Become a mentor. The study found that 45% of women report not having a financial role model. Closing the wealth gap could deeply benefit from inter-generational collaboration. While Millennials expressed the least amount of confidence in investing, members of the Boomer and Silent Generation cite higher confidence in investing. That knowledge could be a vital resource for Gen-Xers and Millennial women. Being able to learn from other women's experiences around financial planning and planning time out from the workforce can play a key role in creating effective strategies that keep family obligations from reducing earning potential and investment opportunities. The study found that 77% of women see money in terms of what it can do for themselves and their families. Women in the study stated that understanding their finances is key to greater career flexibility (84%). That flexibility, and sharing the wisdom around how to get smart on investing, can be key to closing the wealth and pay gap permanently.
MS. SPELLINGS: You know, I would certainly not want to say something un-PC about men, but my observation is that I think we are. I think that's why you see women show up to say, "Put me in coach," or "I'm going to lead an effort on maternal health. I'm going to run for the school board, I'm going to be the president of a university, or the mayor of Charlotte," or whatever it is. And I do think we're motivated by that, often at some sacrifice.
Consider the guidance of a professional advisor. If thinking about saving for retirement overwhelms you, consider working with an advisor to help you set goals and make informed investment decisions. Seek recommendations from friends, or gather a group of friends together to interview potential advisors. Meeting with multiple advisors before making a decision will help ensure you find someone who is the right fit for your needs.
If you’re the big spender type, the Wally app is just for you. This app not only helps you plan, manage and categorize your finances, it also gives you insight into your spending and saving habits and how you can improve to achieve your financial goals through its algorithm. The downside? The app doesn’t have a desktop money management feature or a blog section to keep you intrigued about money.
5. Diversify your portfolio. When setting up an investment portfolio, you should make sure to diversify your investments; that is, make sure the risk is spread out and not all focused in one place. Some investments are safe but have little return (bonds, money market, treasury bills), whereas other investments come with a greater risk and thus a greater yield (stocks, funds, and futures). Also, some investments work better on a short-term basis, while others are better over the long term. By diversifying your financial portfolio, you create more security for yourself. For more on this, check out Diversify Your Investments.
Take on less risk. Women are more likely to have their savings allocated in a more age-based allocation of investments than their male counterparts. In fact, looking specifically at Fidelity retirement savings accounts over the last three years, the percentage of women allocated appropriately for their age has increased by approximately 40 percent. Furthermore, fewer women have their savings fully invested in equities than men (which could represent too much risk and not enough diversification); and women are more likely to invest in target date funds, ensuring they are well diversified.
However, if you’re looking to save for retirement over the course of 20 or 30 years, an aggressive strategy is going to get you the best return possible. While aggressive markets tend to fluctuate widely in the short term, the overall market trends upward an average of 10% each year. When you can afford to be patient in the market (something women are proven to be better at than men), an aggressive strategy can definitely pay off in your favor.
Coming in, I expected that my colleagues would be ultra-Type A, all work/no play, super serious folks given the nature of our work. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the great relationships and friendships I’ve developed at work and the camaraderie on our floor. I also expected the job to be extremely difficult in terms of the learning curve and was worried about my ability to handle it. It certainly is challenging, but with the support of my colleagues and mentors, I can really map out how much I’ve grown and learned over the past year. Everyone wants each other to succeed.
Results of this survey are based on an online omnibus conducted among a demographically representative U.S. sample of 2,995 adults comprising 1,496 men and 1,499 women 18 years of age and older. The survey was completed during the period December 1-11, 2016 by ORC International, an independent research firm. The results of this survey may not be representative of all adults meeting the same criteria as those surveyed for this study.
There’s also a concept I think you should be familiar with. It’s called passive investing. The idea is that it’s smarter to invest across the entire market and then not pay attention to it, than it is to pick stocks or pay someone else to pick stocks. It’s easier and less expensive, and historically it’s been more successful. In fact, Warren Buffett made a $1 million wager that passive investing would beat hedge funds—and he was right. It’s why he advises his heirs to invest passively with their money.
Credit cards and bank accounts. If you’re considering opening a credit cardaccount for the first time, are younger than 21 and don’t work full time, you’ll need a co-signer: a parent or other adult. You’ll want to talk about ground rules, like only using a credit card for emergencies and defining what constitutes an emergency. Approach new financial products with caution and be careful not to take on debt. If you plan to directly deposit funds from a job or allowance, look for a checking account that offers low (or no) fees.
#1... biggest advice to any female looking to break into finance... drop the feminista thing, it won't get you anywhere. It's ok to be bitchy, and in fact may help you in certain instances, but don't ever, ever pull the feminist card. There's nothing worse than a person who chalks up their own personal failings to an "anti-me" thing. It's nothing more than an excuse for being a slacker.
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