Women Investing To Close the Wealth Gap
By Pauline Quinn, MSAPM, Registered Principal RJFS,
and Katie Bruno, CFP®, CDFA®, MIMFA Financial Planner
About the Authors: Pauline Quinn and Katie Bruno are Financial Advisors Serving Women Investors in Omaha, Nebraska, Since 1982
As women financial advisors, we understand the investment needs of other women.
We have started to enter a new era where women are being given more opportunities than ever before and we are seeing more women being celebrated. It was incredibly encouraging to see, that American women held more jobs than men for the first time in a decade in early 2020, an important milestone in achieving true gender equality in the workforce. Unfortunately, that momentum has stalled as working women have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. It is estimated that if the gender disparity which has been exacerbated by the coronavirus is not addressed, the global economy could lose $1 trillion in the next 10 years. We cannot afford to take this economic hit, or to lose the one in four women who are considering downshifting their careers or leaving the workforce altogether due to the pandemic.
Given the COVID disruption is set to last for many more months, potentially even years, for many women this will mean that lifetime earnings will struggle to recover. Gloria Steinem has said, “We will
never solve the feminization of power until we solve the masculinity of wealth.” What a powerful statement and she’s right. One of the realities women face today is the financial gap between men and women, especially when it comes to retirement.
This isn’t just about earning less. It’s more about the outdated attitudes in society and the roles women play that are more likely to result in a financial security gap in the future. One of the biggest reasons for the gap between men and women is the fact that women’s careers often take a very different path than men’s. Various reasons and choices are playing into this wealth gap and here are a few:
- Putting her career on hold to be caregivers, for not only her children but aging parents
- Shifting to part-time in order to be flexible as a caregiver, which tends to results in not only lower earnings from working less but also partaking in lower-paying jobs in general
- Less like to negotiate for higher pay
- Sharing income with families and feeling obligated to help children, elderly parents, and other family members and neglecting her own finances
- Living longer, more than 80% of women die single1 and The Federal Reserve reports that 87% of the impoverished elderly are women
- Have less confidence than men when it comes to investing (even though they are really good at it…)
Once you realize that you could be at greater risk for financial problems in the future, it makes sense to take steps to change that future outcome.
Not only can women investing give us the opportunity to close the wealth gap, the research tells us that the act of investing is itself the #1 driver2 of confidence for women in achieving their future financial goals. The best way to develop confidence in the stock market is to invest small and often. Here are some ideas that can make it less intimidating:
- Participate in your company’s retirement plan. Most employers offer a 401k, 403b or a retirement plan. Does your employer have a match? This truly is FREE3 money, yet so many people don’t take advantage of it. Make sure that you are contributing up to the amount your employer matches so that you can take full advantage of this perk. If your company does not provide a match but does offer a 401(k) plan, you should still participate and contribute something.
- Automate. This allows you to consistently invest without having to watch the stock market. Set up a strategy to automatically invest a set amount of money into a financial product of your choice. The amount you invest stays the same, but the amount you buy may change depending on the stock price, so you buy more shares when the price is low and fewer shares when the price is high. This is called Dollar Cost Averaging.
- Diversification: This is a way to help reduce risk by spreading your money across multiple investments. That way if one or some of your investments take a downturn, the others might be up to balance out the loss and your overall portfolio may stay on track for the growth you need.
- Avoid the Hype. While following news reports on the stock market may seem like a good way to learn, the truth is, a good bit of it is noise that can increase your fear of the market and affect your emotions. If you do watch it, be aware of sensationalism that can hype up a minor blip in the market for dramatic effect. This might make for good TV, but it’s not very good for solid investment advice. Limit your intake of all the chatter and follow a well-researched strategy.
If you don’t feel confident about your ability to make good investments, partner with a trusted financial adviser. Even if you never feel as though you can pick your investments by yourself, a smart and trusted adviser can help you realize your goals without having to step too far outside your comfort zone.
The most important thing to remember? No one else will care about your financial future as much as you do, so make investing in your future a top priority.
Morey & Quinn Helps Women Overcome Financial Challenges
Morey & Quinn Wealth Partners understand the unique challenges women face, such as: taking time away from a career to care for family members, finding yourself suddenly single from a divorce or outliving your spouse or partner, or being the primary planner for your family’s future needs.
As the women partners in the practice, Pauline Quinn and Katie Bruno empower other women to realize their financial independence and plan for success. We listen to your needs and concerns with compassion. Together, we’ll create a wealth management plan focused around your current and future financial goals, and show you the value in a well planned life.
Read More About Financial Services for Women Investors »
Schedule a free consultation to learn how our experience and guidance can help.
Morey & Quinn Wealth Partners
Raymond James® LIFE WELL PLANNED.
Toll Free: 877.541.6593
11225 Davenport St, Suite 109
Omaha, NE 68154
Any opinions are those of Pauline Quinn and Katie Bruno, and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected, including diversification and asset allocation. Dollar-cost averaging cannot guarantee a profit or protect against a loss, and you should consider your financial ability to continue purchases through periods of low price levels.
- According to Young, married women should learn this skill — and we don’t mean cooking
- According to Money Is Power: The Ellevest 2018 Money Census
- Matching contributions from your employer may be subject to a vesting schedule. Please consult with your financial advisor for more information.
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