December 12, 2016

WTOP Interview: The Gift of Financial Empowerment

LISTEN NOW: Instead of giving another pair of fuzzy socks, give your loved ones a gift that has lasting value.
Dawn Doebler, MBA, CPA, CFP®, CDFA®, Senior Wealth Advisor

Transcript of interview:

Dawn Doebler: We work with a lot of families in transition and during holiday time it can be difficult if a family is in transition, because of divorce or illness or there might have been a death. One idea is a really great book; its Owning Your Financial Freedom written by Andrea Kennedy. It's actually written for women who are going through divorce, but I read it this weekend. It’s a great book really for any woman that wants to be financially savvy. It talks about balancing the need to manage your emotions because they can get in the way when you’re making financial decisions with really understanding the basics of investing. That’s our first idea is to give a great book, kind acknowledge where people are—that it might be a difficult time, give them some hope with some information in a good book.

Shawn Anderson: That goes along the line so you seem to like educational gifts, so what other gifts might meet those criteria.

Dawn Doebler: Here’s another great idea that can be available really for anyone including young children. There is a website called and you can go in there and there are over 100 companies and you can purchase a share of stock. If you have a child that’s interested in Disney or Build A Bear or someone who’s very interested in Under Armor; go to that website and purchase a share. You can have it mounted and it can be available as a piece of artwork.

We think it’s a great idea to give people ownership of the stock, teach them how to track the stock and it’s a great way to engage with children in a fun way and to be educational at the same time. Start teaching about finances early, it’s never too early.

Hillary Howard: We’ve heard for months, maybe years already, how difficult it is for millennials. They are living with their parents, they can’t get any traction; what about people who are trying to pay off their college debt and really move ahead with their lives?

Dawn Doebler: Well, here we have another great book idea in the line of education. I have some millennials in my household, so I have a fondness for them and there’s a term that they're actually using, it's called ''adulting'' and some of them have some difficulty adulting. They want their cake and eat it too, they want to have a lot of great lifestyle spending, but also build long-term financial security. The book is called You're So Money which is a really great title and it's by Farnoosh Torabi. She's actually written some other great books and what we like about this is again it talks about balancing the emotions, in this case the emotion of wanting something in the present, with making really good practical decisions and building long-term financial security. So, we think that’s a great gift to give to millennials, and perhaps if there are millennials that are getting engaged—going into a marriage, it’s a great way to start them off.

Shawn Anderson: Alright. A lot of great suggestions there, thanks for joining us.

Dawn Doebler: Thank you.

Hillary Howard: Thanks.

Shawn Anderson: Dawn Doebler, Senior Wealth Advisor at Bridgewater Wealth in Bethesda, MD and co-founder of Her Wealth™.



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 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.