5 Tips To Help Women Become Confident Investors
“The idea of investing may seem overwhelming, but women should recognize their earning potential and make their money work for them,” says Michele Thompson, a financial expert of Sandhill Finance with over twenty years of experience. We interviewed Michele here in 2008 concerning the real-estate market.
“Women today have amazing earning potential,” she says. “We finish college at record prices, we are leading organizations, sometimes we are even the breadwinners for our families, so investing is extremely important.”
Thompson says that investments are often perceived as an artificial area, but women should not feel left out.
“It has been socialized that investing is a male-dominated industry and that you have to have a certain amount of money to get started, but just like our male colleagues, we make a lot of money (if not more), and in the end, it’s important for our money to grow as well fast as any other,” says Thompson.
Thompson shared five ways women can become confident investors and increase their wealth.
1. Start early
Thompson says there is no perfect profile for what makes a reasonable investor.
“If you are a woman and you want to invest, there is no perfect time,” she says. “You do not have to be married, you do not have to have $ 100,000 in the bank.”
The most important thing: start as early as possible.
“The sooner you invest your money, the more time you will need to make that money in the market and earn more for yourself,” she says.
2. Set goals
Thompson says that lack of trust often restrains women when it comes to investment. But women can gain self-confidence if they have a specific goal in mind.
“Instead of saying I want a million dollars in 20 years, what are your millions of dollars used for?” She says. “I like to talk about goals: save for your child, save on training or save for retirement?”
Once you find out what you are saving for, it is much easier to save and invest.
“Then you have something to adapt your investment to, and you know how much you need,” she says.
3. Use an investment app
Investing in apps can be a great way to start investing because the stakes are relatively low and women can learn about investing without much risk, says Thompson.
“The applications we have today, such as Stash or Betterment, make investment accessible,” she says. “It makes sense, especially when you’re just starting.
“Many of these companies do not have a minimum, and they have meager fees, so you do not put much on the table if you put just a little money in that account just to understand how investments work,” she says.
Everything you should have learned in school, but not.
4. Use your 401(k)
Another easy way to increase your assets: a 401 (k) plan.
A 401 (k) is an account that you finance with money that you receive directly from your paycheck (before tax) and put on a retirement account. Your H.R. department can help you set up and a third party – the plan administrator – manages the details. You choose the specific funds (most plans usually have 10 or 20 funds to choose from) and how much of your salary you want to contribute.
Thompson also recommends using the match of your company.
“If you enter a percentage in your 401 (k), you’ll get that percentage back – it’s a great start, and it’s also free money,” she says.
5. Ask questions
Thompson says that women should never think that they do not know enough to invest. The solution is simple: ask questions.
“You should never be nervous or anxious to ask a question if you do not know the answer, especially if it can help you reach your financial goals,” she says.
Working with clients, Thompson says men ask a lot of questions, as do their female customers.
“No good consultant or person you work with or a friend who advises you will look down on you when you ask questions to improve your finances,” she says.
Women need to set aside more money for retirement than men
The US is on the verge of a massive crisis with a $13 trillion pension reserve decline.
The pension crisis is even more severe for women, as they face a gender pay gap and are likely to live longer.
This means that women have to save more than men. The goal should be 8 to 10 times a year.
“That’s what you need if you want to spend 90% of your early retirement each year, it’s a bit more than what most investment companies say, but we want you to retire like a boss – more travel, more Fun, “says Thompson. “And since we women on average live longer, it’s better to have a bigger pillow, yes, in that case, bigger is better.”
Thompson takes steps that women can take to increase their likelihood of getting more money to retire, including investing in a diversified portfolio and demanding a salary increase.
According to Thompson, women have to get into a position for salary increase.
“[Women] need to have these conversations about how much they want to do, not just how much they want to do, but what the clear expectations are will make them successful,” says Thompson.