In today's society, at the end of the day, money rules the world. It plays out in politics, businesses and also consciously or subconsciously in our personal relationships. Each and everyone of us has set a financial goal you’d like to accomplish one day. For some of us these goals stay dreams forever.
So where’s the problem? Until now, women didn’t have the urge to invest their money. We keep 71% of our money in a way it can’t grow but rather often depreciates - in cash. This way we are losing money, rather than growing it. That is one of many reasons why we retire with two thirds the money of men (Nonetheless we live longer than men).
That’s the reason why we’re keen on giving you 10 financial tips in order to achieve whatever you’re craving for.
One of the ways fixing the gender salary gap between men and women is to fix the gender investing gap. We’re writing the year 2020 and we’ve already come a long way. Arguably, this generation of women may be the most powerful ever. We women have accomplished more than ever, the wave of empowerment is more important than ever and we are more educated and pride than ever. When it comes down to investing money however, it feels like we’re stuck in the last century. According to a new report from UBS, 85% of women believe that their husbands know more about financial matters and that’s the reason why over 50% of married women leave investment and long-term financial planning decisions to their spouses.
We at Marmot worked with women at many stages and ages of their wealth-building process and we’ve spent a lot of time with those throwing themselves into the crazy world of investing for the first time. After years of experience here are 10 things we need you to know:
1. Abandon shame
Get started! The list of reasons why women feel shame when it comes to money is endless. Whether we earn too much or too little, whether we spend our money on fashion and nail polish or we don’t, someone will have an opinion about it.
Our mission is to create more women with financial confidence and freedom and in order to take care of our mission, money shame needs immediately to be removed from our reality.
In the past years a lot of women have told us that they feel ashamed they didn’t learn to manage their finances at an earlier stage in their lives. No need! That’s where we come in, as you’re learning about it now. Think about your progress overcoming traditional beliefs that were taught to your when you were young. This arbitrary age-related milestones will not help you to create wealth - but education will.
2. Begin to save money
As already mentioned before, women live 15 years longer than men. So the amount we need for healthcare and other expenses will be of impact, why saving is especially important for women. A good starting goal is saving 10% of your salary.
3. Educate yourself
Storing your hard earned money under the mattress (=savings account) can cost you big time. Of course many people save money in the bank as they feel that it’s a safe thing to do, but that’s just because you don’t see your account balance drop most of the time.
In order to reach the financial goals we’ve set for ourselves, we need to make the money we’re saving grow! The most potent way in doing so is investing it. Make the money work for you and not only you working for it.
Too many women and men worldwide lack regular financial education, which means that 15% of the world’s population cannot effectively learn to invest. The good news is, this education is absolutely within your reach. To help address this problem, we partnered up with non-profits like SmartPurse to ensure that for every Swiss Franc we earn, 15% is distributed to institutions for female education to grow female confidence and to build a basis for this topic.
For too long investing has been referred to domains that are purposefully exclusive.
This leads a lot of the female population to believe that investing is not for them because it would require a lot of resources or that it would be too hard.
The complexity of investing can be broken down a lot quicker than you think and there are platforms (Like Marmot.finance) where you can already get started with small amounts.
4. Decide on an investment approach
How should I invest my money? We’ve heard this question from a lot of our fellow ladies and here’s how we reply to those questions:
- What is your goal for the money you’re willing to invest?
- When do you need the money?
- How much of a risk are you willing to take with this money?
After answering these questions you take a look at the investing options that exist. Our goal is to find the mix of investments that best matches up with whatever you’re trying to achieve.
So sit down and mentally separate your money into different pools according to your financial goals. Do I want to save up for a down payment for my future home? Am I building up an emergency fund? Do I want to grow money for retirement? The investment strategy which will be best for you lies in the answers of these questions you have to ask yourself.
5. Look for the wing-woman you feel comfortable and esteemed with
One of the most challenging and most important steps for financial stability is to have the right wing-woman at your side. Do your research and find an advisor you feel most comfortable with .You choose a family doctor that listens to your concerns, so why wouldn’t you choose someone to handle your family's financial health with the same sense of duty. When you're just getting started, the key is to keep as much money in your own pockets as possible. We aren't investing to make the banks richer, we're investing to make you richer.
In the world of investing, there are plenty of fees to keep an eye out for. Start with a bank you know won't charge you a monthly or annual account fee.
It’s also very important to find a financial expert for guidance. Also it’s very important to find a trusted financial expert for guidance. The key is to find an advisor you trust and feel comfortable with, because finances are a very personal topic. Word of mouth is a great way to go!
6. Decide about your risk-taking
Take a risk-tolerance quiz to figure out how much risk you can stomach. Stocks offer higher returns with greater risk. To reduce your risk, put some money into bonds and cash, which are less volatile.
Once you know your risk tolerance level, invest accordingly. For example, if you are a moderately conservative investor with 20 years until retirement, you might start out with 60 percent to 65 percent of your investments in stock mutual funds. The rest of your money can then go into bonds and cash.
She suggested that focusing on both strategy and your own risk tolerance level can keep your portfolio in balance, take the emotion out of investing and help you stay the course.
7. Invest to improve the world
These days a lot more women are interested in gender conscious, socially responsible or impact investing. The price to research and develop funds focused on socially responsible or impact investing has decreased and the returns over the long run are pretty comparable to regular ones. People either choose to avoid certain products in their portfolios or invest in causes they care about. Two of our very talented and personal favorite investment managers are Eleanor Taylor Jolidon and Pamela Hegarty.
8. Test the water
Investing isn’t for everybody. Some people need an adrenaline rush in their lives and others don’t. So for the first investment, pick a small amount and see how you’ll feel. If you’ll have sleepless nights, investing is not for you!
If you’ll feel the sensation of constant curiosity and you’d find yourself reading about your investments and acting upon your ideals - Investing is just the right thing for you and if you really follow up with the acting part, you’ll even leave a footprint in some way.
9. One-stop shop funds
Growing numbers of multi-asset funds offers instant diversification. Some are very well run and others - not so much.
Because it’s so important we’ll tell you one more time:
You have to understand where your money is going and look closely at its charges.
10. Leave it alone
Andre Kostolany preached that you should invest and forget about it for years. No need to worry everyday and to day-trade. the cost of the transactions would otherwise be immense.
Not for ever. But if you’re investing for the long term, once you have set up a balanced portfolio, there is one rule. Don’t mess around with it beyond a regular (six-monthly or annual) review.