Tuesday, September 18, 2007

FINANCIAL PLANNING | How It Saves Marriages

This semester I am teaching Personal Financial Planning to about 40 MBA students and undergraduate seniors at Pace University. I am using Prof. Lewis J. Altfest's book on the topic, published by McGraw-Hill. Prof. Altfest was once a student of mine when I taught at Baruch College. Now he is a national expert on counseling people about their financial concerns. He and his wife Carol have created a thriving independent financial advisory firm that stresses behavioral analysis along with economic and financial analysis.

This approach makes a lot of sense to me. Those who counsel couples about marital problems often put money issues high among the causes of marital discord. It is the number-one issue in the way of intimacy and commitment, and the number-one issue leading to divorce. But, as a participant on a multicultural connections site observes: "Money is not just about money. It represents a lot of things. It represents power, self worth, territoriality..."

In other words, a good financial advisor doesn't just help people manage their money well to maximize their net worth. A good financial advisor can also help save marriages and other relationships.


  1. This is Zhuobei(Phoebe) Deng, ur personal financial mgt class student.

    Most ppl are reluctant to admit that money affects their marriages, but it does. each person has different philosophies about money, such as how, what and when to spend.but in marriage, people need to compromise at least a little for the family.

    A family cannot survive without money.I know it's not romatic but it's the truth.

    As you said, money is not just money.At this point, planing is so important.

  2. Given the fact that women have been more engaging and adding a lot of values in the workforce, it makes sense why a personal financial advisor can play a role in saving marriages. As life involves around $$, having a husband and a wife contributing to the family's assets and both make decisions as to where/how the hard-earned $ should be invested, arguments and disagreements are inevitable. An outside party such as a personal financial advisor may be able to bring a different perspective to the arguments and help solve them.