Today is International Women’s Day — join us by reviewing the first of our 3-part series on Clarity and Investing in Yourself during Women’s History Month and beyond.
Hewins created the Invest in Yourself Luncheon series last year to help educate women on key fiscal and personal strategies that can add great value to their lives. This event also serves as a helpful forum and place of support for women to connect with others from a professional and personal perspective.
The focus for my 3-part blog is Clarity. How can gaining Clarity by looking at things from a different perspective help us in our financial lives?
People allow fear, emotion and the past to interfere with decisions. Previously, I discussed my irrational fear of wearing a swimsuit and swimming. I stayed out of the water and missed out on something I enjoyed.
Many times, people stay out of the “stock market waters” and sit on the sidelines due to fear and misinformation. Allowing perception to become reality can be costly. It seems that there is a serious trend happening here of people outliving their money/investments and this trend becomes even more likely if people are not willing to consider some exposure to market risk.
I believe that investors, in particular female investors, can not afford to stay completely out of the market. As my colleague Janice Deringer discussed in her Women and Finance Series, “Women’s financial realities are sobering.” Unfortunately, women are in a position where on average they not only earn less and live longer, but also endure an interrupted work history to help care for family members. This in turn impacts retirement savings and social security—their retirement compromised by both longevity risk and a gendered historical undervaluation.
Finances or investing can be a frustrating subject, but they don’t have to be. How can you gain Clarity by looking at finances from a different perspective? Let’s take a step back and look at something that a lot of women can relate to; the quest to eat better, exercise more or maybe even get into that special dress. I know I can relate and have been pursuing that quest most of my life!
Healthy living principles have many similarities to creating a financially sound life. Both require discipline, both take time and effort to see results and, if we’re successful, both can provide us with significant rewards.
We need to look at the choices we make regarding our finances. It can take 60 seconds to make a financial decision that can significantly influence our lives depending on choices made. Buy? Sell? Hold? Work with a Financial Advisor? Financial choices? Investment philosophy? Really stop and think about your own what for 60 seconds.
What questions do you need answered, what information do you need in order for you to make a wise decision? What are you striving to achieve? It may be scary to get started, but it doesn’t have to be. I was once told the first step is always the hardest part of doing something new, and it is true! However after the first, second, and third steps, the rest of the path becomes much easier!
Stay tuned for part 3 of my blog on Clarity. We’ll further explore what you can do to have Clarity and the importance of having a plan in place.
As Dimensional Fund Advisors’ founder David Booth is fond of saying, “the most important thing about an investment philosophy is that you have one.”
In the meantime, focus on what’s important to you and how to best Invest in Yourself!