I spent a portion of my Human rights day in a room full of beautiful, talented and courageous women who were together to share their experiences of what being a modern woman looks like. The challenges that we are faced with all ranging from health issues, child maintenance issues, social media and investing.
My passion is around educating people about the importance of investing for the long term - especially women. My AHA moment around the need of this education hit me during one of my work investment events. I did a good job of inviting all our clients and potential clients to the event, did quite a bit of work on various media channels just spreading the word. On the night, we had a full house but we had a break during the session and as everybody rushed into the restroom, I recognised a very peculiar phenomenon – there was a long queue outside the men’s restroom whereas the ladies just went in and out. I had never seen that in my life – church, other conferences and malls… there is ALWAYS a queue in the ladies bathroom.
What did that mean, though?
Are women simply not interested? Are we too intimidated by investing? Do we think that investing is for “other” people? I went on to do some research and discovered that 86% of women don’t know how to invest or choose an investment product – and only 7% percent of us will be able to retire comfortably. That just blew my socks off because women work so hard – juggling work, a home life and still maintaining a strong sense of self.
Women are famous for "knowing how to spend money" which is also a notion that I'd like to dispell but... let's play along with it for a second. What if we looked at spending the same way that we look at investing?
Think about it… your company gives you R1 000 and says – we have a cocktail event - go buy a dress. What do you do? Where do you start?
You walk into your favourite store:
1. What’s the goal? How do you want to look at the event?
2. How much risk are you willing to take? Short dress/long dress – see through or turtle neck?
3. How versatile is this dress – what if the weather changes, will I be alright?
4. Does it suit me?
5. Can I afford it?
6. Can I wear it again? Is it a long term investment?
7. Is it unique? Will I stand out?
8. Some of us go shopping with friends – someone who will be brutal and tell you whether something is working out for you or hold your hand – you trust their judgement
We make these decisions every single time we shop however why are we not making these decisions when it comes to dealing with our finances – shall I make an example.
Before you start investing, you must have an investment goal – what do you want your money to look like in the long term? How much risk are you willing to take? How much are you prepared to lose? You need to check how versatile your investment is – will you be able to get to easily access the money that you worked so hard to save should you come across an emergency? Is the investment style unique? Does its performance stand out and do you have surety that the person who is managing your money has your best interests at heart – like your shopping buddy?
Same questions as when you are buying that dress - right?
I have heard people say that they are not investing because they are afraid of losing all of their money – history tells us that nobody has lost ALL their money investing in the stock market. However investing in equities is the best wealth building asset class.
At Emperor Asset Management and EasyEquities, we look at investment differently. We’ve created tailor-made and fully adjustable investment portfolios, designed for an ever-changing market and an ever changing you.
It makes my day seeing women realise that having a personal relationship with their money is something that is achievable - especially when they learn from someone who is in their age group trying to get things right herself. Education around investing touches on a few of our human rights (education, access to information, equality and more) so I would urge you to get involved! It's not THAT complicated and there are always people willing to help you in your journey to getting started - like me.
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