By Connie Yan
I recently bought the tool set with smaller handles and softer grips, but I made sure it would last just as long, and work just as hard, as the heavy duty set my father won’t let any of us touch.
As a woman, I need my tools, cars, phones, and just about everything else in my life, to work for me the way they might work for a man. But some studies show that women are not letting their money work as hard as that of their male counterparts.
Historically, men have taken the lead when it comes to investing and managing finances. Recent studies have shown that women are traditionally more timid and less confident about investing compared to men. For example, a 2011 study done by MassMutual found that only 26% of women were confident in making their own investment decisions, compared to 44% of men.
Women are an economic powerhouse, as according to U.S. Trust, they hold 89% of all bank accounts in the U.S., and control 83% of all consumer purchases. Yet most women do not invest, we save. The ability to save money is great, but with the low interest rates that most traditional savings accounts are currently offering, it may not be the best way to maximize your long-term dollars.
Investing may not be as easy as buying low and selling high, but it needn’t be as scary and daunting as it may seem, either. Here are a few things to keep in mind as you think about entering the world of investing.
- Think you know nothing about investments? You’re not alone. Nobody is born knowing the differences between stocks and bonds, or an IRA and a Roth IRA. Do some research and see what might work for you. Start with the basics so you’ll have a comfortable working knowledge of key investment principles, then build on your knowledge over time.
- Not all investments are created equal. Studies have shown that women investors typically have a lower risk tolerance than men, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t invest. Some investments are less volatile and more conservative than others. Do your research and find out what types of investments you may feel comfortable with, while also considering your goals and time horizon.
- Make investments a line item in your budget along with your savings, rent, and utilities. One of the biggest misconceptions about investing is that it’s only for those with truckloads of cash to spare. Many people invest through their retirement plans at work, while others may choose to set up an investment account on their own and invest a set dollar amount each month.
If you think you need some guidance, consult a financial advisor. Find a qualified financial advisor who will help you realize your goals and work with you to develop a plan to help make it happen. You go to a doctor for your health needs, a stylist for your hair and a mechanic for your car. Why not a professional advisor to help manage your assets?
Whether you are starting small, or looking to make a large investment, try it on your own or hire a professional, investing should be a priority. When you create an investment strategy designed to help you reach your long-term goals, you’re investing in yourself and in your future.
Connie Yan is a Marketing Associate at Symmetry Partners, LLC an investment advisory firm located in Glastonbury, CT.
This content should not be considered investment advice. Information is provided for educational and background use only
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