Raising a glass to financial literacy

Economist's 'Money & Mimosas' empowers audience with personal finance advice

Raising a glass to financial literacy

The subjects of homeownership, mortgages, investing, wealth building, equity and other financial areas can be daunting. How nice it would be to discuss such matters in a relaxed and accessible setting, perhaps over a refreshing cocktail.

Enter Money & Mimosas, the brainchild of economist Danetha Doe (pictured). The platform was created in 2014 with the aim of having meaningful discussions about money, beginning over a mimosa at a French café in San Francisco. The twist (aside from the mimosa) is Doe’s approach toward building wealth in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.

“That’s a big part of Money & Mimosas – making it more accessible, making it more fun, to talk about money,” Doe told Mortgage Professional America during a telephone interview. “I had the desire to have deeper conversations about money. The information that I was coming across was great – I think there are a lot of great personal finance writers and journalists out there. But I wanted to dig deeper.”

Her conscientious approach to wealth-building was a further impetus to launch Money & Mimosas, she noted: “The biggest concept I wanted to dig deeper into was if it was harder to build wealth without compromising your values and burning yourself out. That’s why Money & Mimosas started because I was on that journey in trying to figure that out for myself, and in the process wanted to provide a resource for folks who wanted financial education such as: How do I buy my first home? How do I buy my first investment property? How do I best manage my finances?”

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What began as a blog has grown to include a membership program, and Doe has become a sought-after speaker to address financial topics across the country. She’s a Webby Award-winning TV host, and has been recognized as a finance expert by such publications as Time, the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and others. She’s been in the finance industry for around a decade now after a breadth of experience from staff accountant to chief financial officer.

One Money & Mimosas feature is Doe’s weekly roundup of news topics that catch her interest. One recent video roundup delved into the tax woes of singer Shakira and the transmission of erroneous credit history information by Equifax that potentially affected millions of consumers. Doe’s easy-going –and decidedly accessible – approach to financial topics is in full view as she recaps the latter story: “That infuriates me. Like I said last week, the credit scoring system overall is total bullshit. It is completely punitive, there’s no room – there’s very little room – for opportunities to boost your credit score. In my opinion – my opinion – this is something that needs to be burned down and thought differently or at the very least we need to add things like rent to your credit score, subscriptions.”

Cheers to that! Other recent topics include “Invest in real estate with less than $500,” “How do I save more money?” and “What are subconscious money beliefs?” The latter explores how one’s beliefs impact the money mindset, which in turn affects one’s financial experience. “Your subconscious is the part of the mind that you are not fully aware of,” she said. “However, it influences your decision-making.”

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Doe calls the attainment of financial freedom a journey of self-love and self-discovery. The same ideals inspired the launch of Money & Mimosas as she personally became more interested in financial topics, she told MPA. “I was in my 20s and coming into my own both from a financial standpoint and personally too,” she said. “Money & Mimosas has definitely evolved as I have evolved as a woman. I didn’t know at the time it was going to be a journey of self-discovery.”

The platform also features articles and interviews. “There’s not necessarily a thread of why I interview folks other than they inspire me about their journey with money, particularly around anything related to the psychology of money,” she said. “Like how they went about healing their relationship with money. A lot of folks see money as a relationship or energy, and they share their experience with me, and I share that with our readers.”

Within the Money & Mimosas membership program are deeper, philosophical conversations – socialism versus capitalism, for example. “I was yearning to have those deeper philosophical questions answered,” Doe said. The platform now has nearly 700 members. “I prefer to keep our community a little bit on the small side,” Doe said.

The mimosa in this equation is optional, Doe stressed. But she said those who enjoy the occasional cocktail are welcome to raise a glass in celebration, betraying her preference by quoting the legendary actor Humphrey Bogart: “The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind.”