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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Natalie sets the pace
Natalie Pace is nothing short of amazing. She understands money as it is meant to be understood. She realizes that money is a means to an end and that end is enjoying one's life and making a positive difference in the world. Toward that purpose she teaches the reader how to make one's money work for oneself. She also demonstrates quite convincingly that one cannot...
Published on August 28, 2009 by Phlogiston

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is there a Better Way to Invest?
Investments have not performed well at all in the past year, thanks to the financial crisis and other factors. Because of this, it isn't surprising that many books are being published about the crisis and about ways to make better, savvier investment choices. One of the many books published on investing is this, Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is. It was written by a...
Published on January 8, 2009 by Bryan Carey


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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is there a Better Way to Invest?, January 8, 2009
This review is from: Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is: Investment Strategies for Lifetime Wealth from a #1 Wall Street Stock Picker (Hardcover)
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Investments have not performed well at all in the past year, thanks to the financial crisis and other factors. Because of this, it isn't surprising that many books are being published about the crisis and about ways to make better, savvier investment choices. One of the many books published on investing is this, Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is. It was written by a woman who has made a name for herself for picking winning stocks and she feels that, with the right guidance, you, too, can pick tomorrow's star financial performers by taking a slightly different approach than that commonly recommended by other investment professionals.

What makes this book's plan so special? Well, most of what the book recommends is actually nothing new or earth- shattering. The book recommends buying low and selling high, seeking out companies who are leaders in their respected businesses and loved by their customers, not putting all of your investments in the stock market, etc. These are all sound strategies for investing, and many others have recommended exactly the same things. Where the book moves in different directions from conventional wisdom is when it offers advice on investing in things you love and when it offers advice on how to allocate your income among different categories. The first piece of advice is to invest in what you are most passionate about. The author's theory is that the things you love and enjoy most are going to make great choices for investing because, if your heart is already in the right place, then great things will follow. This is different from what most financial professionals recommend, and it isn't necessarily the soundest advice on making the best investments.

With personal finances, this book once again deviates from the advice normally offered by investment professionals. The author recommends dividing money up as follows: Ten percent to charity, ten percent to education, twenty percent toward entertainment and recreation, ten percent on investments, and fifty percent spent on ALL living expenses (debts, food, gas, clothing, and other essentials). Instead of paying the bills and paying down debts with high interest rates before doing anything else, this book recommends the opposite: Spending the money on yourself first, and paying the bills and essential expenses last. The book also recommends downsizing or finding new ways to earn income if living expenses are presently greater than fifty percent in order to get below this threshold and enjoy life.

Author Natalie Pace is certainly enthusiastic as she writes and she does seem to have a genuine desire to help others succeed. But the advice in Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is cannot be taken completely seriously by most individuals. The allocation of money mentioned in the previous paragraph is one good example. This proposed breakdown is certainly something that many should strive for and I can agree that her formula for spending and saving is one that would make most people feel very happy and content. But it seems a little unrealistic to me. Most people already spend more than fifty percent of their take home pay on basic expenses and there is little or no way to reduce these expenses very much. The author, however, makes it sound relatively easy- like anyone can do this. She doesn't offer an alternative plan, so I can only assume that she is sticking to her theory that anyone can adjust their lifestyle to fit this allocation model. She mentions, for example, moving into a smaller home or getting a roommate to share expenses, but these options are not practical for every person. I also question her advice on giving ten percent of take home pay to education and ten percent to charity. Again, this sounds nice and it is very generous. But this seems like a little bit too much to me. I don't know many people who can afford to give up ten percent of their income for education and another ten percent for charity. Most families would be forced to take the money from essential living expenses if they tried to accomplish these goals.

In addition to the problem I have with the advice on personal finances, some of the material in this book is over- simplified and a little misleading. For example, there is one section in the book where the author is talking about what an investor with one hundred thousand dollars in debt should do if they inherited one million dollars. One could pay off the debt, but the author recommends that instead the person invest the money because if they can earn ten percent, they would gain one hundred thousand dollars which could then be used to retire the debt, leaving the one million dollar principal intact. Anyone with minimal experience working with debt knows that this is a misleading statement because it fails to consider the interest on the debt. In reality, most consumer debt demands greater than ten percent interest. And if that is true, then paying off the debt would actually be better than investing now and paying the debt later.

