WOMEN ARE INVESTORS TOO!
Statistics clearly show that women outlive men by an average 7 years. The implications from this are far reaching as it impacts issues such as retirement planning, health and wellness planning etc. Women's working life is also interrupted by family life, as on average, women have to take a few years off more from work to attend to family. Additionally the statistics show women earn on average 25 percent less than most men for the same positions held. All these statistics just prove that women need to be more conscious about the growth of their money and how best to invest, manage and stretch each dollar to its maximum potential.
Recent statistics also showed that once they get round to taking the challenge, women tend to be better investors as they tend to do more research on their various portfolios and make financial decisions based on information gathered rather than just going with a tip or following a ‘hunch'.
Armed with this information at hand, we therefore encourage all women to take up the challenge and join us on the investment bus for an enlightening journey of financial fitness and sound investment returns.
Some key points for women who are considering investing:
Start Now: Time is money. It is never too early or too late to start investing. Take advantage of any extra funds you may have now and make finances your priority. Also, look at any employer benefits such as pensions, insurance coverage and even educational subsidies to access the adequacy or otherwise.
Plan a Budget: We all have some expenses that are mandatory such as, utility bills, mortgage or rental payments and food. Then, there are other expenses that we can place a limit on such as shopping, entertainment and other luxury items. However, when placing limits on these luxury items, be careful not to deprive yourself of something that you enjoy. This will only reduce your motivation for saving and investing.
Set Realistic Goals: As part of portfolio management, investors have to set goals for their funds. You may be planning for retirement, children's education or your own personal education. These goals are important in order to determine a time horizon for investing, how liquid these investments should be and the amount of risks that should be taken. Always remember it is important to have expectations that are realistic and attainable.
Seek Financial Advice:
Most people lack the financial expertise needed to make intelligent investment decisions. Therefore, do not feel intimidated or afraid to ask questions. Read the newspapers and articles on financial matters in order to increase your knowledge. Seek advice from a professional advisor, a close friend or relative or anyone else who you can feel comfortable talking with. Where ever possible, you can also research via the internet. Always remember to communicate with your financial advisor.
Do Not Be Afraid of Risk:
Most women have typically been very conservative in their investments. It is usually considered safe and easy to keep all your money in Certificates of Deposits (CDs). While these are secure investments, the rate of return on these CDs are very low and are not adequate for women planning for any long-term goals. Additionally the rates on CDs may not be adequate to protect or cover you and your money from inflation.
It is important to understand that there is a difference between saving and investing. Saving is simply putting money away for a rainy day. Investing involves the use of investment vehicles for growth of money that one already has saved. In order to receive a higher return, a higher level of risk has to be taken. You can become more investment friendly
For years women have stayed on the sidelines of the financial industry for various reasons, chief of which has been societal upbringing, lack of knowledge or fear of investing. The reality of this is women are now becoming more financially successful and independent and as such, there is a greater need for the average woman to understand and manage their own wealth. Statistics show women earn on average 25 percent less than most men for the same positions held
by investing in mutual funds, money market funds or even stocks and bonds. Taking on more risk does not have to involve risking your principal if this is not what you are interested in. Of course, it is always best to seek professional financial advice before taking on risk. Do not be afraid of making mistakes in some investments. Learn from those mistakes and look for ways to improve your investments.
Seek a Financial Identity:
While women should work with their partners and family to make financial decisions, it is important to create your own financial identity. This could start by simply ensuring that there are accounts in your name or joint accounts with your partner. Financial independence is important in order to prepare you and protect you in times when you will have no choice but to manage your finances on your own.