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Women Can Increase Their Financial Literacy and Confidence

Woman Reading Stock ListingsLast week we looked at “Lessons from Downton Abbey about women and money,” a PBS.org article that focuses on the financial planning (or lack thereof) contemplated by female characters on the hit show “Downton Abbey.” Women, both now and during the early twentieth century when the show is set, demonstrate varying levels of confidence in money management and in their levels of financial literacy. To demonstrate this, the article cites results from a financial literacy study from a few years back.

Confidence Gap

When people in the U.S. took the 2009 National Financial Capability Study, women were more likely to choose “I don’t know” as an answer. A version of this survey was given to Dutch respondents but the “I don’t know” choice was removed and instead respondents were asked to rate their confidence level and “That meant women were forced to choose an answer, and not surprisingly, they got more questions right, even with a low confidence level. But they still underperformed men.”

None of us wants to invest heavily in something that loses rather than gains money. No one wants to feel as if they have misspent their money and time and end up with little at retirement. And yet, if you let the fear of taking the wrong step keep you from doing any financial planning, your finances will not be in good shape.

Getting Help

The article mentions what experts see as a glimmer of hope in the fact that “women know what they do not know.” The ability to recognize that you need more knowledge and perhaps some professional guidance is important.

A Fee-Only financial advisor can help you get your financial house in order and has a responsibility to put your interests first. Fee-Only financial planners do not have quotas to meet for certain financial products. Instead, they advise you after taking a comprehensive look at your financial situation and goals.