A Week at Camp Girl Boss

Leesa and I both feel lucky that we were able to be a part of Camp Girl Boss earlier in July. Camp Girl Boss was an inaugural program created by Asheville entrepreneur and leader Emily Breedlove.  It was a week-long day camp held at UNCA that empowered girls to find their voices, celebrate the power of their ideas, and step boldly in the direction of what is possible as they created their own companies. Earth Equity Advisors chose to sponsor one of the young women with a scholarship, since a program like this is directly aligned with our values.

As a mentor, Leesa supported one of the young girls as she figured out her company, including mission, name, product lines, pricing strategies, and target market.  The concept of a triple bottom line philosophy (people, planet, profit) resonated with her, illustrated by her plan to donate 50% of any company profits to a local non-profit. “It was such an honor to help this creative young woman take her concept for a company and create a viable start-up.  The energy, creativity, passion and excitement of this group made me hopeful for the future when they’re in charge!”

I worked with the girls to create logos for their website. It was a whirlwind of a day, with 30 minutes to sit down, brainstorm and create! I was impressed with each girl’s ability to articulate their vision and communicate what they wanted for their brand.

At the graduation ceremony at the end of the week we were able to see the participants’ visions come together. Each girl had created a website that incorporated their logo, their business services and a mission statement. Beyond that, they had a 60 second elevator pitch, which is no easy feat to perfect and to give in front of hundreds of people. I was blown away. Their keynote speaker at the graduation was former Asheville Mayor, Terry Bellamy. Bellamy spoke on the importance of providing young women with the tools to overcome challenges they may face as entrepreneurs – to continue to make bold decisions and push for their success.

Congratulations to the young women who graduated from Camp Girl Boss ’18. We can’t wait to see what 2019 brings!

A Conversation About Alzheimer’s and Money

Any health diagnosis is scary, however an Alzheimer’s diagnosis for a loved one strikes fear and anxiety, and throws one into uncharted waters.  The person may have minor symptoms at the beginning, however medical professionals begin to paint the picture for the future of the “long goodbye”.

Several of my clients are going through this challenging chapter of life, as they navigate the mental decline of their spouse, and have to figure out how to handle life activities, including money matters.  There is a lot of information available about the necessity for legal and financial protections and the ten steps provided by the Alzheimer’s Association in this booklet provide a great roadmap:

  1. Discuss finances and future care wishes soon after a diagnosis.
  2. Organize and review important documents.
  3. Seek legal help from well-qualified financial and legal advisors.
  4. Estimate possible costs for the entire disease process.
  5. Look at all of your insurance options.
  6. Find out which government programs you are eligible for.
  7. Learn about income tax breaks for which you may qualify.
  8. Explore financial support you can personally provide.
  9. Take advantage of low-cost and free community services.
  10. Consider how personal property and work-related benefits can become a source of income.

As financial advisors, we can help you navigate several things, from identifying potential financial resources to analyzing your investment portfolio with long-term care needs in mind. We can also help facilitate efforts with an estate attorney to be sure appropriate documents are in place.

However, beyond the practical aspects of legal documents, financial planning and protection of resources, there is the day to day shift in your relationship with this person that you have lived with and loved perhaps for decades.  One of my clients has started writing a book about her experience, and talks about the strange experience of your spouse still being alive, yet feeling huge loss.

“There are no sympathy cards, maybe no neighbors bringing over mac and cheese, perhaps no clergy person offering care and concern.  But you are grieving.  Even with the reality that your husband or wife is not going to get better and that everything will not go back to being as it was, there is a way to cope, and there is a way of hope.  There is a way to live life in the now, to see the beauty of life in the midst of the chaos and to give thanks for the little things.”

As I observe the strength, creativity, and compassion of the dedicated caregivers that look after Alzheimer patients (spouses, children, friends, medical professionals) it is a great reminder of the tenacity of love that knows no bounds.  Perhaps you know someone going through this type of experience, and you can provide some extra support, or just a kind word of encouragement.


June is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month – If you need to have a conversation with your financial advisor about Alzheimer’s or any other health matter, we’re here

Leesa also used these first hand accounts as a guide: Managing Your Parents’ MoneyMom, Money and Alzheimer’s. 


EARTH EQUITY ADVISORS IS A REGISTERED INVESTMENT ADVISER. INFORMATION PRESENTED IS FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND DOES NOT INTEND TO MAKE AN OFFER OR SOLICITATION FOR THE SALE OR PURCHASE OF ANY SPECIFIC SECURITIES, INVESTMENTS, OR INVESTMENT STRATEGIES. INVESTMENTS INVOLVE RISK AND UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED, ARE NOT GUARANTEED. BE SURE TO FIRST CONSULT WITH A QUALIFIED FINANCIAL ADVISER AND/OR TAX PROFESSIONAL BEFORE IMPLEMENTING ANY STRATEGY DISCUSSED HEREIN.