Women: 5 Steps To Financially Empower Yourself
Leisl L. Cording, CFP®
Senior Vice President & Financial Advisor
The path to building wealth to live well now and into retirement can seem daunting for many people, but studies show that's particularly true for women.
Thanks to a long history of women being left out of financial decision-making, there's a gender gap in financial literacy. Although times have changed that gap persists, in large part due to the fact that many women lack confidence in their own financial decision-making.
That's the biggest challenge I see with many of my female clients and it was also my biggest challenge when I was one of only a few women studying finance in college.
Having the confidence to know you can educate yourself about your finances and then believing in that knowledge enough to build up wealth and assets in your own name is what it means to be a financially empowered woman. And regardless of where you're at in life, it's never too early or too late to empower yourself to build and/or manage your own wealth so you can live the life you envision for yourself and your loved ones.
Here's a simple, four-step process to jumpstart empowering yourself to financial freedom.
Step 1: Develop a Strategy
Developing a financial strategy can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Think about how you envision your ideal future. Do you have debt you want to pay off, a home you’d like to buy, or higher education you want to fund for yourself or a loved one? Prioritize your goals, and start building your savings strategy from there.
Step 2: Get Started
Regardless of your financial situation, one of the best things you can do for your future self is to start moving toward your goals today. Get in the habit of paying yourself first, and make investing part of each paycheck a consistent habit (automatic withdrawals are great for this). Even if you start small, you can always increase your contributions as your financial situation changes. Every little bit helps. Thanks to the magic of compound interest, time is one of the best assets you have when investing. Being conservative with your accounts may seem less risky, but it can do more damage in the long run.
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Step 3: Invest like a Woman
It’s a common misconception that women prefer a “hands-off” approach to their financial lives, even though the numbers don’t support this stereotype. Rather than being timid with money, today’s women investors are taking appropriate levels of risk. Women may trade less than men, but research shows that when it comes to investing, men tend to be overconfident in their abilities. Specifically, men trade 45% more than women, and this tends to reduce their overall net returns (an effect that is compounded by the higher taxes, commissions, and fees that may result from trading).1
What does it mean to invest like a woman? It means taking healthy, age-based risks and investing regularly for the long term. Work closely with your financial professional before diving into something that may look enticing but may ultimately detract from your goals.
Investing involves risks, and investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance. The return and principal value of investments will fluctuate as market conditions change. When sold, investments may be worth more or less than their original cost. Remember that past performance does not guarantee future results.
Step 4: Never Stop Learning
It’s never too late to become an empowered and engaged investor. Adopt the mindset of a learner. Stay curious, and keep having conversations whenever you can about wealth management, financial strategies, and investing. Take advantage of the resources available to you to learn everything you can. And most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask questions of the experts in your life. Your financial professional’s goal is to help you build the financial life you envision and the future you deserve.
Step 5: Build a Team
Confident investors are only as strong as the support team around them. Wise advice from a trusted professional can save you time and keep you on track to achieve your investment and retirement goals. Regular check-ins can help you adjust your strategy, especially if there’s been a change to your goals, dreams, and/or life situation, so you can pursue the financial future you have in mind, no matter what life throws your way.
Our Plan Well, Invest Well, Live Well strategic financial process is designed to do just that, and our team at Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors is experienced in working with women to empower their financial freedom. Contact us for a complimentary consultation.
Presented by Senior Vice President, Financial Advisor, Leisl L. Cording CFP®. Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. These materials are general in nature and do not address your specific situation. For your specific investment needs, please discuss your individual circumstances with your financial advisor. Weiss, Hale & Zahansky Strategic Wealth Advisors does not provide tax or legal advice, and nothing in the accompanying pages should be construed as specific tax or legal advice. 697 Pomfret Street, Pomfret Center, CT 06259, 860.928.2341. http://www.whzwealth.com