Ask your mom and she will say she managed money better than anyone else in her family. And that's probably true around the world. So why is this constant conversation that women are shy of managing and talking money? It's a bit like that stereotype that women are bad drivers. Let's get to the bottom of why these random conversations need to go and why they even exist.
When women do invest, many studies show they invest better.
Myth1: Women are bad with money
That's the biggest myth about women. For those who are savers first, and spenders second, this is a myth that has to go. And further, when women do invest, many studies show they invest better. A Fidelity study says, "two thirds of women polled in our study said they considered themselves the financially savviest member of the household."
The husband works hard, earns the money, the wife spends it all on shopping - can we retire this 'assumption' for ever?
What women may need is more financial confidence which comes with access to networks that normalise conversations on women and money. Such as a bunch of friends chatting about it over coffee? Or by talking to an advisor or in some cases for early starters, keeping a financial diary with notes of spending and saving. We need to have more conversations about our friendship with finances.
Myth 2: Women are more likely to feel financially insecure
What to do with their money is a question on everyone's mind, whether men or women. One of the most pervasive myths is that women are more likely to feel financially insecure. Yet, asked to describe their financial situation, women were just as likely to say they were comfortable as men. The same proportion of men and women said they were very comfortable, as those who said they were struggling financially.
Myth 3: That women don't take risks
Women take a lot of big risks. Increasingly women are taking a chance on themselves, their careers, many buy homes and then some buy investments and stocks. If the financial market has not yet 'discovered' women as an investment cohort and not done enough work to attract that audience, then we need to get going with that first. How many articles are out there that celebrate women who were financially smart? Let's do that. We also need more financial experts, fund managers to talk about the successes of women who invest. Check out this series of excellent articles.
If the financial market has not yet 'discovered' women as an investment cohort and not done enough work to attract that audience, then we need to get going with that first.
Myth 4: That women will eventually depend on husbands or parents
Women have had to deal with situations without their husbands for centuries. Often their parents couldn't be around or didn't have enough money to support their daughters. So to think that women will ultimately depend on their husband or parents isn't a given. Most homes have women working these days and two-income lifestyles are normal. And this isn't so in the urban well off societies only, it's also true for the working class. Bottom-line, managing money is critical for both husband and wife. The area we really need to fix is the fact that women should be encouraged to discuss and decide what schemes, funds and other financial plans they need to have in place.
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