Women and investing was the topic of a recent thought-provoking article in USA Today. In summary, it explains that women are just not interested in learning how to invest their money. The article gives numerous statistics showing that women are earning more money than ever, but they simply don’t show an interest in investment education.
Below are a couple of my favorite exerts from the USA Today article entitled Investing Makes Women Anxious (the online title is different from the print version), and my thoughts on each. While I am not a “bra burning female”, I am of an analytical nature and looking for possible explanations for the statistical results about women and investing, knowing that women, overall, are a pretty savvy lot.
“Women are 42% more likely than men to be concerned about having enough money for retirement; 49% say they are “very inexperienced” with investing vs. 34% of men and 42% say they are “very uncomfortable” taking on investment risk compared with 28% of men, the 2012 Hearts & Wallets survey of 5,460 households shows.”
When you’ve asked a man for directions, have they ever said that they don’t know? Are men willing to admit that they are concerned about having enough money for retirement? I’m just sayin”….
“It’s a male-dominated field — the vocabulary, the way we measure it, present it. It’s a language that has been always spoken by men to men,” says Eleanor Blayney, co-founder of the financial education firm with Downey and a consumer advocate for the CFP Board of Standards. “It misses some fundamental truths about women and the way they think and make decisions.”
Thank you Eleanor Blayney! Men and women as a general rule do think and make decisions differently. Women tend to focus more on the end results of investing and financial security according to this and other studies. (This fact led me to the creation of the Financial Woman Money Goal Journal kit as a gift to my own survey participants recently.)
““Women also find jargon more unwelcoming and tend to tune out when things are explained to them from a performance perspective”, Reckers says.”
Having come from the investor side of the table instead of the financial services industry, I so get this! Whether it’s investment education or a conversation with your doctor, jargon matters! In every industry, especially those that involve data and science, experts tend to talk in jargon simply because they don’t realize their depth of knowledge about the topic.
“Society is going to have a vast majority of its population that is impoverished, that hasn’t provided financially for themselves,” Downey (Peg Downey, CFP) says. “We don’t have the money to take care of a population like that.”
Hmmm; was the largest financial collapse in the recent history of our country the result of roles that were held primarily by males or females? As women, we have made and continue to make huge strides in our ability to create wealth. To imply that women are creating another “bailout” situation could be construed as indelicate.
And finally, I’ll end with my comments on the article at the USA Today site:
I like to break down the very basics that everyone MUST know about investing their money, otherwise, the topic can seem way too enormous. Also, being a successful investor includes more than just understanding the stock and bond markets, since the historical buy and hold return in the stock market of around 10% is not going to solve the financial problems that so many are facing now leading into retirement; this leads to the ever important focus on increasing cash flow by generating more income in a strategic but often fulfilling way.
What are you doing now in your life to be a leader in the growth of your money? What’s the next step for you?
Source: USA Today, Investing Makes Women Anxious, August 17, 2012
If you enjoyed this blog, you may also like these related articles: