Recently over casual talk about careers, the focus of my chat with girlfriends shifted to finances. My friend’s ages span from late thirties through mid-fifties. Some have been married for 10 years, some longer, some divorced and single parents, some young parents, and some grandparents. We usually chatter about money in the occasional casual terms of savings; such as, “have you tried out Aldi versus whole food stores for gluten free products?”; “do you know the deals I found for designer bags and shoes from digital consignment stores”, Did you check out that Groupon deal?; and or “did you hear about the travel points for opening credit cards”. Even with such diversity I must say we haven’t ever discussed wealth building through investing as talk.
The surprise came to me as my girlfriend mentioned she and her had a bunch of idle cash but didn’t invest outside their savings and CD accounts. What!!!!
So instead of shaming my friends I think I am going to take a positive approach. Engage my posse by example. So I started investing back in 2007 when Oprah’s show motivated a wide spectrum of women from their 20s to grannies to start investment groups. Although our college group investment group fizzled out, I have to say it motivated me enough to continue. For a novice like me that started with basic knowledge , a 50 dollar weekly commitment (lunch money), with easy to use/ reasonable fee online brokerage account, I have investments over the last year that have made a higher return rate than of the average 7- 9 %. (My intent here is not to brag).
For starters, recognize that Investing is an option for building wealth and simply exercising the discipline to save money for your own future (retirement is a scary word). One of the most valuable things you can do for your financial prospect is to start investing.
With a little bit of thought and planning, some good basic investing education, some willpower, a little bit of patience and eureka! So let us lend each other a hand to discover, motivate and get started or further enhance our investment skills. If you want to be in the big league, it’s the attitude that matters the most. So kick off your apprehensions and take control.
Survey form news articles (below) suggest that women’s confidence is the main obstacle in investing. Men tend to be higher risk takers (maybe it the hormones). However the research suggest’s it’s the slow and steady – in for the long haul strategy that is a real winner (it’s not the battle of the sexes here). Financial savviness brings to all an independence from debt, a comfort level of financial security, a means of a healthy bond with your money; and a financial commitment to yourself.
Searching the web I haven’t found a lot of women investor’s forums, which is just an anecdotal observation. However, more importantly, I see more discussions in the media on this topic, drawing awareness to how necessary it is to bring more women to the table
So whether you choose to run a marathon, a 5K, or a 100 M dash, it all starts with a leap towards your goal- to jump start investing or continuing it wisely.
In future blog topics I will share what I have learned, my experiences and candid perspectives. There is so much research out there, eBooks, blogs and sites, smart device apps and tools for easy investing you can follow to self-educate. No stock investments comes with guarantees the key here is to know your risks at the benefit of the gains so that you can make informed decisions. I tend to stick with ETFs and mutual funds. Don’t let the tons of information bog you down, everyone’s strategies are different, you are the best at making your decisions for your money.
“The most important quality for an investor is temperament, not intellect. You need a temperament that neither derives great pleasure from being with the crowd or against the crowd.”-Warren Buffet (my hero)
Disclaimer:-My blog here is for information purposes only. Family, friends and followers please don’t ask my advice about stocks. I do not engage in risky day trading or know the American Pharaoh Triple Crown version for stocks. I just stick to simple diversification in ETFs and mutual fund stocks. Secret to investing success, keep learning- for everything else, consult your financial advisor.
References for recent survey articles
Fidelity’s Article-Viewpoint- Women & money: How to take charge, December 16, 2015.
CNBC’s Article- The best investment moves for women now, Elizabeth MacBride, February 25, 2016.
CNN Money’s Article-Female investors often beat men, Heather Long, February 19, 2016.
Boys will be Boys: Gender, Overconfidence, and Common Stock Investment*,Brad M. Barber and Terrance Odean, Oxford Journal of Quarterly Economics Investment, volume 116, Issue 1, pg 261-292.
Investment websites with forums and great educational resources
The Motley Fool; Market Watch; Bloomberg; SeekingAlpha; The Street; The Wall Street Journal especially the Money Beat; The Economist; TalkMarkets; YAHOO finance; US securities and Exchange Investor.org investing basics
Blogs of interest
Investorjunkie; The College Investor; Women’s Institute For A Secure Retirement; A Wealth of Common Sense; Getting Your Financial Ducks In A Row, Financial Women; The White Coat Investor; The Day Trading Academy; The Dividend Mantra and The Wallet Hub Blogs for Investing
Photo Credit: Savings vs Investing by OTA photos CC by 2.0