Move over, gentlemen. When it comes to investing success, women are besting men. Based on a Fidelity analysis of over 5 million customers, women outperform men by 40 basis points….But you wouldn’t know it from the lack of confidence many women have when it comes to investing. In a new study, Fidelity found 4 in 10 women say their finances keep them up at night.
“One-third of women don’t consider themselves investors, and just over 40% are not comfortable with their level of knowledge with investing,” says Lorna Kapusta, head of women investors and customer engagement at Fidelity Investments. “That’s not a bad thing. It’s OK to have questions and want information. There are options available for everyone to learn more.”
Despite a lack of confidence, the women who are investing are doing it like a boss. They aren’t making impulsive decisions or jumping in and out of the market like their male counterparts sometimes do. They are applying a disciplined approach to investing, taking into account their life goals and time frame to achieve them. “Men have a tendency to go in and out of the market and make a lot of trades. Women stick to their plan and see better results,” says Kapusta.
ASK QUESTIONS TO BOOST YOUR CONFIDENCE
Women investors tend to ask a lot of questions and seek guidance and advice, and the more informed you are, the better investor you’ll become. It’s one of the reasons women investors outperform their male counterparts. Asking questions is also a way for women to overcome a lack of confidence. Knowledge is power, particularly when it comes to investing. It’s one of the reasons Fidelity’s Women Talk Money discussion series is so popular. Each month, thousands of women come together to discuss investment topics via a live chat. They get actionable information and are encouraged to ask questions in a judgement-free environment. “We talk with thousands of women about different money topics from starting an emergency fund to ways to invest and everything in between,” says Kapusta. “We are creating a community of women coming together for education and support. It’s an example of a way to get engaged and tap resources.”
Of course hooking up with other female investors on Zoom isn’t the only way to expand your investing chops. The Internet has a ton of resources on everything from the basics of investing to how to add a complex trading strategy to your profile. Just make sure you access that information from a reputable source.
CREATE A ROADMAP TO SUCCESS
Women investors are also successful because many of them create a financial roadmap that lays out their financial goals and the path to achieve them. Instead of jumping in and picking a bunch of stocks, they think about their future and how their investments can help them achieve their goals. Having a well-thought-out roadmap also helps women investors avoid knee-jerk reactions when the markets go south. Investing can be extremely emotional, but if you already have a solid plan you can ignore the market swings. “It’s about developing the fundamentals. Think about what you are investing in, the time frame, and risk,” says Kapusta. “It is that plan that gives women the confidence to lean into their investments.”
Investing: Let’s Get Real is proudly sponsored by Fidelity Investments. Ready to invest more? Fidelity can help with action-oriented resources to help your money make MORE money. Visit Fidelity today to find out how you can make the most of your money, every day.
GO EASY ON YOURSELF
Equally important is cutting yourself some slack. It’s okay to make a bad investment choice from time to time, as long as you’ve created a diversified investment portfolio that has a mix of stocks, bonds, cash, and alternative investments. The more diversified your investments are, the more cushion you have if one area experiences a downturn.
It’s also important for women to seek help whether they are beginners or have been investing for years. Even the best laid-out plan can come off the rails. Life happens. It could be a new baby, loss of a job, or a divorce — the point is that over time, your finances and roadmap can change. The women who overcome those challenges and continue to grow their portfolios are the ones who sought help when they needed it most. They know that as their goals change, so do their investments. They also know when it’s time to seek help.
That’s where a financial advisor comes in. There’s no replacement for a trained professional who is paid to help you manage your finances and reach your goals. It doesn’t matter if you have $20,000 or $100,000 to invest, a financial advisor can help you walk you through your options, costs, and potential returns. And when life throws you some investing curveballs, your advisor can also help you manage those.
At the end of the day, we should all strive to be deliberate, thoughtful, and disciplined with our investing. It’s that approach that has given Fidelity’s female clients an edge over their male ones. “Women are clearly doing it right,” says Kapusta. “Learn from other women and invest like them.”