Despite the earning power of today’s women, many still shy away from investing and long-term planning. One of the reasons may be a lack of confidence. A 2014 report by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies found that half of women say they are not confident about the ability to retire comfortably.
“There’s no reason a woman should shy away from investing in her future,” says Nicole Sherrod, managing director for TD Ameritrade’s Active Trader group.
Sherrod points to several factors that should encourage women when they think about their finances and investing for retirement, including:
u As of 2009, women controlled as much as 70 percent of household purchases and $20 trillion in consumer spending worldwide. “In a market dictated by supply and demand, women are the demand,” Sherrod says.
u Women may be less likely than men to be overconfident investors. They may also be naturally more risk averse and more likely to hold investments for the long haul, which many financial professionals and academics see as incredibly valuable when investing for long-term goals like retirement.
“Sherrod adds, “Pair that with the fact that working women are estimated to drive an increase in earned income globally from $12.5 trillion in 2013 to $18.5 trillion by 2018, and it appears that a shift may be taking place.”
Whether married or single, women can and should view retirement planning and investing as well within their abilities. Sherrod offers some advice to help women who still may not feel quite confident:
If you’re planning as a couple, your investing personalities will almost certainly be different. You can, however, try to complement each other. Both spouses should attend meetings with a financial planner or registered investment advisor and allow an approach to evolve from both of your differences. One spouse may pick up on a nuance the other misses. One may be the voice of reason when the other is tempted to rush into a decision without fully researching it.
Or if you’re taking a do-it-yourself approach, take advantage of free tools and information to help you make informed financial decisions. TD Ameritrade offers a variety of free investor education and third-party research reports that cover a wide range of topics from retirement to analyst rankings of individual stocks. Used with other tools, these reports can help you learn terminology, plan for retirement, examine the fundamentals of a company’s stock, or dig into an array of other investing ideas.
Use technology you’ve already embraced. Mobile apps and push notifications can help you keep a close eye on your career, your family and your calendar, so use them to keep a close eye on your investments as well. Your time is valuable. Make technology work for you and create easy routines that help you stay on top of the market.
Finally, Sherrod points out that women can lean on their strengths and shift their lenses.
“Women are often able to look at the landscape of products they need for themselves, their families or their homes, and then search for the best possible product for the best value. So they shouldn’t find it a stretch to apply those same principles to investing decisions. Shifting your lens to look not only at the products you buy, but also at the companies that produce them can help open your eyes to potential investing opportunities. Of course, just because you’ve found a brand or product you like is no guarantee that you have found a winning stock.”
For more resources on investing, visit www.tdameritrade.com/up.