Morgan Stanley
  • Women Financial Advisor Forum
  • Jul 23, 2021

The M Word: The Money Talk

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons: Summer Lori Sackler uses inspiration from Vivaldi to explore the four seasons and their impact on financial decisions.

Change is marked by the passing of each season. The transition of one season into the next can bring considerable change in the weather and environment. Yet, it can also prompt change in ourselves and our world around us. If spring represents renewal and the shedding of winter limitations, summer symbolizes youth and our ability to open up and possibly try new things.

The “Fours Seasons” is Vivaldi’s most famous work. Unusual for the time, poems, possibly written by Vivaldi himself, accompanied the publishing of the music in 1725. They were intended to elucidate what his music was trying to evoke, and how different each season is from one another. The summer movement often called “storm”, illustrates the range of weather, sounds and emotions summer evokes from the calls of the cuckoo bird, to the soothing soft summer breezes, to the fears associated with the sting of summer storms; all reminding us of the human ability to quickly adapt and respond to changing conditions. (Source:, and

As we enter summer at last after experiencing the limitations of COVID-19 spanning several seasons, we now have an opportunity to reflect and adapt to changes in our finances, consider new strategies and open up to our loved ones about our proposed plans.

It is probably fair to say that for many of us life is forever changed. Having placed our previous life styles on hold, we are now navigating the reopening of our country and local communities, changes in careers or work environment, the return to school of our kids and grandkids. At the same time, we are rethinking our finances, beginning to spend money and resume travel, and most importantly, rebuild relationships that might have been placed on hold. It is also a time in which we may be reassessing our values, our commitments to family members and what changes we might want to make to our financial and estate plans.

As part of my M Word: the Money Talk discussions, I often write about the major transitions that we face in life which we are forced to navigate: changes in financial circumstances, retirement, caring for aging love one, marriage and families and planning for our legacies. Moving beyond COVID-19 is in itself a transition which has impacted all of these life events.

Now that summer is upon us and we are feeling more youthful, you may want to take advantage of this opportunity to re-envision your lives and your finances. Maybe it’s time to gift for your grandchildren’s’ education, create an investment strategy which aligns your values with your investments so that you can make a difference (impact investing) or modify your estate plans to include a donor advised fund tied to your new favorite charities. And, as we go through the exercise, it is important to remember the money conversations that need to accompany the change in plans.

Breakdown in communication and trust is the primary reason why estate transfers fail at such an alarming rate (70% according to research by Vic Preisser in Preparing Heirs). I would argue that for all life transitions, money talks that foster communication and trust are absolutely necessary to avoid family conflicts and keep your family and finances on track and intact.

As you enter this new phase of your lives and reflect on summer as Vivaldi did, it is an opportunity to try new things: consider new strategies, engage in new and productive family communication and work with your advisors and your family members to achieve all that is important to you. Carpe diem (seize the day)!

About Lori Sackler

Lori has designed her team practice to help clients keep up with the pace of change in their lives, have time to reflect and satisfy security, lifestyle and legacy concerns. With her team and the professionals at Morgan Stanley, she acts as a personal chief financial officer for her clients. The Sackler Group chooses to work with a limited number of clients for whom they can have a meaningful impact.

Lori has the distinction of holding three designations: CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM, CERTIFIED INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT ANALYST®, and FAMILY WEALTH DIRECTOR. An established thought leader, Lori has published numerous articles and books, including “The M Word: The Money Talk Every Family Needs to Have” and “The M Word Journal: How to Have the Money Talk.” She also created and hosted a popular radio program in New York City.

Lori earned her BA with Distinction from the University of Michigan and holds an MS in Marketing and Finance from the University of Texas. She is also an accredited (non-practicing) CPA and is a member of the NJ Society of Certified Public Accountants. Morgan Stanley honored Lori with appointments to the exclusive Regional and National Financial Advisor Councils, and named her an Alternative Investments Director and Impact Investing Director. In 2020 and 2017, Forbes Magazine named Lori one of the Top 200 Women Financial Advisors in the U.S. in 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2021, and chose her as one of the Best-in-State Wealth Advisors in the U.S. in 2018 and 2021.*

* The criteria for these awards do not include factors relating to investment performance. Neither Morgan Stanley Smith Barney nor its Financial Advisors pay a fee in exchange for the rating.