“The only constant in life is change.” With Dr. Ely Weinscneider & Barbara A. Friedberg

The only constant in life is change. Look to your own life and how you’ve overcome difficulty. Use your existing skills to get through this challenging time and realize that it will pass, you will be stronger and more resilient going forward. As a part of my series about the things we can do to […]

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The only constant in life is change. Look to your own life and how you’ve overcome difficulty. Use your existing skills to get through this challenging time and realize that it will pass, you will be stronger and more resilient going forward.

As a part of my series about the things we can do to remain hopeful and support each other during anxious times, I had the pleasure of interviewing Barbara A. Friedberg.

Barbara A. Friedberg, MBA, MS is a veteran portfolio manager, fintech consultant, expert investor, and former university finance instructor. She is editor/author of Personal Finance; An Encyclopedia of Modern Money Management, Invest and Beat the Pros and How to Get Rich. She is CEO of Robo-Advisor, a robo-advisor review and information website and Barbara Friedberg Personal

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you share with us the backstory about what brought you to your specific career path?

Istarted my career as a Counselor, after receiving my M.S. degree in counseling from Miami University. Over the years I realized that in investing, finance, and guiding others to build wealth with proven financial and investment strategies was my true passion. I’ve found that regardless of your income, most people can live a financially successful life. I have worked as an investment portfolio manager and university finance and investments instructor and have an MBA in Finance from Penn State University.

I currently educate others about finance and investing through my online writing at U.S. News and World Report, InvestorPlace and other sites as well as my own educational websites Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance and Robo-Advisor Pros

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Scores of books have influenced me, from Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez, which inspired me to live congruently with my values to A Random Walk Down Wall Street by Burton Malkiel which is a foundational read for any investor.

Through these books and more, I’ve learned how to invest, create multiple income streams and build wealth.

One of the greatest takeaways from Your Money or Your Life, was reminding me to appreciate what I have and recognize that “more doesn’t equal better”.

These skills and lessons serve me and my family now as we undertake the most difficult pandemic of our lives.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. Many people have become anxious from the dramatic jolts of the news cycle. The fears related to the coronavirus pandemic have heightened a sense of uncertainty, fear, and loneliness. From your perspective can you help our readers to see the “Light at the End of the Tunnel”? Can you share your “5 Reasons To Be Hopeful During this Corona Crisis”? If you can, please share a story or example for each.

1. To see the light at the end of the tunnel, look at your history.

A benefit of growing older is the perspective of knowing that you can handle tough times. I’ve lived through many economic collapses and recessions. In fact, when I graduated from college, the country was in a terrible recession. So, despite my Economics degree, my first job out of college was as an invoice clerk. From working a clerical job I’ve progressed to teaching university finance and creating a financial media business.

Where you start doesn’t need to reflect your final life destinations.

The only constant in life is change. Look to your own life and how you’ve overcome difficulty. Use your existing skills to get through this challenging time and realize that it will pass, you will be stronger and more resilient going forward.

2. To see the light at the end of the tunnel, take action.

Take stock of where you are right now and the resources you have at your disposal.

Now is the time to accept your current situation and figure out the best ways to cope.

Examine your circumstances. Tally up your income and expenses to gain control of your financial life. Rather than avoiding, confronting the financial reality will help you cope with this unprecedented situation.

If you have financial difficulties:

  • Take advantage of the CARES act resources
  • Look for a side job
  • Cut back on unnecessary expenses
  • Call creditors and let them know how you expect to pay your bills and negotiate lower payments or deferrals when possible.

3. To see the light at the end of the tunnel, change your outlook.

Most of us have learned that being grateful is important. Actually, there’s research that suggests gratitude helps your mood.

Now is the perfect time practice gratitude!

Spend a few minutes each day writing down what you’re grateful for.

It is quite difficult for us to have groceries delivered, and when they come, much of the order isn’t exactly as we wished. Many of us need to eat a bit less now, as incomes and availability of food declines.

When our grocery order arrives, husband and I say this:

“Even though I didn’t get the cherry flavor yogurt that I like, the peach is still yogurt, and I’m happy to have it.”

Regardless of any circumstance, there’s some good to be found. Make it your mission to build on the positives during this unusual time.

4. To see the light at the end of the tunnel, give to others.

One of the best ways to get out of your head is to give. Call people in your circle who are alone, far away, and anyone you haven’t spoken with in a while.

Yes, you can actually use your phone for calling. During this uncertain time, it’s easy to get wrapped up in our own problems.

I call my Aunts and Uncles across the country. I call my sister and friends. I even text my neighbors who I can see out the window!

If you can afford it, give to charities that are helping the less fortunate now. We’re targeting food banks and the Salvation Army.

A friend wears her protective gear and works at a food pantry a few hours a week.

5. To see the light at the end of the tunnel use online resources to cope with worries and anxieties.

I’m fortunate that my husband, Dr. Robert Friedberg, is a clinical psychologist and has suggested these resources.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America offers helpful videos, articles, and personal stories on their website

The creator of The Psych Show, Dr. Ali Mattu is a psychologist with extremely helpful YouTube mental health videos.

Here is a link to his Mental Health During the Corona Virus Outbreak series:

Dr. Jeffrey Cohen at Columbia University, offers helpful anxiety reduction tips here:

Here are free videos, pdfs and more for coping with COVID 19 from PsychHub

Remember that this is a temporary event which will pass.

Don’t be afraid to get help. Remember to reach out and connect with others.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?

“With persistence and discipline, anything is possible.”

As a child, I was a whiner, like many children are. When something was hard or unpleasant, my go to response was “I can’t do it.”

My Mom’s frequent retort was “Push yourself.” And so I did. With practice I developed a solution-oriented mentality. If there is a problem, I’ll do whatever it takes to find a solution.

As a Mom myself, I’ve tweaked this philosophy and respond to my daughter’s complaints and difficulties with this phrase, “You can handle it. You can do hard things.”

There’s always something you can do to improve your situation.

Following the best practices of safety and health today is hard. Staying indoors and keeping 6 feet from others is tiresome. Changing your routine is not easy.

The economic impacts of the Corona Virus outbreak are catastrophic for many.

Try these strategies to get through this time and provide optimism for the future:

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I champion others to learn about finance and money management and to become financially secure. My book, How to Get Rich Without Winning the Lottery is a basic primer on fundamental money life skills which will help others to win at money. Although money does not solve all of your problems, it does remediate the most basic ones: providing for food, clothes, shelter, and familial support.

Learning to manage your income, live beneath your means, and save and invest for the future are among the most important life skills.

Conquer these skills and you’re on your way to a more satisfying life.

What is the best way our readers can follow you online?

Please visit me at my websites, Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance and Robo-Advisor Pros and follow me on twitter @barbfriedbergLinkedIn and

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We wish you only continued success in your great work!

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