March is Women’s History Month and the ideal time for women investors to get started. Besides being profitable, investing is also an empowering way to embrace financial independence.
Women’s finances are on an upward trend. Financial planners are now designing investment plans to meet the needs and expand the opportunities leading to financial independence for women.
Women Investors Are Essential
It’s 2020 and there’s no longer any question that women belong in investing. This year, women will surpass one-third ownership of worldwide wealth. In total, this wealth is over $70 trillion dollars. Their buying and investment capabilities simply cannot be dismissed. While it’s clear that women investors are valuable to investment firms and the economy in general, of what value is investing to women?
Long Live Women
First and foremost, women live longer than their male counterparts, often alone in their later years. Whether single for life or widowed at some point, it is crucial for women to achieve financial independence. Financial literacy is key, especially in the event that this independence comes unexpectedly.
For women investors, it may also be about achieving things that are important to them which historically, many women have not been able to do. Funding education, making real estate purchases, and providing for children and grandchildren often eluded the average woman’s financial capabilities. Not so anymore, some fifty years after women flooding the workforce.
Achieving financial goals that are emotionally satisfying is yet another important reason for women to invest.
As Amelia Earhart said, “the most effective way to do it is to do it.” If getting started in investing seems overwhelming, keep in mind that financial advisors can help navigate through this. Finding valuable information online and working with the experts can help women bolster the confidence to start investing effectively.
Love and Money
Financial independence for women starts with any finances that belong to them, especially those held jointly. In long-term relationships, mixing of finances often seems inevitable—and for good reason, as filing taxes jointly can be a smart money move.
The fact is that when couples begin to say “it’s our money,” women must be sure that’s true. It is important for women to keep their own accounts and/or be on the joint account. Now more than ever, they must stay involved in money moves.
Stay at Home 401K (IRA)
If a woman is a stay-at-home parent, it is particularly important for her to consider her retirement savings plan. Retirement plans are often a first step into investing. Her spouse may have 401k funds automatically withdrawn from paychecks and then forget about it. However, just because a woman is not actively earning a paycheck from an employer does not mean her financial future can be left languishing.
Women can discuss with their partners how, together, they will save for her retirement, too. Will they up their 401k contribution with the understanding that both will have access to the funds at retirement or in the event of a divorce? Will they deposit funds into an existing retirement account from her previous career or start a new IRA? Women must factor themselves in.
Slow and Steady in Women Investors
The same caution that keeps women from jumping feet first into investing is the one that will make them good investors. Women’s portfolios tend to perform better than men’s as they are more patient through losses and often choosier about risk.
As more women begin to get in the investment game, they may notice a lack of confidence in themselves and amongst fellow women investors. However, it is often recognized that overconfidence amongst male investors has led to poorer performance overall. Studies are able to track this difference, lending female investors just getting started a boost of that confidence.
Like investing itself, the numbers don’t lie: women’s portfolio performance is 1.8% better annually than men’s, as discovered by the Warwick business school.
Ideally, women investors should find their confidence somewhere in the middle: they can’t dwell on their delay for just getting started now, but they can learn from the cautionary tales of overconfident investors who came before. It’s no secret men and women often think divergently, and in this case, for women, it pays off—literally.
Another way women can change the investing and business horizon is by helping each other. When building an investment portfolio, consider investing specifically in women-owned businesses. Celebrate women’s history month by giving your fellow woman the backing she deserves. To learn more about investment vehicles and options, or how to get started, contact Stableford today by calling 480.493.2300 or contact us online.