Another thing I do not like about Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is would be its tendency to scatter its material. Others have criticized the book for the same reason, and this is certainly a valid criticism. One moment, the book is talking about options investing. Then, it is giving a rundown on the warning signs that Enron's management was involved in shady practices. Then, it talks about investment in times of war and terrorism. Some more continuity and organization would have made this a better book. It would also benefit from some more specific guidance on investment choices, and how to make the best possible choices.

In spite of the flaws mentioned above, there are, however, some good points to mention with this book that make it worth a look. First, I like the book's writing style and its advice on having fun and not pinching pennies when it comes to enjoyment. I can also agree that many people have over- extended themselves when it comes to debt and their personal residence. Many should try to find ways to cut back, but what I don't like is how the author makes all of this sound so easy. If it was really this simple, I think people would already be doing many of the things she mentions in the book.

Many want to dispense Investment advice and hundreds of authors are certain that their method is the best for choosing stocks and enjoying a lifetime of prosperity. This book does, indeed, offer some good advice, but the good is partially cancelled out by the book's several misleading statements. Investing in what you are passionate about does not guarantee great returns and the financial talk in this book seems to be a little too geared toward emotion than practicality. However, I did like some of the general advice in this book enough to give it a slight recommendation. It isn't the best book in its class, and a rewrite and reorganization would make it better. But it does offer some good general tips on investments and other related topics.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Natalie sets the pace, August 28, 2009
By 
Phlogiston (West Hartford, CT USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is: Investment Strategies for Lifetime Wealth from a #1 Wall Street Stock Picker (Hardcover)
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Natalie Pace is nothing short of amazing. She understands money as it is meant to be understood. She realizes that money is a means to an end and that end is enjoying one's life and making a positive difference in the world. Toward that purpose she teaches the reader how to make one's money work for oneself. She also demonstrates quite convincingly that one cannot trust companies that operate immorally. Why would management that cheats its customers treat its investors fairly? Enron certainly did not. She teaches the reader how to create a report card for companies in which one might potentially invest and how to compare them to other companies in the same line of work.

She keenly notes the possible effects that can result from the asymmetrical knowledge that is held by various investors and how one should be cautious when buying a stock from somebody who knows significantly more about a company that one does oneself. She observes that the stock market is not usually a positive sum game. One investor wins and one loses. One sells high and the other buys high. One sells low and the other buys low. This does not mean that either will lose money, but it does mean that one of them PROBABLY bought at the wrong time and the other PROBABLY sold at the wrong time, or vice versa. If one knows significantly more about the company in question than you do, you should always suspect that they will be on the winning side of the equation, ergo, maximizing knowledge of a company is critical, always.

This is just a tiny sliver of what Ms. Pace goes over in her book. It is loaded with information that is critical for any investor to have. Whether you are new to the game or an old hand, this book will bestow some great insights upon you, should you opt to read it carefully. Not only that, unlike most investment books, it's a page turner!

Well done Natalie Pace!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Faith Over Fear + Education + Savvy = Wealth, January 3, 2009
This review is from: Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is: Investment Strategies for Lifetime Wealth from a #1 Wall Street Stock Picker (Hardcover)
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"Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is" by Natalie Pace gets five stars for a down to earth life applications approach for the novice investor. Pace approaches investing from a fun standpoint and as most people know where your passion and heart is...so is the money. I have read many books on investing and this one of the few that will not scare off someone new to the game.

Pace states, "Too many people have fear around money. I call it investing with stomach acid, instead of your intellect. When you trade with fear, the odds are that you will buy high and sell low". Pace promotes faith over fear.

Chapter One is about getting educated. This book would not have been possible if Pace would not have been in a financial mess after a divorce which eventually led her to a certified financial planner with impressive credentials. However at that time a recession was in progress and Pace had nagging doubts about the information that the certified financial planner had provided. She did not sign any documents with him and took some time to get educated on P/Es, PEGs, Debt/Equity ratios and 10-Ks of her favorite companies. The nagging doubt is defined by Pace as a heart begging for more information. When Pace finally did invest, she tripled her money in four short months and has since had extraordinary gains in the market. After personal success, her friends who had lost half or more of their stock portfolios due to either a husband or broker's bad guidance begged for her help. Pace's stock report card provides a basic and simple way to review some key elements of a company.

