martinis and your money

The Money Talk

In this episode of Martinis and Your Money, I am talking to Lori Sackler, a senior vice-president and financial adviser at Morgan Stanley. In 2013, Lori authored the book, The M Word: The Money Talk Every Family Needs to Have About Wealth and Their Financial Future. Now she has released The M Word Journal: How to Have the Money Talk, a guide to use when having the money conversation in your family. Lori and I talk about our experiences working with clients and why we believe having the money talk is so difficult for people to have.

I personally love the journal Lori created to help give you a framework for the money talk. She literally gives you a worksheet for just about any money conversation you can have; and I think they are all useful tools.

What are we drinking?

Lori — a cabernet

Shannon — a dirty gin martini

Podcast Notes

  • Both Shannon and Lori spent a period of time at Merrill Lynch.
  • Lori believes the financial industry is very open to women now.
  • She recently interviewed some senior-executive women from around the country to find out what their current challenges were and they discussed how women often prefer women advisors.
  • Lori wrote The M Word after experiencing the challenge of having money conversations herself.
  • The M Word Journal does 3 things:
    • It helps to identify the information people are going to need for the money talk and helps them answer the questions they need to ask.
    • It focuses on how to manage the psychological and emotional impact of the conversation, how to resolve conflict and how to get through it.
    • It emphasizes the importance of having 3rd-party professionals.
  • Lori thinks some typical reasons it is hard for families to have the money talk are:
    • Cultural differences
    • Gender differences
    • Evolutionary instinctual
    • Family history and money personality
  • Money is at the core of everything we do and really guides most of our actions.
  • Having the money talk is like learning a new language.
  • Lori has a 5-step process for getting over having the money talk.
    • Identify the transition point you are going through.
    • Prepare the inner landscape.
    • Prepare the outer landscape.
    • Identify the people who need to be a part of the conversation.
    • Create the process of having the money conversation that works for you.
  • Both Shannon and Lori advise having the money conversation with an unbiased 3rd party which doesn’t necessarily have to be a financial advisor.
  • TAKEAWAY: If you haven’t had the talk about money with your loved ones, there is no better time than the present!

Random Three Questions

  1. What is your favorite book to read?
  2. What is your favorite thing to do in your down time?
  3. What is a bucket list item for you?

Connect With Lori:


Do you have a tough time talking about money with your family? How can you make a money talk less intimidating?

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Shannon is a financial planner who left a “traditional” financial services firm to start her own company, The Financial Gym, because she felt traditional financial services firms did not have the tools or resources to help people in their 20s and 30s who are starting out and trying to build assets while also managing debt. She realized that the key to long-term personal financial success is a commitment to financial fitness and making smart financial choices. Through her blog, Financially Blonde, her book, Train Your Way To Financial Fitness, her podcast, Martinis and Your Money and The Financial Gym, Shannon is committed to making financial fitness fun, easy and accessible for everyone.


  1. Wow, really great podcast! Talking about money for the first time with loved ones, especially spouses, can be really difficult. If you don’t mind me sharing, this is a great article about discussing income with a boyfriend or girlfriend that really connects to your post. Check it out:

  2. One reason why I always maintain an open communication with my kids regarding money is to teach them that they should never afraid to approach me to talk about their money concerns so that I can give advice.

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