I owe my investment portfolio to my mom. From my first summer job in high school she encouraged me to invest on my own. Pretty much every call we had after I started working post-college ended with her asking me if I was going to max out my IRA for the year. She’s sat down with me for countless hours to balance my 401(k) and various other investment accounts.
I didn’t realize till much later how lucky I was to have this nagging mom. That by starting early, and building that investing habit, I would be on my way to building wealth. And that most young women aren’t investing early enough or nearly enough, leading to a monster wealth gap between men and women.
It’s fitting that my mom who wasn’t about to let me be a bad statistic about women not investing enough coined the term “the glass ceiling” in a 1986 Wall Street Journal article. She’s long been focused on the issues women face, particularly in the workplace.
35 years later on that front, we certainly have a long way to go. The good news? There are a wide array of women powerhouses — Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris, incoming Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen, Citigroup’s CEO Jane Fraser, the list goes on and on — jabbing at the glass ceiling each and every day.
The wealth gap, though — with women owning about 32 cents for every dollar owned by men according to a study from Merrill Lynch and Age Wave — should still very much keep us all up at night.
How is this still happening? Studies have shown that parents are less likely to teach girls about investing than they are boys. Investment advisors and investment education has historically been geared towards men. Investing has never been particularly inclusive, and while that is certainly changing because of the growth of online-only brokerages many women have just not gotten the message.
The implications of this are undeniable. Per that Merrill Lynch and Age Wage report, 41% of women say they wish they had invested more. Only 52% of women say they are confident when it comes to investing compared to 68% of men.
As The Money Manual team, we have had many discussions about this pressing issue. It felt right at this juncture as a site that we reevaluate our mission, and focus wholeheartedly on helping women close the wealth gap. With more women being single parents, being the head of their household, waiting longer to get married, we have to make sure that they are creating wealth for themselves, and not relying on someone else to have the knowledge and manage those decisions. In saying that, we hope to become the go-to site for women as they grow in their investing journey.
A few of our goals as a site going forward:
- We want to do everything we can to encourage women to invest, and to do it as early as possible, and as often as possible. The earlier women do it, the more they will utilize the power of compound interest. Encouraging the habit of investing is also important to truly get on the path to growing wealth. The old days of putting your money in a savings account and watching it grow into a big chunk of change are over. We want to help educate our readers that when they “save money” they should really then be investing it.
- We want to open up the conversation around investing. Talking about investing shouldn’t be a boy’s club, it should be an everyone is welcome club. We hope that by starting the conversation our readers will continue it with their friends, family, and well, everyone!
- The tools and resources available to investors today are complete game-changers. Want to buy a share of Tesla today? It’s as easy as buying a toothbrush on Amazon. We want to help our readers pick the best tools for their situation, and utilize them to their fullest? One example? Just turning on auto-investing has been proven to be highly effective in helping people grow wealth over time.
We’d love to hear from our readers! Are you investing? What do you want to learn the most? What is holding you back from your goals? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Let’s go on this journey together!
Feature Illustration: Laura Caseley For The Money Manual