Who run the world? Girls!! This line sums up the upwardly mobile nature of women in today’s society . this is backed up by the fact that our universities are constantly enrolling double the number of women to men each year. As women endorse their new roles in a new and increasing accommodating society, we find that they are becoming much more financially independent. With all the changes taking place it is a most appropriate time for us to have a conversation about women and investing. It is usually agreed that in most cases women and men think and act poles apart. Is it also true for investment, do women have different investment needs from women? The truth is with investment there is no one size fits all approach, therefore it is likely that women will have different investment needs.
As with looking at any investment anywhere women need to set an investment objective. This is usually followed by looking at their current situation, deciding what they have to put away with what kind of frequency and for how long. With some amount of discipline and consistency they could begin to build a well diversified portfolio over time to suit their investment needs. But what are some of the factors that would influence the aforementioned decisions.
- Women outlive men and therefore need to have more to take care of what could be longer retirement years (they even retire earlier)
- The instances of women earning less than their male counterparts are changing
- Women are more conservative than are men
- In Jamaica many women are single parents and head of their households
Women therefore need to take the above factors into consideration when setting financial objectives, it is very important that they begin by educating themselves about the different investment products and options that are available. The next step in the process would be to seek professional advice with or from institutions and or individuals where high levels of trust and comfort can be established.
Investing need to start as early as possible especially for women given the fact that even where there exist approved retirement portfolios (pension plans ) there may be a great need for additional savings toward retirement given a stronger probability of a longer retirement. It is in fact true that with a longer investment horizon smaller amounts can be put away each time to achieve a desired objective. Women generally are less likely to take on risks than men but they will need to create a portfolio which is well diversified and where they invest in risk assets that prudence must be the order of the day especially when they are single parents or breadwinners of not only their families but also extended families.
They must always keep abreast of what is happening with their portfolios constantly reviewing with the set objectives in mind. Be willing to ask questions if there are doubts , keep themselves abreast of what is happening in the different markets and be willing change where it is necessary to do so.