5 Ways Women Can Achieve Financial Fitness

Happy International Women’s Day! Today is dedicated to celebrating the landmark achievements of women across the globe, many of which are in the economic space. According to the BMO Wealth Institute, women currently control $14 trillion — more than 51 percent — of America’s personal wealth, and are projected to control almost $22 trillion by 2020.1

There’s no doubt that women are growing financially and climbing the ladder at rapid speed — but the confidence gap is still there. A 2014 Prudential survey found that only 20 percent of women feel secure in their ability to make smart financial decisions.2

This trend is problematic, due to the fact that women typically face more complex financial challenges than their male counterparts: for one, women often take more time off to serve as caregivers for children and other family members, which can result in lower lifetime income and less savings over the long term.3 Plus, women tend to live longer than men, meaning they will likely assume the role of “chief financial decision-maker” at some point in their lives.4


So how can women empower themselves to financial fitness? Five of our advisors weigh in:

Patrice Cresci, CFP® | Principal, Regional Director
Redwood City, CA

PatriceCresci_200x250px_circles “Be informed, and be confident! Traditionally, women have taken the backseat to financial decisions, but I think that trend is becoming a thing of the past. When I work with clients, I focus on making both spouses or partners feel informed and confident in making good investment decisions. You don’t have to be an expert, but you do have to understand the possible outcomes and trade-offs to feel confident in your decisions. I also find that women are naturally great planners, and they should capitalize on that trait.”

Jordan Lochner Mills, CFP® | Senior Financial Advisor
Minneapolis, MN
Jordan Mills headshot
“One way we can all work toward gender parity is to demand equal pay for equal work. Do you know what the going wage rate is for your field? If not, it pays to do some research!

Websites like PayScale provide ranges of pay for various professions after you answer a set of questions about your education, work experience and more. You can use this information to negotiate for a raise if your current pay is subpar. If you’re successful in negotiating a raise, make it a point to increase your contributions to your 401(k) or other retirement plan so that some of it goes toward enhancing your financial future.”

Lora Murphy, CPA, CFP®, CDFA™ | Principal, Senior Financial Advisor
Milwaukee, WI and Chicago, IL

“When working with married clients, I often notice that the husband is actively saving for retirement — contributing the maximum rate to his plan — but the wife is not.
Women need to make sure they are proactive in educating themselves about their finances. They shouldn’t solely rely on their husbands to make financial decisions; research has shown that women often live longer than men so it’s crucial for them to take control of their own destiny. At the end of the day, that’s the main takeaway: Invest in yourself, save for your future, gain an education and take control of your own destiny.”

Rafia Hasan, CFA, CFP® | co-Chief Investment Officer
Chicago, IL
“It’s particularly important for young women to start saving early. Don’t be afraid to take on risk. If you find the jargon and terminology in the investment industry intimidating, make time to educate yourself; the investment of time will be well worth it. My favorite book to share with clients is The Investment Answer by Daniel Goldie and Gordon Murray.  It’s a quick read that’s easy to understand and will give you the basics. Women are naturally great long-term investors, since they are less likely to derail their investment plan by making costly mistakes like trading too often. They just need to have the confidence to tap into their abilities.”

Thuong Thien, CFP® | Principal, Senior Financial Advisor
Redwood City, CA
Thuong Thien
“My advice is simple: Start now! Get a better understanding of your assets and liabilities and cash flow — it can be as easy as using an Excel spreadsheet to capture everything. You can also create your own financial checklist to ensure that every piece of your plan is tied together; seek out a financial planner if you need assistance. Finally, remember that education is everything so consider taking a class or attending a webinar on investments.”


Want to learn more? Visit our Pinterest page, which is designed specifically for women investors.


Hewins Financial Advisors, LLC d/b/a Wipfli Hewins Investment Advisors, LLC (“Hewins”) is an investment advisor registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. Hewins is a proud affiliate of Wipfli LLP. Information pertaining to Hewins’ advisory operations, services and fees is set forth in Hewins’ current Form ADV Part 2A brochure, copies of which are available upon request at no cost or at www.adviserinfo.sec.gov. The views expressed by the author are the author’s alone and do not necessarily represent the views of Hewins or its affiliates. The information contained in any third-party resource cited herein is not owned or controlled by Hewins, and Hewins does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of any information that may be found in such resources. Links to any third-party resource are provided as a courtesy for reference only and are not intended to be, and do not act as, an endorsement by Hewins of the third party or any of its content or use of its content. The standard information provided in this blog is for general purposes only and should not be construed as, or used as a substitute for, financial, investment or other professional advice. If you have questions regarding your financial situation, you should consult your financial planner, investment advisor, attorney or other professional. Hewins does not provide tax, accounting or legal services.
OneBite Editorial Staff
OneBite Editorial Staff

OneBite® is a Top 50 Financial Advisor Blog powered by Hewins Financial Advisors. Founded in 2011, the digital magazine is dedicated to providing intelligent, in-depth coverage and analysis of the top financial and economic issues facing investors today.

No Comments Yet

Comments are closed

5 Ways Women Can Achieve Financial Fitness

time to read: 3 min