Women! Are you using all your financial power?

Women! Are you using all your financial power?

Right, I’ve had 3 weeks off writing and I’m back with a bang! Usually, when I write my posts about money, I try to be balanced, I try to be polite, and I try to be gently encouraging. I try to take account of the fact that everyone’s circumstances are different, and I try to be inclusive in how I write (whether I am successful or not is another matter). I try to not upset anyone. But this is important, and its something I feel strongly about. I see and hear strong, intelligent, capable women shy away from investing because they don’t believe they can do it.

So women, ladies, chicas, bitches, femmes, whatever we’re calling ourselves, this is a battle cry for us all to become more courageous and make sure we’re using all our financial power.

Don’t get me wrong, we have some of the most beautifully colour coordinated budget spreadsheets, can make one large chicken feed an army of 5000, and have an small but impressive collection of fleece pyjamas to help us abstain from central heating. But mention investing, and we lose our confidence and strength is replaced with fear and doubt.

I used to be guilty of this. I was 100% convinced I would lose all my money, that I could never understand what I was doing, that it was too complicated for me.

Perhaps it comes from times when men would hunter-gather and women would protect and nurture. Putting your money in a savings account and being frugal with your expenses is how that manifests today. But we live in world where we all provide, all protect and all nurture. It is time for us to learn that we can be better providers when we dare to take carefully balanced risks.

One of the greatest financial powers there is is investing. It might even be the greatest power

Being able to feed your family on £50 per month is epic. But it takes one heck of an effort to do that month in, month out. I know I’ve never managed it.

But when you invest your money, it earns more money for years and years and years to come. And that money it earns, also earns more money for years and years to come. And so it continues. And the more it continues, the easier it is. Easier than keeping your grocery bill to £50 quid whilst inflation continues to rise, that’s for sure.

Let just do a couple of quick sums. For funsies.

If you pop a nice little £50 a month into a savings account, its a great start. After 25 years, with a rate of 0.5%, you’ll come out with £15,978.59. A nice chunk of money, right? Good job on the protecting and nurturing front.

But, take advantage of your financial powers by stock market investing (feel free to make your own superhero cape or throw your head back and roar like a lioness- whatever works for you) and that £50 could grow to £29,406.04, assuming a 5% return.

The same resources go much further and you’ll nearly double your money. And that calculation is even with me failing to have courage that the stock market will continue to yield an average of 7% annually, so it could well be worth a helluva lot more.

There’s enough inequality without bringing it upon ourselves

I don’t deny that it is shitty that in 2017 there is still such an embarrasingly wide pay gap, that mothers get overlooked for promotions, and that females have to work harder to earn the respect of their male co-workers. It might not be true in 100% in workplaces but it is way more normal than it should be.

However, we cap our earning potential further by failing to have the courage to invest, to seize a little piece of financial equality, to omit one of the greatest financial powers at our fingertips. It’s  something we have control of, so why aren’t more of us seizing that control?

Why do we let that little voice in our head tell us its not for us, that we can’t understand it, that knowing our luck we’ll lose every penny we ever had? To that voice I say IT IS FOR US AND WE CAN UNDERSTAND IT!

Don’t just take my word for it!

Don’t believe me? Check out superhero Feminist Financier, the oh so sassy bitches get riches, and educator extraodinaire she picks up pennies (who is also a mom, so you can’t be using kids as an excuse).

We are all different but we are all capable of understanding how to invest, as long as we believe we can.

Where do you start? I thought you’d never ask! I came up with an investing guide for beginners, with all the stuff I wish I’d been able to read all in one place.  Beyond that, the world is your oyster. Don’t stand by, a helpless onlooker to financial markets. Stand up and soar, be a beacon for other women who have yet to make the leap.

If you, or the women in your life, are amazing investors (or even brave beginners) shout up and share your story. Let’s inspire more to do the same. If you’re a bystander, join in the conversation too. We can tackle this together. I’d love to hear from you all, whatever your journey!

 

 

10 thoughts on “Women! Are you using all your financial power?

  1. This rings such a familiar bell. My parents are investors, but in reality it’s only my dad. My mum has told me multiple times that she doesn’t deal with shares or investing as she doesn’t understand it and leaves it all up to dad. Instead she advises me to just save up and not play with the sharemarket. On the other hand, my dad is all for investing and they are now reaping the rewards of that. Let’s not hold ourselves back any longer!

    1. Your mum is like many women, protecting her brood from the dangers! I completely understand her point of view. Little by little, learning the dangers are not what we imagined means we can start reeping the rewards. And oh the rewards are good!

  2. Gurl PREACH. I wish I’d started investing much sooner (as you know if you’ve read my tale of woe and regret over at BGR). If we can convince other women to start right the fuck now and learn from my mistake, it’ll be worth it.

    1. Yes! This post is exactly about helping people get started now, whether they’ve lost years to thinking about it or have their finger on the pulse right out of college. I wish I’d found a female role model to inspire me sooner, hopefully someone reading this will find their inspiration!

  3. Love this! I hate seeing women opt out of their finances and letting their husbands run the show. You NEED to know how to handle things to ensure you’ll stay financially stable in the event of a divorce or death of your spouse.

    1. Me too, I hate anyone opting out of finances for exactly this reason. Even a prologned hospital stay or period of mental illness could leave the main organiser unable to handle your affairs for a while, its something we should all have the knowledge and confidence to do.

  4. Amen!! It took me embarrassingly long to start invest – and even AFTER I opened up a trading account I let my money sit there for about a year before finally investing it… and now I can’t believe it took that long for something that wasn’t actually that scary. I found ‘dipping my toe’ into the pond to be the best method. After a year went by and I got about 12% returns, I realized it wasn’t that bad. ( of course now it’s much lower, but the market is an up-and-down, and I’m no longer as worried as I used to be )

    There’s different options regardless of your tolerance (insured savings bonds vs. stocks vs. index funds), so there’s no excuse to just let it sit there! And arming yourself with knowledge is the best weapon in this fight against investment and faltering against the nay-sayers.

    1. You and me both! And I did exactly the same, just a toe in the water. I’ve misplaced my foot on a couple of occassions but have learned each time and my sucessful steps gained more than my slightly dodgy ones. Now I’m in I’m eager for everyone else to join!

    1. Awesome goal to have Jen. Just having a retirement account is a smart first move- one that not everyone makes. I hope you’re growing in confidence this year, make sure you make it count! 🙂

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