Chapter Two is about getting involved. This chapter contained a very powerful message for women (married and single). Her double your fun budget of fifty percent to thrive and fifty percent to survive made sense (you have to read the book for the basic breakdown of each percentage). In this chapter Pace uses real life examples from O. J. Simpson and Oprah to get some points across in a more realistic and memorable way. She drops many pearls of wisdom for single parents, but stays on the path of money. She highlights the importance of tithing to a church and charity and breaks it down so that even if you knew it, but did not do it - NOW you know better and WILL do better because of all the benefits you will gain. I found her "billionaire game" quite interesting. This exercise seemed silly, but afterwards one can better realize a lot about money, happiness, responsibility and the true you. Real life examples are sited using Warren Buffett, Sergey Brin (Google) and J.K. Rowling (author). Pace reminds the readers that brokers are salespersons and not geniuses. She provides twelve very important questions to ask your broker because after all you are interviewing him/her and this is the second most important person to pick for you life (a spouse is the first most important pick). Pace also provides eight questions that the broker should ask you which will prove you are not getting a cookie-cutter plan, but one that is designed for you! All details needed to start an investment club are provided. This chapter ended on socially conscious investing which Pace summed up by stating, "If we can end slavery, we can end poverty. If we can eradicate polio, then we can find a cure for cancer that is better than chemotherapy. Collectively, our money promotes and creates the products, goods and services in our world".

Chapter Three is about getting savvy because Enron could happen again. Pace is the first that I have seen to advise investors about "rock star" CEOs. I really found Pace to be humble and secure within herself when she recognized Suze Orman and highlighted a good point made by Orman. I have already read Suze Orman's book and these two (in my opinion) definitely are must haves for any financially savvy person. This chapter also highlights the top eleven investing mistakes.

Chapter Four is about getting rich and staying rich. Real life examples used are Marion Jones (Olympics) and Mike Tyson (Boxer). Each section in the book ends with "Natalie's Three Takeaway Tips" which I felt was an excellent idea. After reading this book I easily understand why Natalie Pace is considered the most trusted source of financial news. I highly recommend this book!! BUY IT TODAY and start 2009 off better.

Review by:
Pamela Jarmon Wade
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good advice mixed in with poor writing style., January 25, 2009
This review is from: Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is: Investment Strategies for Lifetime Wealth from a #1 Wall Street Stock Picker (Hardcover)
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I followed a piece of advice in this book and made more than the cover price (see the calendar trends chapter). So in all conscience I cannot say this book is bad. Though the book may not be the best I've ever read, it does have nuggets in it.

Fundamentally the message of the book is "get involved with your investments because no one has your interests at heart more than you." Given recent events (Bernie Madoff, Banking System Meltdown, the Housing Market and 401k values) this is now obvious and sound advice. She suggests understanding where you're putting you're money and gives you a simple 4 question score card to use. How well you seek to get answers to those questions will effect your returns.

Making money in the markets involves work and over the long term is hard. We can all benefit from market rallies without thinking too hard, so it seems like easy money. However keeping those gains requires effort and discipline. This is the tricky part that Natalie tries to help with.

There's a lot of "I said buy/sell ... and I was right" in the book, to try to convince the reader the advice is good which I found a little irritating. I don't think she needed to do that as I think the advice stands by itself. I did notice that every stock pick story ends with the 2007 or earlier result, so I'm not sure how she has done recently.

It's an easy read for those new to investing, and if you don't mind a little trumpet blowing you should come out ahead on the purchase. Buy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great idea, January 1, 2009
This review is from: Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is: Investment Strategies for Lifetime Wealth from a #1 Wall Street Stock Picker (Hardcover)
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I never heard of Natalie Pace before I read her book. Wow. It is inspiring, although her view for buying what you know and love isn't knew. She does give credit to Peter Lynch and Warren Buffett for that philosophy.

What I did like is her straight language and no nonsense approach to investing. I agree with her position that new industries are great to invest in after the initial crash.

I also respect her compassion, and her belief of being generous. It's nice to hear that making money is not evil. The question is what do you do with it.

Interestingly, I love how she outperformed the stuffed shirts. This is important because investments are not always rational. Sometimes sheer common sense and homework is more important than the know-it-all talking heads on boob tube.

I am going to implement her strategies and worldviews in my personal life, and I hope I'll be rewarded. So will the charities I intend to tithe to as the money comes in.

