first began considering the idea of writing a blog about financial matters, I honestly went directly into  panic mode.  I didn’t want to be just another “clinical” financial planning blogger (yawn).  I spent several months doing a lot of soul searching about how I wanted readers to feel after reading one of my blogs.  I decided to name my blog “Under the Influence” for several reasons.

First, I believe that we are heavily influenced by our parents, grandparents and other family members regarding how we feel about money.  Personally, I was heavily influenced by my grandparents.   Learning by Influence was not always the best teacher, but I did find teachable moments.   Maybe together through my monthly blog stories about how I learned by influence, we can work through some of the habits you may have carried on from your parents or grandparents into your own adult life.

Second, I have been in the financial services industry for over 20 years and I have I seen just about everything.  I have witnessed the good, the bad and the ugly of human nature and our relationship with money. I will bring stories of some of my most memorable experiences with clients in an effort to help you make good financial decisions.

A third reason I call my blog “Under the Influence” is because I plan to explore the idea that we CAN change our history with money and how we feel about it, how we save it, and how we use it.   The idea that we must listen to or follow the advice of our family, friends and peers into financial ruin is false.  Just because we have been taught bad behaviors doesn’t mean we have to stick with them.   Have you ever heard the saying “You don’t have to continue to hold on to a bad decision just because you spent a lot of time making it?”  I believe in redemption and I think we can all be better stewards of our financial future.

My mother was 16 when I was born.  I was raised by my grandparents and spent a lot of summers in my younger years with my great-grandparents.  We were a low to lower-middle class income family.   My grandmother dropped out of school when she was 14 to marry my grandfather, who left school in the 5th grade. My great-grandmother was a hair dresser and Sunday school teacher and my great-grandfather was a city employee and a fisherman by trade in his younger years. To this day, only two people have ever finished college in my family, one being my daughter. However, don’t mistake my grandparents for ignorant. My grandfather owned a successful enough heating and air conditioning repair business and my grandmother owned a small monogramming shop at the end of our house.    They were both successful entrepreneurs in their own right.  However, they never really saw the value in building a portfolio for their retirement years, saving for our college, donating to charity or providing a legacy.  To top it off, they never sought the help of a financial professional.  I can only imagine what their retirement might have been like had they truly and intentionally saved their money all those years. They both passed away four years ago, nine weeks apart.  In the end, they had nothing but a reverse mortgage on our small little family home that sets at the end of a dirt road. I never went without and I never realized our “social class” until I left home at 18.  My grandparents never invested their money, never paid off a car or a home.  They never traveled to beautiful places or did anything extraordinary.   I think seeing some of the struggles they went through in their older age helped influence me as to what not to do.  It has also given me a passion for helping people plan their financial destiny with intent and a meaningful thought process. Money is a tool that we can utilize to build the life that we want.  I knew at an early age there was so much more to life than what my family experienced and I set out to find it.  Now, I work every day to help other families do the same.  So, tune in with me here at my blog “Under the Influence” and let’s figure it out together.

Shawndi L Purselley

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