The path to investing and retirement are never the same, I have been building plans for individuals and families for over 10 years and have never created the same plan twice. This process is further complicated for women. While many women get married and have children, you may choose to chase other goals that are independent of the traditional family structure.
If you are thinking about your future, ask yourself these questions:
- If we examined your life today as it is now and compare it to what you want for your future, what would your priorities be?
- What is important to you?
- How do you envision your eventual retirement?
- Do you see yourself relaxing with friends and family?
- Or are you starting a small business and traveling the world?
A conversation between you and a trusted financial professional can help you examine the challenges ahead and form your strategy. Regardless of your vision, there are a few concepts that may help your investment strategy.
Strategy #1: Develop a Plan
Benjamin Franklin said, "if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail" and when looking at the statistics surrounding women and finances, this has never been more apparent.1 Developing a written financial plan can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Think about how you envision your ideal future. Do you have debt you want to pay off, a home you’d like to buy, or higher education you want to fund for yourself or a loved one? Prioritize your goals, and start building your plan accordingly.
Strategy #2: Get Started
Regardless of your current financial situation, getting started will get you closer to where you want to be. The first step is truly the most important in a journey of a thousand miles. One of the best things you can do for your future self is to start moving toward your goals today.
Pay yourself first and make savings a part of your everyday life. Consistently investing a part of each paycheck (automatic withdrawals are great for this) can have massive impacts. Even if you start small, you can always increase your contributions as your financial situation improves. I can't say this strongly enough - EVERY little bit helps. Thanks to the magic of compound interest, time is one of the best assets you have when investing.
Action Relieves Anxiety - James M Comblo, FSC Wealth Advisors
Strategy #3: Invest like a Woman
It’s a common misconception that women prefer a “hands-off” approach to their financial lives, even though the numbers don’t support this stereotype. Rather than being timid with money, today’s women investors are taking appropriate levels of risk. Women may trade less than men, but research shows that men tend to be overconfident in their abilities when it comes to investing.
What does it mean to invest like a woman? It means taking healthy risks and investing regularly for the long term. Work closely with your financial professional before diving into something that may look enticing but may ultimately detract from your goals.
All investment decisions should be based on your own goals, time horizon, and risk tolerance. The return and principal value of investments may fluctuate as market conditions change.
Strategy #4: Build a Team
You may be a confident investor but even the best athletes are only as good as the supporting cast around them. Being able to ask for advice from a trusted professional can save you time and keep you on track to achieve your goals. Regular check-ins often help you stay on track and adjust your strategy, especially if there’s been a change to your specific situation. By extension, a wider support team comprised of tax and estate professionals can work in conjunction with your financial professional to help you pursue the financial future you have in mind, no matter what life throws your way.
The strength of the team is each individual member.
The strength of each member is the team. — Phil Jackson
Strategy #5: Never Stop Learning
It’s never too late to become an empowered and engaged investor. Adopt the mindset of a learner. Stay curious and keep having conversations whenever you can about wealth management, financial strategies, and investing. Take advantage of the resources available to you to learn everything you can. And most importantly, don’t be afraid to ask questions of the experts in your life. Your financial professional’s goal is to help you build the financial life you envision and the future you deserve.
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|About the Author
James M. Comblo, CFF
is a Partner and the Chief Compliance Officer at FSC Wealth Advisors. His greatest passion in the financial services industry is helping clients accomplish their dreams both with investments and their personal lives. To learn more about him click here.
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