Investing: Power of the purse

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Over the past few years, the role of women in influencing and controlling household wealth has been rising, according to a study conducted a few years ago by the Boston Consulting Group. The Center for Talent Innovation estimates that women in the U.S. currently control $11.2 trillion in investable assets.

‘Turtle vs. hare’ approach to investing

This is a statistic worth noting, says Kimberly Foss, founder of Empyrion Wealth Management and author of “Wealthy by Design,” because women typically don’t invest the same way men do.

Often, women are not comfortable investing in the stock market, she says, until they are better educated about it. “(Women) take their time; they need to have more conversations and education before they invest, but when they do, they’re very loyal,” Foss says. Women are more geared toward the “slow and steady wins the race” approach, she adds.

Women: Leverage your strengths

The fact that women are more likely to exercise impulse-control when investing is positive, says Foss, because taking a long view usually leads to better results in the end. However, they shouldn’t procrastinate about getting into the market because of a fear of potential losses. “So many women say they don’t want to be a bag lady. That’s such an intense fear among women,” she adds.

“Money is a tool for choice,” Foss says. When women are guided through their investing choices and understand the possibilities for wealth creation and future financial security, they can leverage their inherent strengths to improve their odds of success.

“Women are very well-organized, and they understand their limits,” Foss says. “They also communicate differently than men: They need to connect.”

These character traits can be put to good use when meeting with a financial adviser, she adds. “After you meet with an adviser, ask how he or she has your best interest at heart. It should be an immediate reaction,” she adds. “Trust your intuition.” Make sure to do your homework on advisers to understand every aspect of what they do and how they charge. Check up on their background through the professional organizations they belong to and the Better Business Bureau.

When communicating, women should continue to ask questions until they are sure they understand every aspect of a particular investment. The desire to be educated before committing to a strategy is important for women, Foss says. “When they get it, they get it for life.”

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