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Gretchen's Story

When I was younger and married, my ex-husband managed all the finances. Unfortunately, he had a spending habit and racked up a significant amount of debt, taking advantage of my good credit.

When he left me at the ripe age of 26, I had $40,000 on my American Express credit card, and owed thousands of dollars for things he had purchased that I couldn’t afford on my salary alone. I juggled bill payments that were overdue and dodged creditors. After I trimmed all the fat in my budget and got fed up with hibernating in my tiny Philadelphia apartment to avoid spending money, I decided to get a second job, and even a third job. I worked 80 hours a week and somehow managed to find time to work on completing my Master's thesis. It certainly wasn't glamorous, but I was desperate to dig myself out of the devastating hole I was in.

As a result of my hard work, I was able to begin paying down my debts one small step at a time. Eventually, I was able to build a rainy day fund. When I saved up enough cash, I moved to Manhattan where I began working for the National Football League. Encouraged by my mentor to pursue an MBA, I applied to Columbia Business School and was accepted. Upon graduation from Columbia, I went into consulting and doubled my salary. At long last, with a bit of financial security, I could see the light at the end of the long and harrowing tunnel.

In under 4 years, I had achieved everything my husband never thought I was capable of achieving: 2 advanced degrees (and one from a prestigious Ivy League business school!) and a six-figure salary. My hardships had taught me some very valuable lessons: (1) never again would I rely on a man for my financial security and (2) I was very capable of making it on my own. Most importantly, this period of my life helped me discover my true passion: helping people.

That’s when I decided to become a financial consultant, dedicated to helping women believe in themselves and their ability to earn and thrive on their own. Right then and there, I made a commitment to focus the majority of my time, energy, and practice on creating an environment where women could learn about investing, have fun, and become more confident in making smart financial decisions for themselves and the people they love. Like me, many of my clients have overcome significant hurdles in their lives. If I could do it, they can, too!