Thursday, August 24, 2006

Prepare for a Finance Rant. Ready? Okay, Read.

Okay, so Yahoo! Finance is growing on me. Slowly. But it's growing.

Here's a headline of today's featured column that I was excited to see: Women Underserved in Financial Planning. "You're damn right!" was my first thought, and I eagerly clicked on it. Now, I'm not sure whom this column is supposed to serve (bankers? the public?), but after reading it, it was pretty obvious that the author read a financial study, ripped out excerpts from it, mashed it together with some run-of-the-mill statistics, and made an insight-lacking column that's the journalistic equivalent of a papier mache cat: cute, but shoddily made and kind of useless.

Yes, women are underserved in financial planning. Yes, we're scared. Yes, we don't understand everything, but we're also more likely than men to admit that. And, yes, now society is changing and we're earning more. So...what should we do? Give us something here. Anything. Don't just wrap it up with a neat little final thought (I like to call these cute, opinionated little wrapup sentences the "and a good time was had by all" endings):

The financial "gender revolution" will likely be just as complex and challenging as women's past transformations of politics, the workforce, and family life. But the enormous economic contributions of women -- and any changes it foments -- should be welcomed by all.

Now, what does that mean? Anyone know? No? Yeah, me either. Because the reporter who clearly wrote this for the guy in the mugshot didn't do his homework and failed to give us anything to chew on.

Here's another wildly inaccurate gem from the column:

The era of women seeking to marry into financial stability has come to an end.

Okay, I'm going to have to object to that, seeing as how I live in New York City and see women gunning for the millions Every. F**king. Day.

Newsflash: For those of you who think sexism is over and strong women are fully accepted in society, think again. In fact, walk into any fraternity party on a college campus and witness the attitudes toward women, and you'll see just how far we have to go. Also, young women still trade on their looks and hope for a rich hedge-fund manager to give them their five-carat cushion-cut diamond and whisk them away from the world of PR/marketing/fashion assisting to somewhere on the Upper East Side so she can focus on what really matters: power-shopping and lunching and foisting Junior off in his Bugaboo stroller onto an underpaid (probably minority) nanny.

I think many, MANY women would like to marry into financial stability. The truth of the matter is, though, it most likely ain't going to happen. Why? Oooh, this would be a good one for a sociologist. Pick a cause, any cause: Alex, I'll take "Because it's so g*dd*mned expensive to live on only one income these days." Wait, no, Alex. How about, "Because young men do not feel they have to achieve as much as men once did." (Also, they have lots of PlayStation to catch up on.) So many choices!

And so many crappy finance stories to read.

P.S. In case you were curious, I'm not even going to devote a full paragraph to the sexist Forbes story that everyone's talking about. The publicity-whore hack who wrote it doesn't even deserve to have his name mentioned on this blog. What's disturbing is that Forbes thought it was fine to publish it. Some things just aren't okay -- even in the name of circulation/web hits.

P.P.S. No, the chick in the picture is not me. She's cute, but, let's be honest: Those shoes are horrible.


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