An Electronic Education for Women

Most of your women clients are probably looking to enhance their financial knowledge, or maybe they're building it from square one. But who has time for a formal education while working full time in a demanding job, shuttling children to school and extracurricular activities, and managing the responsibilities of home life? Now there's a Web site that can educate women at their own pace: MsMoney.com,

Most of your women clients are probably looking to enhance their financial knowledge, or maybe they're building it from square one. But who has time for a formal education while working full time in a demanding job, shuttling children to school and extracurricular activities, and managing the responsibilities of home life?

Now there's a Web site that can educate women at their own pace: MsMoney.com, a straightforward, well-organized, informative site that covers the basic territories of the financial landscape.

The CEO and founder of MsMoney.com, Tiffany Bass Bukow, ran her own Internet consulting company, Tiff.com, with clients such as America Online and Sun Microsystems, before launching this venture.

For the time-challenged, there's a Jump Start program that includes “Investing 101” and “Retire Rich.” Another section, entitled Save Time and Money, offers sponsored resources on financial aid, insurance, credit protection, car purchases and home financing.

With fresh editorial content, MsMoney.com covers important aspects of finances. The Financial Health section helps women clarify their goals and priorities, and evaluate their current financial situation. The Investing area is a primer on building a portfolio.

In the Banking and Credit section, there's a useful tool called DecisionMaker that compares services from online banks. The Life Planning area covers financial issues by life stages: single, married with children, divorced and retired. And the Life Purchases section provides education about buying a home, car and insurance.

If interactive formats appeal to your client, she'll find message boards and chat rooms. MsMoney.com also has calculators throughout the site on a variety of money-related topics, including saving for retirement, cash-flow analysis and credit issues.

Communicating through allegory is an effective technique in targeting women. This site features several columnists who write about women's success stories and provide practical advice, such as how to raise fiscally responsible children.

In the Editor's Pick section, Nancy Margolis, senior editorial director for MsMoney.com, reviews financial-oriented books weekly, which narrows the field. Anyone who's been to a bookstore lately (online or in person) knows how overwhelming the burgeoning financial section can be.

To the uninitiated, the world of finances can be quite intimidating. However, MsMoney.com is a down-to-earth, jargon-free site offering the basics of a financial education and practical tips. It's not condescending, preachy or based on scare tactics. Your female clients will be able to relate to it. They will thank you for referring them to it, and they will gain financial knowledge, which may enhance your relationship.

A Caution for Brokers

There are two items on MsMoney.com you might find objectionable. One is a highlighted quote in the Brokerage Firms subsection, under Investment Experts. “Finding an investment advisor with both intelligence and integrity is possible, but — if you'll forgive the cliché — it's like looking for a needle in a haystack,” says Marlene Jupiter, author of “Savvy Investing for Women.”

The second is the citation of SmartMoney magazine's ranking of brokerage firms. If you can overlook those two items, you'll probably be comfortable with referring clients to the site.

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