I know of a few women (too few regrettably) who manage their family portfolios. I encourage women to look after the family portfolio – not just her money. Too many women find it convenient to outsource money management to their husbands (dad, husband, brother, son) instead of taking responsibility for managing it themselves.
- managing money is a man’s job and
- at least that let him do I do all the other work
these are 2 phrases I have heard a lot!!
I have my own reasons why I do think that women should learn to manage their own money right from a young age. In about class 10 or 11 a girl can start learning how to pay bills online, scrutinize credit cards, hotel bills, mutual fund statements, etc. This is a good stage to start so that when she starts earning she does her own investment. In fact class 12 is a good time to teach her how to pick a mutual fund, how to review, etc. – do not worry she will learn, if you can teach.
Here are the reasons why I think women should handle the finances…especially as the age increases
- A woman manages the house: managing a house requires a lot of managing skills, parenting skills, psychology, organising, fire-fighting, internet searching, emergency handling – and all this can be very handy when it comes to money handling. So the skill sets are there, they just have to be channeled in the right space. If the girl’s parents have taught her banking, etc. it helps. Rarely will you find women with zero finance skills.
- Women are generally more organized: Financial planning, investing, etc. involves creating documentation, notes, original papers, and all these need to be kept in a place where it can be found easily. More women are better organized than men!
- Women are the original CARETAKERS and NURTURERS – and they do a good job of that. So investing (which is about creating and protecting the egg!) is something which suits women. Women are more patient with their investments and more likely to let their investments sit and grow. Men are more likely to trade their investments more often, which can lead to lower returns overall. So the investing portfolio could be handled by the women and the trading portfolio could be handled by the woman. Thus both know what is happening.
- Women are Risk Sensible: There are many women who are currently handling their portfolio and are far more risk-sensible than their husbands. So getting the woman to handle the longer term goals – children’s education and their own retirement, women seem to be better equipped than the men.
- Women take more time to decide – Investment is not about ‘do it today or the opportunity will go away’ kind of a choice. So women cannot be rushed into poor deals by telling them “offer closes in 4 days”. They will take more time to research than their husbands, and that is surely good for a longer term wealth creation.
- Women are more scared that they do not know – it forces them to learn. I know of one investor and one journalist who check and re check their assumptions about investing very regularly. Even though the journo knows everything she runs past her numbers, assumptions, etc. before committing to the story.
- Many women will be single – women may remain unmarried, may decide not to have children, children may live far away, maybe divorced, may be widowed – all situations when she would have to handle the affairs herself. Suddenly when she is widowed at say age 65 she cannot suddenly be acquiring the 4th R of education. It is in our interest that we teach our women – mothers, sisters, wife, daughters, nieces…the basic financial management skills.
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