Having financial security through a divorce is especially difficult for women. Kim Hayden sits with Leanne M. Mamchur, CFA, CFP, FMA, a Portfolio Manager and Senior Wealth Advisor at CIBC Private Wealth. Leanne explains that women often just want to get the process over with. The sense of hurry causes women to take less than they could have had because they were in a hurry. So it’s essential to pause so you can properly think. Do you need more financial advice through a divorce? You’ll learn many strategies in this episode. Tune in!
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Financial Security Through Divorce: Strategies Women Need To Know With Leanne M. Mamchur, CFA, CFP, FMA
I am super grateful that you had chosen to take the time and invest your most valuable resource with us here on the show. Speaking of investment, we have Leanne Mamchur here speaking about how to build and work within a space of health and wealth. She is a Senior Wealth Advisor. Let me share with you who we have in this episode. First and foremost, Leanne Mamchur is a mother of two darling daughters. Over the past years, she has been an advocate for private clients in her role as a Discretionary Portfolio Manager and Senior Wealth Advisor with CIBC Private Wealth.
After receiving the Doctor Hu Harries Medal in Business, which is awarded to top graduates, she continued her studies with the successful completion of the Certified Financial Planning, which is a CFP designation, Financial Management Advisor, which is an FMA designation, as well as the distinguished and coveted Chartered Financial Analyst, which is a CFA designation. All of those letters are on her business card.
Throughout her career, she has held various roles including personal banking, investment specialist, investment advisor, and investment counselor, as well as her satisfying role as a portfolio manager. She has held licensing across the industry and is a great resource of information and provides comfort, security and simplicity to her clients. She grew up in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan and now lives in Calgary, Alberta. She has married, bakes for the neighbors, and has an active lifestyle. She is a pianist, a philanthropist, an author, and is religiously involved. Welcome, Leanne.
You had me at baking. I got up and that is the first thing I did. I had meetings all day so I baked my infamous pumpkin bread. I get it. I live and work with my husband and have kids myself. I am super excited you are here because with where the world is when we are looking at inflation, we saw those numbers at 7%.
It is even more important that we hear voices like yours step up to the plate and guide us so that we feel safe and secure in that. We have gone through your bio. You have an amazing bio. I am working on a book about life after divorce. I think one of the biggest challenges we have around divorce is wealth and the separation of assets. We see a lot of times how women get stuck in this. I know that you have great insight and a voice as to how we can protect ourselves. Can you speak to that a bit?
First off, let me start by thanking you for having me as a guest. I am incredibly grateful to have been invited. I also should say how much I admire your mission in building and promoting resilience in women. Personally, I have always enjoyed having a support system. I am incredibly excited to see what you will build. That is a start.
My interest in this topic in particular stems from my experiences in firsthand witnessing how much impact most women tend to experience during their divorce in terms of loss of financial security more than anything else. Whether a real loss of financial security or simply their own perception of their loss of financial security, these feelings for the women are very real. You can grow and develop as a female in the industry to be able to assist women in a very profound way during a time in their lives when they need a little bit of extra support. It is women helping women thing like what you are doing.You can grow and develop as a female to assist other women in a profound way when they need support. Click To Tweet
The more we come together and we are open, raw and real, the faster and better we are going to help women on that path of security and safety. Can you share with us the top three mistakes you have seen around wealth division and divorce?
Right at that time, all and any steps that a woman takes are very much a balancing act. There is no real black and white on whether certain steps are mistakes. The wealth side is only one area of consideration among so many different emotions, negotiations and balancing of all the family matters. I might turn this around a bit and offer some considerations and not on the mistakes side for women in three areas. The first one is for the female audience to recognize that time is on their side both in very much the preparation of their thoughts surrounding what they want their necks to look like, but also in terms of negotiation.
I find from my experience that women typically would like to be done with the whole ordeal. I say ordeal because it is emotionally a lot of work and strength. Women have the tendency to take less financially than they could have available to them because they are rushed and want it to get done. Having that pause is important because there are some key financial advantages to strategize before the divorce is finalized, such as certain rollovers that are only available to spouses prior to being divorced. You want to think about all of those things. That would be my number one. I know that was a lengthy answer.