This is not your typical investment book. This is an investment plan guide for your life.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Financial Must-Read, May 12, 2009
This review is from: Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is: Investment Strategies for Lifetime Wealth from a #1 Wall Street Stock Picker (Hardcover)
Natalie Pace's book inspired me to recognize brokers for what they really are, how to manage my own funds correctly and to have an understanding that not only can I control my nest egg but the funds within it can support my passions and beliefs. Something that brokers have advised me against in the past. The book is an easy-read and fabulous for the novice investor or anyone who's lost a significant amount in the stock market. I highly recommend her book to anyone wanting to be educated about how to deal with their money and to take responsibility for what sort of companies they invest in and how that effects everything at large. A Must-Read Financial Bible.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent principles but be cautious of oversimplification, February 16, 2011
This review is from: Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is: Investment Strategies for Lifetime Wealth from a #1 Wall Street Stock Picker (Hardcover)
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There's so much that's appealing about both this book and it's author. Everyone loves a success story, rags to riches, a genuine Horatio Alger life. It's hard to argue with success and the author is now both wealthy and respected on Wall Street using her personal strategy. Also, the idea of investing in what you love in itself seems compelling. Often as an enthusiast, you become more knowledgeable and perhaps even an expert in a field or product, so are in a better position to evaluate something's relative worth and efficacy. But feeling a passion for something doesn't necessarily make the best investment sense. Products and industries that a person may feel an aversion to may be the most sound and profitable investments. Also, our passion for something may prejudice us into an inaccurate picture of it in a larger context. From a personal integrity standpoint the suggestion is completely sound. Also, the perspective of reassessing and adjusting our personal values is sound as is her suggestion of downsizing, as many discovered in the current housing market collapse who upscaled their accommodations simply because lenders allowed them to, with disastrous consequences. As others have noted, the suggestion of spending money on yourself first may sound like an esteem boosting gesture to enjoy life, within bounds of course. But I believe most investment and debt councilors would agree that paying down personal debt should be a paramount goal, even if it means curtailing most proprietary spending, at least for a time. The notion that only 50% of net income should be allotted for all of ones living expenses also doesn't seem realistic though it would be ideal if it could be achieved short of living in a cardboard box. I enjoyed the book and would readily recommend it; but with the caveat that it may oversimplify solutions and at times seems more idealistic than realistic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent advice and a sneaky way of telling it too!, March 19, 2009
By 
Courtland J. Carpenter (Fort Wayne, Indiana United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is: Investment Strategies for Lifetime Wealth from a #1 Wall Street Stock Picker (Hardcover)
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In a lot of ways, I could have derived this information from some sort of dry stock analysts how to report, or a college text book describing market research. Of course the bottom line there is, I would not have read those type of books. What I read here kind of snuck up on me in the end. All of a sudden I knew a lot about all those aspects of stock analysis which I know I should have, when I made poor choices in the past.

I once thought an easy way to do this would be to take a collection of the online stocks they rated as "A" picks, and buy a few shares of each. Strange why I never tried that, maybe because I didn't know those stocks, I didn't want to take a shot in the dark like that. That is probably what intrigued me most about the title of this book. It implies you would need to have an intimate knowledge of what you invest in to be successful. That's a big part of the book, but not the sneaky part, which is another thing entirely.

The sneaky part is, while explaining how to differentiate, and get the "best" or the market leader in our chosen product, the report card system is presented. This is really a way to sneak in how we should do a stock analysis, before we pick a stock to invest in. There was one thing that was nagging at me while I read this though, and I should probably check the author's website. That is, how did she do investing during the current recession period. If she's done well, or just broke even in the last six months, this philosophy of investment would be considered golden to me.

The latter portions of the book talk about investment clubs, and how to set them up. How to choose a good financial planner, and one who is not just a stock salesman, or commission grubber. These in my case might be left to investors with a bit more to invest. For the present, just being able to pick a few good ones, and place a confident order with a discount broker is more than worth the price of the book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Old methods, new thinking, February 3, 2009
This review is from: Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is: Investment Strategies for Lifetime Wealth from a #1 Wall Street Stock Picker (Hardcover)
Natalie Pace has done a good job of explaining some rather complex methods to analyze stocks in terms that the average person can digest. P/E multiples, profitability margins and industry analyses can seem like daunting issues to understand, but this book lays out a road map by which an investor can reach his or her goals. I am not in the market myself, but I have been in the banking industry for a long time and I have had the opportunity to read many guides to investing. Despite all of that reading, this is the first book in which I think a reader will get exactly what is being described. Further, the concept that the "CEO is the soul of the company" is more than just a cute statement; it is a way of thinking about the businesses that trade on our exchanges on a holistic basis rather than just figures. There will always be computers and formulas to crank out the exact time by which people should buy and sell, but for long-term appreciation in a portfolio, the way in which a company makes money is as important as the amount of money it makes. That message will not be lost on any reader of this book.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Do not buy this book - it is really that bad, January 5, 2009
By 
Karl (Bozeman, MT USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Put Your Money Where Your Heart Is: Investment Strategies for Lifetime Wealth from a #1 Wall Street Stock Picker (Hardcover)
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Ah, if I could but give this book zero stars. It is not merely bad. It is a misleading, self-aggrandizing, disorganized collection of random tripe, folk wisdom, great quotes from great people, pop psychology and misinformation. This is the worst book I've ever read, and it has been a miserable experience forcing myself to read the entire thing for this review.

