Women are winners. According to State Street Global Advisors, nearly 60 percent of American women were the ones making investment decisions in their households in 2020, and 40 percent were making more money than their partners. Today, best estimates put women in control of a third of the world’s private wealth, a percentage that is only expected to increase in the future.
A portion of the success that women have achieved in the financial world can be attributed to investing. The way women invest is markedly different from the way men do, and it’s been found that numbers actually improve when women get involved with investing decision-making at the senior level.
What Makes Women Better Investors?
There are many factors that affect the way women choose to invest. One inescapable factor is the persistent wage gap between women and men, which leads to women developing an increased awareness of their assets and the riskier side of investing. Making risk-averse investment decisions isn’t a weakness; it’s the opposite, actually. Wells Fargo did a study in 2021, finding that women making safer choices experienced didn’t miss out on returns. They ended up earning higher returns compared to men.
Hubris is often a man’s downfall, but women make smarter, intentional investments and have a positive impact on not just themselves as individuals but society as a whole. In a survey done by Money Crashers in 2019, about half of the women said that a company’s mission was important to them—while just under a third of the men said the same. To women, investing isn’t just another way to make money. It’s a handy tool, for sure, but it’s a way to make the future a brighter place and open up opportunities for others.
Role Models in Investing for Women
Geraldine Weiss: Writing under “G. Weiss” instead of her full name, Geraldine Weiss built a profitable investment advice newsletter, “Investment Quality Trends,” from 1966 to 2002. She was famous for her dividend-focused investment style, earning her the monikers “Dividend Detective” and “Grand Dame of Dividends.”
Muriel Siebert: The first woman to have a seat on the New York Stock Exchange, Muriel Siebert is often called “the First Woman of Finance.” In 1977, she went on to become the first female Superintendent of Banking for New York, which put every bank and financial institution in New York under her supervision. During her term, there was not a single bank failure in the state of New York.
Kathryn Finney: Founder of the Genius Guild, Kathryn Finney invests in Black entrepreneurship and businesses. She also founded The Doonie Fund, a platform that offers micro-investment to Black female entrepreneurs. Her dedication to diversity and inclusion has earned her ample media coverage in major financial news outlets, such as The Wall Street Journal and Forbes.
How Do I Start Investing?
Step 1: Do your research! If you’re a beginner in investing, you should get a lay of the land before diving in. Read financial journals, listen to podcasts, and maybe buy a book on investing. Next, make sure you know what you have in the bank. You need to know your limits.
Step 2: Make a plan. Plan A, plan B, plan C…well, you know how the alphabet works. Nothing in life is a guarantee. 2020 taught us that lesson the hard way. Protect yourself and your investments by having all bases covered. Set aside a six-month disaster fund. Think about life insurance, property insurance.
Step 3: Ask an expert. This is especially important for beginners. If you don’t exactly know where to start, the simplest thing to do is ask someone who’s already done what you want to do. Chances are, they’ll have a ton of wisdom to pass on to you. Even if you’re a seasoned pro, having an advisor to turn to is crucial. Remember, teamwork makes the dream work!
As more women edge their way into the financial world, more resources like Ellevest pop up to support them on their journey. So many pioneering women have paved the way for us to be here today, striding forward when society did its best to hold them back. They fought for the freedom and choices we have today, so we can make life what we want it to be. Are you ready to join the march? You know what they say; the future is female, and we can’t wait to see it.