Capital Investment Advisors

Women + Money: Finding Your Way to Financial Confidence

Over the past few months, my colleague Adria DeMeo and I have had the opportunity to speak at a couple of women’s events. We presented on “Women and Money: A Changing Landscape.”

We were so excited to do these events because of some of the shifts we’ve been seeing in our interactions with women. We have recently felt that women are taking greater control of their financial decisions than ever before. This is very encouraging, and we want to spread the word on why it is so important for women to be aware, educated, and feel empowered as it relates to their finances.

First Thing, First – Why Is It So Important for Women to Be Involved?

  1. Financial Involvement: Regardless of marital status, by taking a more active role, women can gain more clarity, confidence, and control of their lives.
  2. Security and Stability: Active participation in financial matters helps to provide a sense of security and stability. It can enable women to plan for their future, including retirement, and help build a safety net for themselves and their loved ones.
  3. Planning for Life’s Unknowns: Being armed with financial knowledge today can be greatly beneficial down the line in the event of an unforeseen circumstance like divorce or death of a spouse.

How Is the Landscape Changing for Women and Finance?

The rising economic power of women in this country is one of the most significant financial shifts of recent decades. The reason is two-fold:

1) Women are generating an increasing amount of wealth. The share of women making just as much money or more than their husbands has nearly tripled in the last 50 years.

2) As men pass away, they typically leave control of these assets to their female spouses who tend to be younger and live longer.  Today, women control more than $10 trillion (about 33%) of total U.S. household financial assets. Meanwhile, an unprecedented amount of assets will shift into the hands of U.S. women over the next three to five years, representing $30 trillion by the end of the decade.

With $30 Trillion in the hands of women, it’s more important than ever before for women to be prepared and educated about their finances. This includes more than just understanding investment and retirement planning, but also having a grasp on your overall financial pictures. This may include knowing about your mortgage or any debts outstanding, if you have an emergency fund, knowing where investment, checking and savings accounts are and the log in and password to each one of them. It includes knowing your monthly and annual expenses. It also includes ensuring that your estate planning is up to date.

In a recent study, Fidelity Investments gathered a couple of interesting, yet not surprising data points:

  • The Fidelity report found that “stress” (46%) is the word women most use to describe their emotions surrounding money, far more than men (34%), whose top term is “hopeful” (42%). The good news is that women are tackling stress by taking control of their finances; almost 90% of women say they have made money moves recently or plan to within the next six months.
  • The study also found thatmore than half of women (53%) say discussing financial topics with other women helps them feel more confident with their finances. This is especially true of younger women, with 66% of Gen Z and Millennials saying they prefer to learn about financial matters from other women. Women are helping each other along their financial journey, with almost three-quarters of women (69%) saying they help other women because another woman helped them.

The second point of the study hit directly home to me. In fact, over the course of our women’s events something exciting happened! Women were talking with each other about their finances. They were raising their hands and asking questions. They weren’t afraid to speak up. Watching these ladies open us without feeling judged was truly remarkable and amazing. The women who originally walked through the door fairly timid left the event chatting and laughing and asking more questions once we had wrapped up the presentation. This speaks so much to women needing women!

Where To Start

Waking up and just deciding one day that you are going to be a financial guru is not necessarily realistic.  However, it is realistic to have some short-term goals. There is a way to Make It Simple. It starts with determining your goals and objectives for your money and creating a road map to get you there.

I would encourage every woman to start gathering some information. Try to answer the big questions you have about your money- where it is, how much you have, how much you need to live the life you want to live- now and in retirement. Once you assess what you have and what you need, you can start planning- whether it be on your own or with a financial advisor. If you are married, don’t take the backseat when it comes to your financial situation. Let your partner know you want to be involved. This knowledge should give you greater confidence in your present and your future. It will help you with potential challenges you may face, and it will also help you start to envision and achieve a happy retirement down the road.

I hope that we have an opportunity to do more of these presentations and that we can help women whenever and wherever possible. If you are a woman reading this article and would like more information, please feel free to reach out to me and my team at Capital Investment Advisors.

This information is provided to you as a resource for informational purposes only and is not to be viewed as investment advice or recommendations.  This information is being presented without consideration of the investment objectives, risk tolerance, or financial circumstances of any specific investor and might not be suitable for all investors. This information is not intended to, and should not, form a primary basis for any investment decision that you may make. Always consult your own legal, tax, or investment advisor before making any investment/tax/estate/financial planning considerations or decisions.  The views and opinions expressed are for educational purposes only as of the date of production/writing and may change without notice at any time based on numerous factors, such as market or other conditions.

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