Investing for her future is one of the most important things a woman can do in her life.Yet,like many men,women often put off planning for the future.A common reason is that investing is complicated and it would take too much time to learn about investing.Some investment professionals like to make it look complicated so that you will pay them juicy fees,but investing is fairly simple and within everyone's grasp.
Women face different challenges in life and different financial risks then men so it is actually even more important for women than men to invest for the long term.One factor is the fact that 90% of women will be solely responsible for their finances at some point in their lives.This can be as a result of a divorce or simply the fact women outlive men by an average of 7 years. Unfortunately,it is still true today that many of these widows left all the money matters to the men in their lives and are simply clueless about what to do.Women need to plan their financial lives with this in mind.
Another factor is that many women are still employed in relatively low-paying jobs so they are starting from a lower base than men.These types of jobs usually offer no type of pension plan either.An additional factor is that many women spend years outside the workforce during their prime working years taking caring of a child or perhaps an elderly parent. This will directly affect the amount of Social Security that a woman will receive in retirement.
What do all these factors discussed above mean when it comes to investing? It actually means that women should begin to invest at a younger age and invest more aggressively than men.Investing at a young age is sage advice for both men and women.The earlier a person begins investing the greater the effect compounding will have on your investments.In simple terms,you will have more money when you are ready to retire.Yet on average women begin investing much later in life then men.
In my years of experience in the investment business,probably the biggest mistake I have seen many women make when it comes to investing is that they are far too conservative in their investment choices.As mentioned earlier,women actually need to be even more aggressive than men in their investment choices.One mistake that is commonly made(by men too) is that women don't take advantage of a company's 401k plan.Besides the tax advantages,many firms offer a matching plan for your contributions.This is free money-please accept it! Another major mistake is that the actual investment choices that women make are far too conservative.Women seem to have a tendency to go for 'guaranteed' returns such as CDs,but after taxes and inflation the return is actually negative-they lose money!These 'guaranteed' return instruments such as CDs should be in everyone's portfolio but only as a small portion of it,not a majority of it.In future articles,we will be discussing areas to invest your money for higher long term returns.