The title of Zina Kumok’s Business Insider column says a lot, “I relied on my dad’s investment advice for years until a casual conversation with a friend showed me a better way.” It shows that even when you grow up in a household where money management is taught and discussed, you may still have a lot to learn.
Kumok, a personal finance writer, writes that her parents gave her a great financial education but their division of labor affected how she saw herself. Because her mother did the budget and taxes while her dad did the investing, she got the idea that investing was something for men to handle. Since society overall does not encourage women to get into investing on their own, it wasn’t difficult for her to believe that investing was out of her league, despite her profession and despite the fact that she had already been advising her friends on these matters.
When a friend who works in finance helped Kumok to see that women tend to write about managing household money but not about investing, she started to think differently because investing is something women need to know more about. Instead of relying on her father, she started to educate herself about investing so she could chart her own course. She also met with a financial planner.
As we approach Women’s History Month, it is useful to remember that women (such as Abigail Adams) have managed both household finances and investing. When it comes to financial planning and personal finance, we all need to learn as much as we can. Kumok writes:
“The only way to build true, lasting wealth is by taking what you’ve earned and using it to build on your success. Women tend to live longer and earn less than men, so it’s even more crucial for us to learn these skills.”