I've been investing for 35 years or so and consider myself a well-informed, successful, conservative investor. (It is not my day job.) I was hoping that this book might be appropriate for my many friends and family members who don't know where to start with investing, or know a little, but not enough. Instead, this book would simply confuse them, give them partial or inadequate information, and suggest some risky strategies with naive and skimpy explanations of concepts.

I have dog-eared nearly half of the pages, but will mention just a few.

In the Acknowledgements, Natalie Pace thanks her co-author (ghost writer?) Bill Simon, admitting that she has 'little patience for ... organizational skills'. Well, even Bill apparently could not overcome the nearly random sentences thrown at each topic. My head was spinning from the lack of coherence or logic. This isn't a male/female communication issue - not a Mars/Venus thing. It is just plain scattered.

Natalie has been investing since 2000 and started her first small investment club in 2002. All examples and data in the book end before September 2007 - more than a year before its publication date, and of course, when the markets really began their relentless decline. One wonders why she does not write about her investing experience since summer 2007? How can a new book not write about how to manage your investments during this period of not just the sub-prime mortgage melt-down (which she mentions very briefly - but not in economic/investment terms) - but the melt-down due to crazy derivatives, drying up of capital and complete lack of transparency in corporate financial reports?

In the book jacket and content, Natalie calls herself THE #1 ranked stock picker on Wall Street. And, yet this claim, as so many statements, is simply not true. She cites her ranking from tipstraders.com, which only ranks those people who choose to pay and participate in their rankings, and which does not list her as the number 1 stock picker for any of the years that she claims that they did. Further, clicking through that site, you find her to be a day trader - a risky strategy not mentioned in the book, and at odds with the philosophy she has in the book.

An example of misinformation: Your "contribution to your retirement plan may be tax deductible, which means that you are simply taking money you would spend on taxes and investing it instead." Many in the public have this confusion between a tax deduction and a tax credit, but someone writing a book on investing should not say such a misleading thing. It is close to the truth (a portion of the invested money would have gone to taxes, depending on the account type - not all of it) - but this sloppiness is typical of the entire book.

She imagines a scenario where you inherit $1 million at a time when you hold $100,000 in consolidated debt. "If you paid off $100,000 in debt first, your principal is reduced to $900,000 overnight. If you invested the money, then your debt could be paid with the first year's returns, as average stock market returns are over 10% annually...so within a year you could pay down the entire debt and keep your $1,000,000 principal intact." This is typical of the book. Obviously, you would be paying interest on the $100,000 debt during that year - so the only way you would have the $1 million at the end of the year is if your return was 10% GREATER than the interest on the loan. (Unless the loan was a deductible home mortgage - then the calculation is more complicated.) Suppose the loan rate is 8%. The loan and its interest are a sure thing. A market return of 10.8% in a year is not something anyone can count on. What would have happened if this woman had invested her $1 million in the fall of 2007?

Not only does she never mention the risks of margin loans (which the last example basically is), but she misuses numbers badly in the book. All too often she'll mention averages, but an average is the least useful statistic out there: Ever hear of the man who drowned in the river that was 1 inch deep on average? She throws out huge percentage gain numbers in some chapters, and in others uses annualized percentages - but she never explains the value of annualized figures for comparing investments, nor how to calculate them. She has a short, unbelievably naive few pages on options, not really explaining them at all to the reader who is presumably reading the book to become educated. She talks about brokers and Certified Financial Planners in the same breath/chapter, as if they are one and the same. She (properly) calls brokers salesmen, but she doesn't really explain what a CFP does.

In choosing a broker, she writes "If the broker started in the business at the end of the last recession, s/he has really only seen good times and might not know how to make it through the more challenging years." I could not agree more. The thing is, that Natalie herself only started business during the last recession.
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