On this week’s HerMoney podcast, we’re diving into one of your favorite topics — investing. But not just any kind of investing — we’re talking about what it means to invest for both the short-term and long-term goals that you might have, outside of retirement. Because while saving for retirement is amazing and you should absolutely bump up those contributions as much as you can every year, we have goals that just can’t wait until we hit 65 or 70.
We might want to buy a house, or a car. Or a motorcycle. We might want plastic surgery, an MBA, an around-the-world trip, or to help put a niece or nephew through school. The point is that once we get our retirement chugging along and our emergency fund in place, it’s time to think about all these “other” goals, and how we can get more out of our money so that we can accomplish it ALL.
According to Fidelity’s 2021 Women and Investing Study, there has been a 50% increase in women investing outside of retirement over the last three years. An additional 49% of women said they are more interested in investing since the start of the pandemic, and 42% said they now have more money to do so. And all this is incredible. But many women are still — even in 2021— not comfortable investing their money. Just 14% of women feel that they know a lot about saving and investing, and only 33% feel confident in their ability to make investment decisions. Just one third of women consider themselves to be “investors.”
But here’s the thing — if you have a retirement account of any kind, you are an investor. Your 401(k) makes you an investor. Your IRA makes you an investor. You do not have to be hand-picking stocks in order to call yourself an investor. And we know that when women invest, we do better than men. According to a new Fidelity analysis of 5 million customers over the last decade, women outperform men by an average of 40 basis points. So, why do women still, in 2021, continue to find investing intimidating?
To help us answer that question (and many more!) is Lorna Kapusta, Head of Women Investors and Customer Engagement at Fidelity Investments. Lorna leads Fidelity’s efforts to support women at every stage of their financial journey, and helps thousands of women across the country to take control of their financial futures.
Listen in as Jean and Lorna discuss the questions Fidelity is hearing most often from women investors, and where we can find help. We also talk about why more women are investing outside of retirement now, and whether the roaring bull market (+ additional pandemic saving opportunities for some) has been an impetus. We also get real about why that confidence gap persists — and how we can bridge it, ASAP.
“Women often feel like they don’t have enough money to invest, or qualify for help from a financial professional. And I have to tell you, that is not the case,” Lorna says. “And so we just need to make sure that we’re having the conversation, and having it early, because starting early and being consistent are really important to the recipe of making our money have the greatest potential to grow.”
Jean and Lorna also dive into the big question many of us often have: “Where should I put my money?” For example, how much should you be keeping in savings vs. the market? (Yes, the equation is different for everyone, but we all need to have a general guide for where to keep money we will need in 5, 10 or even 15 years time.)
We also talk about how women are generally more risk-averse when it comes to our investments — but there’s a true opportunity cost of not investing. Then, we take a look at a recent question from a Fidelity study that asked: “If you had $25,000 to invest, would you know what to do?” Just 47% of female respondents said yes. Additionally, 70% of women said they think that to invest, they need to know how to pick stocks, which simply isn’t true. We break down where that misconception comes from. We dive into the “secrets to success” of women investors, and what the women who feel confident about their saving and investing abilities have in common.
In Mailbag, Jean advises a listener who is selling her home and is unsure what her next move should be for her retirement accounts. We also advise a woman who received a promotion and a raise, and because she got more than she was asking for, she’s wondering if she should have asked for more. In Thrive, we tackle the phrases you should avoid saying in a job interview, and what to say instead.