Don't put your investments on long-term autopilot. One of women's strengths as investors is that they are less tempted to buy and sell in the short term, based on classic research by Brad M. Barber and Terrance Odean at the University of California-Berkeley. But at least once a year, you need to become an active investor, checking your asset allocation as you age and your needs change. That means changing your asset allocation when it's required, or hiring an investment advisor or an online investment platform to do it for you. "This was my own mistake in 2008. ... I didn't have cash, and I was fairly close to retirement," said Hounsell.
Investing is not some get-rich-quick scheme and there is always a degree of risk. But those women who are comfortable with that risk should not be deterred by the aggressive macho investor stereotype. The proof of the increasing success of women in the world of investing can be seen in the female-focused investment firms that have sprung up. As Alexander Taussig, the senior vice president for women investors at Fidelity, has said, "The myth that men are better investors is just that -- a myth."