While men and women may have different views about wealth accumulation and specific money aspects like spending and savings, the difference may lie only on how their messages are said or shared, with perhaps women possessing a higher level of sentimentality especially where personal experiences are concerned. Otherwise, both genders after all aspire to the same things: success and happiness borne out of hard work, right decisions and desire to help others.
What remains as a challenge is for collective efforts (with men’s cooperation much welcome) to change the fact that women are yet to fully break the glass ceiling in the corporate scene both in hierarchical traditions and in the salary scale.
Despite this, it cannot be denied that some of the best lessons on life, work, money and relationships come from women who speak from a depth of feminine emotion and perspectives. Hence, when it comes to these important issues, it always pays to stop and listen when women start talking.
We’ve rounded up a list of strong, successful and wealthy women who have remarkable and diversified advices and lessons to impart not just to fellow women but men as well. Here are five of the world’s wealthiest women who share their golden nuggets of wisdom about life and money and other things that shape them into who they are today.
She is a famous American country music singer, songwriter, actress and philanthropist. Born in Kentucky, her wealth was largely attributed to a prolific singing career, starting with The Judds (with her daughter Wynona Judd) which sold over 20 million albums and videos.
The family singing group was at its peak in 1991 when Judd was diagnosed with Hepatitis C, a chronic liver disease that forced her to temporary retirement. She created the Naomi Judd Education and Research Fund in that same year, funding it initially with $75,000 of her own money to raise awareness about the Hepatitis C virus, becoming the spokesperson for the American Liver Foundation.
Today, Naomi is one of the most respected American country singers, and also among the wealthiest. She has used her regained health to continue her successful singing career, while adding up to her income streams in the form of acting, endorsements and as a bestselling book author. In 2004, her book Naomi’s Breakthrough Guide: 20 Choices to Transform Your Life came out to good sales and reviews, where she explored the topics of goal setting, money managing, risk taking, healthy eating and loving relationships.
In a talk with Steve Siebold, author of “How Rich People Think,” Naomi reveals her secret to saving good – she has never spent much money on flashy things like designer clothes or expensive jewelry. This rings with so much honesty from someone who has known how it was to raise two kids alone in her 20s and was at the point of losing it all after a bout with a potentially fatal disease. Siebold observed that Naomi’s spending attitude is typical of most wealthy people. They get quietly richer everyday, but they aren’t flashy.
Klum’s wealth is undeniably a gift of hard work. She started modeling at a young age and entered into businesses while at the peak of her career. She produced and also hosted the Next Top Model franchise in Germany and the long-running Project Runway and built a popular brand around her name with a line of luxury fragrances, jewelry, clothing, shoes and many more, which she promoted relentlessly. Aside from building her wealth empire, Klum also helps raise funds for the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles’s pediatric healthcare.
In January 2012, Klum and singer Seal announced the filing of their divorce after seven years of marriage, and many speculated an eventual dent in the supermodel’s bank account in divorce payments, given that she was at her earning peak while married to Seal.
Klum is an active advocate of the Look-for-Less concept in fashion and beauty, especially helping working women in America and around the world with her practical money-saving advices to cut spending on clothing while remaining presentable and well-dressed. Klum’s advocacy has become widely popular, with personal guesting requests from mainstream media to propagate her money advices especially in recession-worn America.
Her sensible saving and spending advices work for both men and women. These include shopping in your own closet. Most people already own more trendy clothes than they realize, Heidi says. Shop your own closet and rediscover the things you love or your old items that have come back into style. Heidi says it is crucial to frequently clean out your closet. Keeping your closet organized is your best bet to ensure that you’ll actually wear the clothes you own,” she said.
Klum is also big on shopping cheap for trendy clothes while investing on quality pieces. She advises on buying inexpensive versions of the clothes you love and even recommends shopping at H&M, Forever 21 and Target. Another surprising advice from a filthy rich supermodel: Don’t skip great finds just because they don’t fit you. Get a low-cost tailoring service to make it sleek and custom-made.