That’s all good. These are not things we can skirt over. This is real stuff.
The second item that I would recommend being aware of is that often and by their own choosing, women have chosen to opt out of many of the family wealth management decisions, depending on the length of time they have chosen to opt out. It is no longer about control. A lot of people think opting out might be about control, but it’s more so that we are making that decision ourselves.
Depending on the length of time that has occurred, there might be a very big wealth confidence gap the female may experience when moving through the process of divorce. Unfortunately, women have this tendency to feel shame around having delegated this responsibility and for allowing their spouse to have the reins in this area. They shouldn’t.
The second piece of advice that I would give would be the necessary step of recognizing that their feelings in this regard are normal, and to find a wealth advisor that understands them and the stage that they are at. That would be my number two. My number three would be for individuals. Individuals tend to place a larger value on what they can understand and items that are more tangible like cars, paintings, houses and that kind of thing. On the other hand, investments may be given an incorrect weight of importance in the whole settlement and the negotiation. They are harder to look at.
You can’t open the door of the house and feel the house. The investments on paper are harder to think of and recognize their true value. A lot of times, what women do, and people in general, is they do a simple sum of all of the accounts. There are different account types that you have to recognize. There are different tax impacts when considering certain kinds of accounts. You have to take a look at the true value and the net after-tax value when you are doing addition. My third is that you need to be aware of that when dividing things.
That did not even register when I was putting together how I wanted information. I did not even think that there are secondary and even at some points, maybe third layers of financial implications based on what you choose to take. I have never even thought of that. That is a tricky one. What are the top three mistakes you’ve seen once money is divided? What would be the potential better solution? You are good at finding solutions.
I would start by saying it wasn’t necessarily a mistake. There are so many considerations being balanced. That is my hangup with the word mistake. Once the funds are divided, my advice would be that you want to start almost by reestablishing some sense of security in your wealth prior to jumping into decisions about what products are best and that type of thing. Security and comfort are gained differently for different people. It might be the process of developing a wealth plan to have a vision as to how the funds may last.Develop a wealth plan to have a vision as to how the funds may last. Click To Tweet
For other people, it might be about a learning experience, so learning about the area and/or about the professionals in the area. There are a lot of differences between professionals. Potentially, it is having the lens of learning that will create or regain that sense of security. What works for one person is going to be completely different for the next person. It is a worthwhile first step to get back to that security feeling more than anything. It is a mindset.
The second one for me would be to suggest that time is on your side. I do not feel that anybody in this life-changing circumstance needs to settle as far as in the wealth professional area. A lot of people do not even think about the capacity side, but if the wealth professionals are working with 300 families, they might not have the capacity that you need for them to have the time to help you through this process. That might be something to look at as well.
You need to find a person you can trust who may be very different from the person like your current advisor. Many women in divorce align themselves with a new advisor because their old advisor either never bothered to grow any relationship with them, they have no capacity and are undermining their stage of learning, or they simply ignore and do not listen to their needs, which shocks me. It is interesting to me.
When seeking an advisor, look for somebody who has a little bit of experience under their belt. Coursework is important as far as do they have some designations behind them? This is the trickiest one. It is ensuring that they have an institutional professional mindset. I will break it down for you because that is a lot of work. What that means is that as your advisors, they need to know what their job is as far as they need to know their limits. They need to be able to hire the best in class money managers underlying them in each category.
In our industry, many advisors try to run money themselves due to their own ego, misconstrued views as to their success rates, or their own enjoyment of running a stock portfolio. I am against that idea and concept. Over the long run, it does not work because how can one advisor or even a team possibly complete the same due diligence that 60-plus underlying managers are focusing exclusively day in and day out on one particular area of expertise? It does not compare.
The wealth advisor that you select should have access to a diverse platform of institutional professional underlying money managers. That is a lot of words. They should be the ones running the actual components of your portfolio. Your wealth advisor or somebody in my shoes or my chair should be the one that gets to know you very well through planning, and should be the one to put together the components in a manner that fits with your goals but does not do the underlying analysis. I know you asked few pieces of advice but this was a very long answer. I should leave it at that because I can go on and on.
