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What We Can Learn From Financially Savvy Women

July 10, 2013
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By Laurie Itkin

Learn more about Laurie on NerdWallet’s Ask an Advisor

Despite statistics showing women are increasingly becoming the primary breadwinners in their households, women still tend to have less confidence about investing than men.  I know plenty of women who defer investment decisions to their husbands or male partners.  Often the woman takes charge of household budgeting chores such as bill payment, but leaves the responsibility of investing the money to the man. For example, he may be the one choosing the family’s financial advisor or trading stocks in a self-directed account.

When these women become divorced or widowed, they are often ill-prepared to take over money management responsibilities.  Their ability to build or preserve a nest egg for retirement may suffer.  I’ve seen it first-hand.

So what can we learn from gay women who are financially savvy, educated investors?  I decided to find out by interviewing lesbians who are successful investors for my forthcoming book, “Every Woman Should Know Her Options: A Woman’s Guide to Successful Investing and Financial Independence.”

The women I interviewed either had already built a solid retirement account or were well on their way to achieving one.  Based on my interviews, lesbian investors who successfully grew their money did the following:

1) Believed they were competent to take care of themselves financially.

2) Avoided debt by living within or even below their means.

3) Started invested in 401Ks and/or IRAs at a young age, often beginning with their first job.

4) Educated themselves about investing through attending classes, reading, and being mentored by men and women who were successful investors.

5) Were not afraid to take risks in the market in order to grow their money.

This advice is terrific for gay and straight women alike.  I hope if you are a woman you will follow it.

Laurie Itkin is an investment advisor with Coastwise Capital Group and founder of the stock and options trading coaching service, The Options Lady.  She is author of the forthcoming book, “Why Every Woman Should Know Her Options:  A Guide to Successful Investing and Financial Independence.”


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