Developing a Healthier Relationship with Money, with Michelle Arpin Begina

May 20, 2020


Michelle’s earliest memories from childhood all relate to money. And yet, the stories and lessons learned from different branches of her family tree couldn’t be more dichotomous!

Michelle has used the money lessons from her life to rethink how financial advisors and their clients have traditionally worked together. Rather than thinking of her role as a gatekeeper of portfolios, she sees real value in being a gateway to personal financial freedom.

To support her clients on their unique wealth journeys, Michelle is a technician of financial planning, investment, and wealth management. But what differentiates Michelle from other financial advisors is that she has spent the last two-plus decades studying the unconventional, non-financial aspects of life satisfaction, financial therapy (it’s a thing), behavioral bias, choice, and decision advising.

She believes we all need to examine the money stories, scripts, and lessons that affect our financial psychology so that we can rethink what we know about money to have more of it.

Michelle lives in Wyckoff, NJ with her husband, Mike and sons, Alex and Nick. She is an avid photographer – her sons are her favorite subject!

What you will learn in this episode:

  • How Michelle received what she calls “a familial education in the emotional side of money”, and what lessons she learned growing up with wealthy but spendthrift parents
  • How Michelle had a pivotal moment when her father bought a yacht but told her he couldn’t afford to pay for her college education, and what lasting impact this experience had on her life
  • How Michelle experienced a deep sense of “money shame” dealing with the fact that her parents were spendthrifts
  • What key fears people are experiencing related to money, scarcity and emotional health during the pandemic
  • Why our experience of the passage of time is both accelerating and slowing down due to the pandemic and the dramatic life changes we are forced to make to adapt
  • Why Michelle believes that people who are feeling a heightened sense of urgency should consider if things are really that urgent and should instead try to slow things down
  • Why social distancing provides an opportunity to slow things down and truly consider your goals and the next steps you need to take to get there
  • How Michelle recommends parents who are dealing with financial crises speak to their kids about unexpected changes
  • How the global COVID-19 pandemic is creating a generational change moment that will leave permanent lasting changes
  • What “financial therapy” is and how it can help people better understand their emotional and mental connection to money


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