It comes down to knowing who you are talking to. That is the big one. You touched on a little bit in there about the pride due diligence. My background has been in real estate for many years. I have had the pleasure and honor of watching young families start their own personal wealth accumulation through that property and being able to guide them. That is my expertise. I can tell you how to buy a house, what you should buy and where you should buy it. At times, I have felt like a superhero. I have felt like, “I know I put $40,000 in this young family’s pocket.” In your career, do you have an example of when you felt like a superhero where and why? Bang your drum a little.
I do not think I have been asked that before. Superhero is extreme for a desk job like mine. I am certainly not saving any lives or anything but I guess real estate wouldn’t be dissimilar. The closest that I got to that feeling would be during this breakfast presentation that I was giving on gratitude. Let me share this with you. I had an exercise during the presentation whereby everybody stood up and shut their eyes. I was playing a relaxing song in the background while asking everyone various questions and thinking of moments that they were grateful for in their lives. It was remarkable.
It was very interesting to be at the front and see 80 people in front of me all with their eyes shut and this beautiful music playing in the background. For me, time seemed to stand still looking at the audience like that. The closest to the superhero is how Flash would feel when he is moving so fast and everyone is standing still. I know that is a complete stretch. That is the closest I can come to it.
I love how you put in peace of mind, safety and security. I love the words you are choosing here. I am noticing that you are not willing to embrace the word mistake but this is an opportunity and there are different things. I love the fact that you are saying time is on your side. You are almost counter-culture in everything you are saying to what the world is cramming down our throats. I knew there was a reason I liked you. The more I learn what is in your core, the more I understand why you need to be heard by more. How do you see resilience being applied when it comes to financial security, especially when we have seen the volatility in the world and everything that is going on?Stay invested and have consistency. Click To Tweet
It is tough because you are not wrong. It is a very volatile environment even with all the health matters and all that stuff going on and being in people’s minds more than anything. From my perspective, financial security is very much more of a mindset than anything else. Resilience in the area would be to be comfortable with what you have and to develop strategies that will work in the long-term around that. Sometimes I have to admit the wealthiest people I meet do not feel financially secure. At first, it surprised me but it surprises me less and less now. Sometimes it could be due to knowledge, but many more times, it is due to their own personal history and relationship with wealth in general.
Resilience and wealth are very much inner gifts. It takes practice, growth and strength. I read a good book in this area. It is to start to understand your relationship with money psychologically. It is called The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel. I listened to it in an audiobook and felt that it was a very good book because people have all sorts of hangups when it comes to getting that sense of security from wealth and it is hard.
A lot of us like myself grew up in single-family households where there was no wealth. We lived in my grandmother’s basement. Understanding of wealth did not happen. My mother has accumulated most of everything she has now. She has passed after the age of 50. Thinking of women like that, what is a little-known or misunderstood option that would be great for women after divorce when they are looking to build up their wealth portfolio?
That is an excellent question because a lot of people in general almost try to read things that say, “Quick tips and tricks to get rich. Build up your wealth and portfolio quickly.” That is where people can get into danger. The most misunderstood area is being consistent and staying invested. I know this sounds boring but it’s having that consistent savings and do not panic during a downturn so that you stay invested during that time. Individuals and wealth advisors who try to time the market and move money in and out typically lose. In this particular case, just like the story, the turtle wins the race. The accumulation of wealth is exactly the same thing. Stay invested and have consistency.
Consistency in anything in everything is the greatest challenge for most people. That is where having somebody like yourself that is almost like an accountability partner along with that path is important. I know that you mentioned one book, The Psychology of Money. I am going to look up and make sure that the book is tagged in this post. What is the ultimate book that you think everybody should read?
This might sound cliché but my absolute number one book is the Bible. I have found so much peace, advice and joy in the scriptures. I feel that my life would not be the same without it. I suspect that it does not necessarily need to be the Bible. It could be any book of religion. I would suspect that all religions have this type of thing where it offers you the gift of tranquility. Being Christian, it is the Bible for me, but I feel it could be translatable. It is a very good centering thing to have in your life in my perspective.
It is not cliché. Sometimes handing over the reins for a few moments is a good thing because the world is busy. Our social feeds and everything are busy. Everything is always coming at us. Sometimes, we can step back whether we are in meditation and no matter what doctrine. What’s fascinating is when you look at the origin of the Bible like the Old Testament, it is almost unilateral across every faith base out there.
