How Money Works Seminar

The Big Picture on How Money Works Seminar (or that cishtihsbiwo):

This tagline says it all:  or “That Class I Should Have Taken In High School, But It Wasn’t Offered!!”

My name is Libby Carr and I have been a financial advisor for 23 years. I had the benefit of watching my father work as a life insurance agent as I was growing up and saw what a difference he made in people’s lives when their need was greatest due to the passing of a parent. You can read more about me here, but what I want to share with you is how this seminar offering came to be.

Early in my financial services career, I frequently observed that people often wanted to avoid or were not entirely comfortable with the subject of money.  The very discussion of financial planning often makes us feel inadequate for many reasons. One of the major reasons, I discovered, is that we don’t really understand the vocabulary nor the underlying agreements these words represent.  We also don’t understand how these concepts fit together into a larger context.  This realization is what prompted me to create the “Big Picture Seminar on How Money Works,” because it is “…that class I should have taken in high school but it wasn’t offered!”

At about this same time, as luck would have it, I came across Tony Buzan’s book – The Mind Map Book, and figured out how to use this teaching/learning technique as a way to facilitate sorting out the words of personal finance.  Since most people are predominately visual learners, using this technique has proven to be an invaluable tool.  People can use it in many situations such as learning new information,  problem solving, giving a speech, taking notes, planning your day, etc. This technique can help to sort out the elements of almost any topic. (See

My basic mind map, and the basic structure of the workshop, looks like this:


We brainstorm all the financial words the group can think of at the beginning of the class, and by the end of four hours (usually over two consecutive days), we have placed all the words somewhere on the map and have discussed the basic underlying agreements of most of them.  By the end people feel like they have their own learning tool (a map!!) where they can now continue learning about the subject of money, using professionals as needed, but now feeling more like a collaborator rather than a victim of a world they haven’t understood very well.  This result is my goal!

What is the format?

I intentionally designed this informal two-part workshop for people to bring a friend or two, or even their teenager, so there is community and support in a friendly environment. The first two hours takes place on a Saturday afternoon and the second session occurs the next day, on Sunday afternoon. Four hours in all with time to digest one day’s learning in between.  Workshops are offered in Seattle, Bellevue and Orting.  Come back to our website (Upcoming Seminars) for the times and dates of future workshops.

If people want to work with me privately afterwards as one of their advisors, that’s possible, but certainly not required.

What is the investment?

$50 for the first person.

Bring a 2nd and then a 3rd person, it would be $50 + $25 + $15 = $90.

One can share the cost equally (if that’s what you want to do) and then it is only $30 for the 4-hour seminar.

What are the goals?

At the end of the Big Picture Seminar, the following are the desired outcomes:

  1. Mind-Mapping for clarity and easy learning:   You will have a learning tool you can use for the rest of your life as you embark upon your own learning journey about the subject of money.  Mind Mapping can be a powerful tool which can be applied in many ways to various aspects of your life.  See for some great visuals and info on how to use Mind Maps.
  2. Empowerment:  By increasing one’s own financial literacy and getting a handle on the vocabulary and the underlying concepts, we can have a major shift on how we see and respond to the subject of money.  This workshop provides the Big Picture and explains how these basic financial elements fit together.  You will feel much more empowered in this area and capable of managing your feelings AND future actions since you now have a tool with which to manage this important part of your life.
  3. Excitement:  about finally addressing the subject of money head on, rather than wanting to avoid it.  We need not feel stuck with our “lot in life,” but only until we make the choice to expand our future vision (and how to get there), will it change.  Sometimes that requires a collaborative conversation about strategies and ideas on how to get there by moving those “chess pieces” around on the board.