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Real Women, Real Money Talk: Q&A with Fran Hauser

By Maridel Reyes

  • PUBLISHED October 29
  • |

As an angel investor, Fran Hauser has a personal mission: to increase the representation of female founders and investors in the companies in her portfolio. Now just four years into her investment career—she was a digital media executive until 2014—companies founded by women already represent a majority of the holdings in her portfolio.

In her new book, The Myth of the Nice Girl: Achieving a Career You Love Without Becoming a Person You Hate, Hauser also fights the stereotype that being “nice” in the office can limit a woman’s career trajectory. Harnessing the power of niceness—being kind, authentic and collaborative—can actually propel you to new heights, she says.

Here’s what Hauser has learned about money through the years:
What do you spend too much money on? 
“Luxury brands, especially handbags—you name it, I’ve bought it! I remember buying my first luxury bag when I was in college. It was a simple navy-blue-and-cream tote bag. It took me forever to save up for it, and I used it every day for years. Fast forward to today, and I have a closet filled with handbags. I go through them every once in a while, and gift the ones I seldom use to younger women in my life—I have a very happy niece!—or sometimes I consign them.” 
What do you spend too little on? 
“Vegetables! I have boys that are picky eaters and, as a result, I’ve found myself buying fewer vegetables. I know that vegetables are the Holy Grail when it comes to being healthy, and that I must do better. This is a good reminder!”
What’s your biggest money regret? 
“Over the years, my husband and I rented five different apartments in New York City that we used as a pied-a-terre during the week. I regret that we didn’t buy one of those apartments. I remember looking at the list price and thinking ‘This is so expensive, it could not possibly go up in value.’ Boy, was I wrong. It kills me when I think about how much money we paid in rent over the years, compared to buying a place that would still be with our family—and would have appreciated significantly in value.”
What money moves do you feel most proud of?
“For the most part, I’ve had good discipline around which companies I invest in. The [investment proposals I see] are all sunshine and rainbows. It would be easy to say yes, but it takes discipline to say no. I’m also very careful about my asset allocation and the level of risk investments I take on.”

Maridel Reyes is a journalist based in New York. Her work has appeared in Forbes, Bloomberg Businessweek, the New York Post, USA Today and the Boston Globe.

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