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Hi all,

Eleven years ago yesterday, the Fool opened up this "Women and Investing" message board. Back in 1998, the Internet was a newborn baby, bursting forth into this world. It was pre 9/11, pre-My Space, pre-reality shows, pre the bursting of the tech and housing bubbles, and pre-Suze Orman. There was a certain innocence in the air that's no longer possible thanks to the aforementioned events. (And I'm not talking about Suze.)

This message board served as a gathering place for both women and men to discuss all financial issues in a supportive and non-threatening environment. I think we accomplished this mission--everyone who participated was educated, amused, and enriched.

Yesterday was the eleven=year anniversary of the first post on this board. And I was wondering where everyone was, what kind of experiences they've gone through during the past 11 years, what lessons they've learned, and how they're faring during this challenging economy.

I've found that women, in general, are far more knowledgeable and experienced about financial matters than they were back in 1998. On CNBC, Les Grande Dames Maria Bartiromo and Sue Herrera are now joined by a large group of savvy young female financial journalists who can hold their own amongst the financial male intelligentia. For every Keith Olberman there's a Rachel Maddow; for every Jimmy Kimmel there's a Sarah Silverman; and for every Bill Clinton, there's a Hillary Clinton. You have, indeed, come a long way baby. (And don't you dare call me baby!)

While most of the reunions that I've attended have been a tad disappointing, I'm hoping that we can meet again, and support each other as we once did in the past. Women are still divorcing in mid-life and forced to deal with handling financial matters for the first time. Many of our original contributors are now part of the sandwich generation, taking care of their parents and their children; some are now retired and dealing with new issues; and some have given up learning how to use a financial calculator in exchange for financial software. (And I'm talking about both women and men.)

So if you're out there...please come back and say hello. Let us know what you've been up to.


Barbara Eisner Bayer
TMF Venus
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