Mother of three, the billionaire author of the Harry Potter series dropped her wealthiest woman rankings she acquired in 2011, partly due to Britain’s high taxation system and also as a result of her charitable giving. But Rowling does not seem to mind, especially on the giving aspect. After all, she possessed that something special to lay down on the table while others throw in their business cards – her prolific creativity.
Recently, JK Rowling was revealed to be the author of a bestselling crime novel The Cuckoo’s Calling. Whether as JK or Robert (her pseudonym), money goes where the gifted novelist puts her pen to work.
In her own website where she regularly entertains questions from her avid readers, she said “I have not forgotten what it feels like to worry whether you’ll have enough money to pay the bills.” Action speaks louder than words, so it is really safe to say that the feisty author simply believes in her own strength and is smart and secure enough not to fret over “rankings” when a billion dollars is still very much intact in her account balance. Aside from book sales, she also earns from merchandising and continued royalty fees paid to her.
When asked how to start something, like a small business, when one does not have the money, she said “It’s our choices that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. Anything is possible if you’ve got enough nerve. It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.” On success, she quips, “If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.”
Perhaps one of the most valuable piece of life lessons she ever dished out is for those who are experiencing setbacks from what other people think, and proves useful for both the young and old alike. “Never be ashamed! There’s some who will hold it against you, but they are not worth bothering with.”
President of Fidelity Investments, part of the Fidelity Management and Research LLC which manages about $1.6 trillion in Fidelity investments and was originally established by her grandfather in 1946.
Although known for her low profile and conscious effort to stay away from the media, Johnson was put on the spotlight when she was named Fidelity’s president for financial services, in charge of all the company’s core financial businesses. She assumed not only a high-profile position but also a big leadership challenge as Fidelity’s client base face tough competition from more aggressive marketing by competitors.
Many are looking at how a change in leadership can fix Fidelity’s internal business problems and how a woman’s touch can make a financial and commercial turnaround. Doing so requires Johnson to be more high-profile and visible in the business world. In a business feature by CNN online in 2010, Johnson joined other leading business thinkers in sharing views and advices on building personal wealth.
The lady boss emphasized the creation of one’s own safety net especially for every retiree and pre-retiree. “You should have a retirement income plan in place that incorporates a realistic estimate of anticipated expenses. And if possible, your essential expenses, including health insurance, should be covered by reliable sources of lifetime income such as Social Security, pensions, and perhaps certain types of guaranteed income or sustainable withdrawals from savings.”
Johnson also cautions about the destructive power of too much debt, which can quickly overwhelm a company’s balance sheet or an individual’s personal finances. Her advice is to keep a long-term perspective and be cautious about leverage, like purchasing assets using borrowed money.
She is Australia’s richest woman and No. 5 in the Forbes 2013 list of billionaire women in the world. She originally inherited the mining company built by her grandfather Lang Hancock and has groomed it to become a profitable and diversified business, Hancock Prospecting. She also has stakes in media networks Fairfax Media and Ten Network.
Gina Rinehart’s wealth is expected to soar further with planned investments from US export credit agencies to her Roy Hill mining property in Western Australia, where she owns 70 percent share. Her business life moves on despite family controversy (a legal battle with her own three grown children over the family trust) and occasional harsh criticisms from anti-mining groups in Australia.
In an industry column for the Australian Resources and Investment magazine, Rinehart shared her honest thoughts about life and work. She said “if you’re jealous of those with more money, don’t just sit there and complain. Do something to make more money yourself — spend less time drinking or smoking and socialising, and more time working.”
On the chances and opportunities to become rich, Rinehart said “There is no monopoly on becoming a millionaire.” Her advice to people on their way to the top: “Become one of those people who work hard, invest and build, and at the same time create employment and opportunities for others.”
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