The reality is there are so many lessons we can learn there. It is interesting because a lot of people that are in wealth accumulation and wealth mentorship cite the Bible as we are stewards. I do not think that is cliché. That is very sound advice. That is great that you were willing to share that because not a lot of people step forward with what they truly believe in. If you are talking to everybody, you are talking to nobody. What’s the one piece of advice or quote that has been your North Star?
There are so many good things that come to mind. I would have to say it is a quote that my mom used to always say to us as kids. Her first language is French. She is a French Canadian from a small town, Debden in Saskatchewan. When we were growing up, she would always repeat and repeat, “ne lâche pas.” I do not speak French myself but what that means is whenever you are feeling low or having a bad day, she would say, “ne lâche pas.” It translates into never giving up.
To this day, whenever I am having a tough time in life or struggling, her words just ring in my head. I used to mispronounce it and I do not think I am probably pronouncing it right even now. It seems to provide me with the energy that I need to take that one step forward. Sometimes, it is just a little tiny shuffle that you need to make in the right direction. I hear her voice in my head saying, “ne lâche pas.”Never give up whenever you’re feeling low or having a bad day. Click To Tweet
It is funny that you say that you do not speak French because I was talking to friends of mine that are from the Philippines, and their kids do not speak a word of Tagalog. It is interesting. What’s funny is we will be all of them one day.
I did learn Spanish but that was more boyfriend-related.
Peers have a big impact. That is for sure. This is amazing, Leanne. Can you share with our audience where they can find you if they want to reach out and get a little bit more insight and advice from you?
I hope everybody caught a few things in here. Never give up. Your mother could walk around and do the first half of the quote. My mother always said, “Poverty is a state of mind, not a state of economics.” If you put your mom with my mom, we got one heck of a quote, “Never give up because poverty is a state of mind, not a state of economics.” Folks, Leanne here is a wealth of knowledge. She has got half the alphabet behind her name. She is more than qualified to help give you peace of mind and security when it comes to your financial. We all need this in this day and age.
Watch out for our upcoming book, Resilient Women Life After Divorce. We will also have a summit where Leanne will be speaking there and be able to share a little bit more insight. Please like, follow, comment and share. On YouTube, click that subscribe button. We are bringing women just like you to the forefront to share and bring our voices together to tackle these challenges or opportunities one niche at a time. You can reach me at Hello@ResilientSeries.com. We look forward to sharing our time with you. Thank you for your time. Until next time.
- CIBC Private Wealth
- The Psychology of Money
- LinkedIn – Leanne Mamchur
- Resilient Women Life After Divorce
- YouTube – Kim Talks Resilience
About Leanne M. Mamchur, CFA, CFP, FMA
When I wake up in the morning, I look forward to the day as my work is like a hobby! Financially successful individuals who partner with us tend to value security and simplicity.
By creating comfort in wealth management, they and the people they care about the most, are in the center of our concern. To enable this relationship, a team of experts are collaborating, adjusting and aiming for betterment to enhance many aspects of their lives.
Dedicated cooperation is key within your team of experts. The relationship is much like a trusted relative and a family connection. Our aim is to created added freedom for you to use your time for what is important to you.
I have over 20 years experience, am a trusted author on finance, a Senior Wealth Advisor, a Portfolio Manager and am part of the CIBC Family office offering to serve Canada’s most complex families. Within the family office, I works with Private Banking, Commercial, the Director of Wealth Strategies as well as our Private Client’s very own trusted external experts including their Accountants, Lawyers, Business Valuators, etc.
Continually improving my craft is important to me. I am an avid reader and in addition I hold the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) designation, the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation as well as the Financial Management Advisor (FMA) designation. In addition, I am fluently bilingual in Spanish due to an exchange to Quito, Ecuador.
Originally from northern Saskatchewan, I moved to Alberta in 1998 and have lived in Calgary since 2009 with my husband Pablo and our two daughters, Ivanna and Delia. In my free moments, I enjoy philanthropy, baking bread with my girls, traveling, snorkeling in pools, tobogganing, biking, the backcountry, art and playing the piano.