A stellar career is rare. Fran Blum had several — in highly competitive fields. After forging paths in publishing and real estate, Blum entered the world of high finance. She held a seat on the New York Stock Exchange and mastered the art of global stock and option exchanges.
Although Blum wasn’t the first woman to buy a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, she recalls with a laugh getting lost on the way to the ladies’ room on her first day — only to be told that she had to walk through the “phone booth” to enter it.
Blum built her success on hard-won financial knowledge. After retiring, she decided to pass it on. She co-authored “Think Rich! Get Rich! Stay Rich!” a witty guide to financial independence for women.
A longtime resident of Longboat Key, Blum is also committed to giving back. You’ll find her name on rooms at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, and on donor rosters for Planned Parenthood, other women’s health initiatives and arts organizations. As a board member of New College Foundation, Blum also works hard raising money for college scholarships. She also serves on the board of AJC West Coast Florida and served two terms on the National Board of Governors for AJC.
Lately, Blum has been giving talks about financial empowerment for women at speaking engagements across the nation and sharing her wisdom on her website, FranJBlum.com. Here’s what she shared with us recently.
Success is sexy. I grew up in a time when women weren’t supposed to talk about money. But you know what? Successful women talk about whatever they want — including the stock market.
Being an independent woman means financial independence. You can’t achieve a goal unless you create one. Listen to your inner self to find out what your dreams are. You’ll make mistakes — everyone does. But learn from your mistakes and move on.
Financial literacy is conspicuous by its absence. That’s why I give financial talks to people from all walks of life. Whether it’s at a luxury resort or at a free community program, my core message is the same: Achieve financial literacy and become the captain of your life.
There’s no such thing as too much financial knowledge. Become your own financial expert — or find a great financial expert to rely on. Don’t rely on secondhand knowledge from your significant other, your tennis buddy, or your favorite chef.
Never ever buy anything you don’t understand. Money intimidates some people. They’re afraid to ask questions. It’s your money! Ask. There are no stupid questions when it comes to finance.
My advice for investment newbies is to never let your investments keep you up at night. If they do, you shouldn’t be in them.
Raising funds for New College scholarships is important. For so many young people a scholarship becomes the gateway to a world of possibilities. The new president, Dr. Patricia Okker, has a game-changing vision for liberal arts education and her innovative approach embraces the spirit of innovation that New College was founded on. It’s an honor to be part of that team.
The Colony Beach Club was my gateway to Longboat Key. Like countless residents, I got my toes in the sand, and was hooked.
I’m truly a beach person. My happy place on Longboat Key is obviously the beach. There is so much beauty and tranquility here. I try to walk the beach at least once a day. If you live on Longboat Key and you don’t walk the beach, seriously, what are you doing here?