When we kicked off our Women’s Wealth Building series last week, we talked about the financial literacy gender gap. Though we’ve come a long way, we’re still trailing behind our male counterparts when it comes to financial literacy, financial confidence and financial wellness. According to the 2012 Financial Finesse report, women have fallen further behind in several key areas of financial planning — most notably, money management & investing.
Enough! We can take control of our finances now — and we can start by putting our money to work for us. This week, we turned to four of our favorite financially fit females and asked:
What’s your approach to investing?
Paula Pant, Afford Anything
I’ve stashed money into mutual funds since I was in high school. (Back then, my mom had to open a “custodial account” since I was under 18!) I’ve loved watching my money earn money over the years. Seeing the growth in my portfolio gets me excited to invest more! The downs don’t get me down, since I’m young and I know it’ll bounce back, long-term.
I am what you call a balanced investor: I like to have an equal diversification between low-risk fixed income investments (like bonds) and high-risk equity investments (like stocks and mutual funds). This is normally not typical for someone my age who has a long investment time horizon, but I have always been a little bit conservative when it comes to personal finance (there’s a reason we call it “personal” finance!) I monitor my investments on a somewhat regular basis through online banking and by browsing through my quarterly investment statements; but if there is one thing I have learned from working in personal finance for over a decade it’s that no one (not even investment professionals) can predict exactly what is going to happen in the market!
Miranda Marquit, Planting Money Seeds
Investing doesn’t need to be complex! My approach to investing is fairly boring. I use low-cost brokers, and invest in low-cost funds. There’s no match for a broker that offers good research and tools to help you find simple, easy-to-understand investments.
Kelly Whalen, The Centsible Life
My investment strategy is fairly hands-off and I prefer low-risk because I prefer to keep the money we’ve invested and saved! We keep our liquid investments in low-risk savings accounts and use stocks and our retirement accounts to get a little more ‘risky’. Since we’re in the stock market for the long haul, I can safely take bigger risks with that money. I tend to set it and forget it for most of our investments, checking in on them quarterly. This helps me from getting too overwhelmed with info or obsessing over small stock market changes. It helps that my dad is a CPA and has a wealth of knowledge I can draw on when I have questions or concerns! I always recommend readers find professional help because they can help you see the long-term and make recommendations you may not be aware of.
Your turn: what’s your approach to investing? What kind of lessons have you learned along the way?