July 30, 2017

WTOP Interview: Consider All Your Dimensions Of Wealth When Managing Your Finances

LISTEN NOW! Did you know that you have over 40 dimensions of wealth and each one affects your financial decisions?
Dawn Doebler, MBA, CPA, CFP®, CDFA®, Senior Wealth Advisor

Interview Transcript:

SHAWN: It is 5:12, as you manage your finances and try to build your wealth, you might not realize there are more than 40 dimensions of wealth to think about; each of them can affect how well you do.

HILLARY: Joining us to talk about it, Dawn Doebler; cofounder of Her Wealth and Senior Wealth Advisor at Bridgewater Wealth in Bethesda. Hello Dawn!

DAWN: Hi Hillary!

HILLARY: So somebody listening may not be familiar with this term, what are the dimensions of wealth?

DAWN: Before I answer you Hillary, I want to say our lives are becoming more complicated and things like blended families, people living longer, millennials living at home; we've talked about some of these things have made our lives more complicated. So, I decided to talk about this concept in terms of dimensions; so dimensions are the unique attributes of your particular life. And we see that many people are relying on financial advice from their friends or from information created for the masses. So, we want to suggest that your set of life circumstances or the dimensions of your wealth are not the same as your friends' or your colleagues' or the masses'.

SHAWN: I don’t know if I have any friends I would take financial advice from. There are four categories, is the correct; tell us about them and what effect they can have on your finances?

DAWN: That’s right! Well as you said, we came up with 40 different dimensions, so we want to try to simplify a little bit and we categorize them into four categories:

  1. ‍Personal
  2. Wealth
  3. Family
  4. And Money Experience

So, PERSONAL ATTRIBUTES are things that you would expect; age, marital status, your health level and those are kind of obvious to consider when you’re managing your money. But there are some more obscure things like; what are your personal values, what are your short-term goals, what are your long-term goals and what are your charitable interests?

WEALTH ATTRIBUTES: We want to know your wealth attributes; that includes your total level of wealth, where do you derive your income, what’s your debt structure look like, what are your savings and spending patterns and certainly what are your taxes. Because all of those things interact and affect each other and you don’t want to ignore those.

FAMILY ATTRIBUTES: This is an area that’s often ignored especially if you’re working with someone online and we do want to consider your marital status; the strength of your relationships, how you talk about money in your family and more sensitive information like the capabilities of your children and if they’re married, that dynamic.

MONEY EXPERIENCE: What is your experience, your attitudes, your interest in managing your money! We believe you really should understand what you’re invested in, so if you have a lot of education, that’s great, you can be more sophisticated. If not, you might want to shy away from the more technical aspects of managing your money on your own.

HILLARY: Why should people be really cautious if they're working outside of these wealth dimensions?

DAWN: Well, as we said at the outset, you know we do recognize a lot of people are taking financial advice written for the masses or from their friends and family and some of that’s affected that raising your awareness to things that you should be paying attention to. But, we really think that that’s best used as general direction or for prioritizing things that you should consider and if you’re managing money on your own or you're working with an advisor, we suggest you consider all of these dimensions, they do make a difference and especially if you’re making very big financial decisions.

SHAWN: Alright Dawn, thank you so much for coming in, we always appreciate it.

DAWN: Thank you.

SHAWN: Dawn Doebler from Bridgewater Wealth in Bethesda. For more, go to WTOP.com search Her Wealth.

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Shawn: Now you hear all kinds of deals about leasing cars, how can you negotiate a better deal if you want to lease?

Nina: Okay, well many people don't realize that they can actually negotiate the sticker price on a leased car in the same way that you would do that if you're buying a car. And since when you lease -- when you're, you know, your lease payments basically cover the depreciation, the difference between the sales price and the residual value. So it's definitely in your best interest to try to reduce that sales price as much as possible because then you'll pay you know, smaller dollars over the life of the lease. Make sure you pay attention to the down payment at the lease signing. And so here's an example, you might see an ad that says you know, lease payment is only 1.99 a month and that sounds like a great deal for thirty six months. The catch is, is that it might require a $3,600 down payment. So, if you amortize the down payment, then actually that 1.99 special, becomes 2.99. So, you really have to kind of look at total costs. 

And then lastly, dealerships use the term, money or lease factor, when they're calculating your financing costs and a lease factor is not the same as an interest rate. So, you have to make sure the dealer converts that lease factor into a comparable interest rate so you know what your financing charges are. 

Shawn: At the end of the day, does one method wind up being more expensive more often than the other, or can we tell that?

Nina: You know what, it really depends on how long, if you're going to hold the car for a long time, you're better off buying. But if you know, and if you're not, if you just really enjoy driving and you want to have a new car, then go ahead and lease. I mean, there's pros and cons to both, to be honest with you, it's not one size fits all.

Shawn: Alright Nina, great. Happy Thanksgiving to you. Alright, Nina Mitchell is with The Colony Group, for more go to wtop.com and search Her Wealth.

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Dawn Doebler, MBA, CPA, CFP®, CDFA®, Senior Wealth Advisor

Dawn’s experience spans more that 25 years providing wealth management, financial planning and corporate finance solutions for clients. As an MBA, CPA, Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), and a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA®), she is uniquely qualified to understand the challenges and financial needs of clients from executives to entrepreneurs, as well as single breadwinner parents. Dawn is a weekly contributor to WTOP radio.