The founder of LifeWise Strategies and the creator of Money Habitudes, Syble Solomon is an educator and coach who specializes in the psychology of money.
Since 1995, she has been an executive coach and adjunct faculty member with the Center for Creative Leadership, one of the top executive leadership institutions in the world. She has also been an adjunct coach with the National Leadership Institute at the University of Maryland since 2003. Her coaching clients include corporate and nonprofit executives as well as senior officers in the military.
Before shifting to financial education, Syble spent 25 years as a child development specialist, working with school systems and nonprofits to provide training and program development. Syble has been an adjunct faculty member at Southern Connecticut State University, University of Nevada Reno, Teikyo Post University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She was a doctoral fellow at University of Pittsburgh, received her Masters in Education at George Washington University and her B.A. in Economics with a minor in psychology from Rutgers University. She began her career as a Peace Corps volunteer, teaching in the Philippines.
For developing her money personality methodology, Syble has been named Educator of the Year by the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education and served multiple terms on AFCPE’s national board of directors.
She was honored as the 2013 North Carolina Outstanding Contributor to Financial Education for Youth by the North Carolina Jump$tart Coalition. The financial curriculum for teens she co-created with The Dibble Institute also received the Excellence in Financial Literacy Education from the Institute for Financial Literacy.
In 2009 she was presented with the Smart Marriages Impact Award from the Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education for helping people talk about money and develop the skills to deal with finances in a healthy way.
Money Habitudes was also featured as a financial book of the month selection in the Washington Post.
Years ago, people began sharing their money stories with Syble during coaching sessions and workshops. Some had hidden debt or secret spending they kept from their spouses; others recognized the need to invest and save money for the future but didn’t do it; others ignored their financial realities to live lifestyles they couldn’t afford; yet others made risky investments or avoided financial risk altogether. Their rational minds knew better, yet they continued to make unwise financial choices or didn’t follow through on their saving and spending plans.
Intrigued by this contradiction, Syble studied the research in finance, psychology of money, addiction, and behavioral economics, the field which examines decision-making as it relates to financial behavior. She became determined to help people think honestly about their relationships with money. Given her background in education and her experience working with families from different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, she knew the solution needed to be interactive, quick and fun. It also had to be non-threatening, non-judgmental and, of course, effective.
Money Habitudes represents the most common patterns of financial habits and attitudes that appeared in the research. To help people easily understand the psychology of money, a card game format was chosen. After all, adult learning research concludes that people are more open to learning when they enjoy themselves in a non-threatening situation. Research also shows that games are associated with familiar, pleasurable activities as opposed to tests or lectures. The goal was to help people identify which psychological and behavioral finance themes applied to their lives so they could understand their decisions.
During development, the cards were tested by focus groups representing a wide range of ages, educational levels and socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. The cards were then piloted by professionals from many different fields. Recent studies in neurofinance confirm that emotions strongly influence financial choices.
The cards have been translated into Spanish, German, Mandarin and Bahasa. Thanks to licensees in Singapore and Australia, there are now Asian and Australian English editions of the cards that can be ordered in those countries. They are also available from a distributor in Canada.
Since its introduction in 2003, Money Habitudes has been used in every state in the US, every branch of the military and in over 40 countries. After using the money personality tool, people often remark that they better understand the psychology of money; it sparks true a-ha! moments with money and results in the best talk about finances people have ever had.