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Women: Seek Investment Advice and Mentor Others

For Investing and Financial Services, Women’s Influence Grows,” an article on Forbes.com opens with the writer sharing an anecdote about being young and working at a place where she thought the male employees were savvier about money than she and her other female counterparts. Her male co-workers had no problem discussing financial planning and would sometimes bring in financial advisors for these discussions.

The author writes:

“Many of the other younger women and I, however, weren’t really sure what to do or how to begin this process. I didn’t have any female mentors or managers at the time to broach the topic with, but luckily a co-worker of mine suggested I speak with her husband who was a financial advisor. With no other options and a feeling this was a relationship and connection I could trust, I took her up on it and am so glad I did.” 

There is a lot to unpack there. The women in this office weren’t sure what to do and didn’t know who to ask for help. Given that many companies lack women in upper management, the author didn’t’ have role models within her organization. Presumably, she didn’t have anyone in her personal life who could help either. She was lucky that her co-worker’s husband turned out to be a financial advisor she could trust. Although she didn’t know who to ask, she confided in a female co-worker who suggested a financial advisor. While she didn’t have a mentor or woman to offer insight into investing, she felt comfortable enough to ask her co-worker.

The article highlights the influence have over financial resources. Women manage the finances for many households. Women in heterosexual romantic relationships are more likely to inherit wealth than their partners since women tend to live longer than men. A sizable number of daughters and nieces are also positioned to inherit wealth. 

The author suggests that the finance industry needs to do more to reach out to women. She notes that women tend to understand the need to diversify investments and their portfolios often do better than men’s portfolios. However, despite their skills, women tend to be less confident overall. The finance industry may make some efforts but real change will come from individuals: women brave enough to ask for help and mentors who are willing to share what they know.