I met Manisha at an amazing conference, Women & Power, at the Omega Institute in New York. Manisha was running a workshop on “Women & Personal Finance,” and in the space of an hour I learned more about money than I had in my whole life.
Before becoming a writer and personal finance personality, Manisha spent 15 years working in the financial services industry, working as an analyst, portfolio manager and client relations executive at SG Warburg, Atalanta/Sosnoff Capital Corp., Fayez Sarofim & Co., and Sands Capital Management.
Manisha is the founder of the Women’s Financial Literacy Initiative and co-author of two books on personal finance: On My Own Two Feet and Get Financially Naked. Her writings have been featured in Forbes Woman, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, US News & World Report, Smart Money, Black Enterprise, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Real Simple and Women’s Day. She is a regular contributor to NPR’s nationally syndicated show, 51% – The Women’s Perspective, and her TV appearance include CNN, CNBC, PBS’ Nightly Business Report, ABC News Now and The Rachael Ray Show.
What is your name, age, and location?
Manisha Thakor. 40 years old. Houston, Texas.
What is your profession?
I teach, write, and speak about personal finance for working women.
What did you study in school and what degrees do you have?
What was your first job?
Financial Analyst at an investment bank.
Who or what inspired you to break into your current line of work?
Fire-in-the-belly passion to help women take charge of their personal finances.
Name/describe what has been your most rewarding project so far?
An eCourse that I literally JUST completed for Sympoz.com that will launch in next week or two. For less than the price of a dress ($99) women can take an online course on personal finance 101 that literally could put them on the path to financial nirvana if they follow the action steps.
Name/describe one incident when being a woman has helped your career?
There were times during the 15 years I spent in corporate America where I was asked to attend meetings solely because I was a woman and it helped add “diversity” to the room – but being in that room enabled me to show that I knew my stuff so it benefited me in the end…
Name/describe one incident when being a woman has hindered your career?
Moving ahead in personal finance – being a woman, I didn’t play golf & hang out in the bars with the guys and I am positive that there are opportunities that I did not get because I was not networking with the guys in those places. At the time I naively thought if I kept my head down and did incredible work that would be all that mattered – that was a rude awakening…
Who is your role model or mentor (alive or dead)?
Coco Chanel – for having the courage to be a female entrepreneur back when that phrase was an oxymoron.
If you could give one piece of advice to a woman starting out in your field, what would it be?
Commit to educating yourself about your personal finances as early in your career as you can. Money gives you a voice and it gives you life choices. When you are living your life from a place of financial strength, you can live the life you want on your own terms.
– Interview by Haley Hogan