Why Women Will Own the World’s Wealth

imagesWomen are a powerful group–and despite what certain bloggers say–that includes those who marry and raise kids. Today, women control almost 3/4 of America’s wealth, about $19 trillion from inherited and earned assets. Women are gathering assets by working, marrying and inheriting.

The question that needs to be asked is–not whether you stay at home, or follow your dreams to a high powered career–but can you handle being in control of the world’s wealth?

In the 1960s, my Dad drove a black VW Beetle to work — our only car. Mom shared coffee with neighborhood moms after the kids walked to school. Later, Mom cleaned house and hung our laundry outside to dry. Our clothes and sheets smelled delicious, like a spring breeze. My Dad handled the checkbook, banking, and the business.

Many women from Mom’s generation have zero financial experience when they find themselves suddenly alone. It can happen to younger women, too. Take my close friend whose husband died of a stroke. She found herself a single mom at 47. She had never paid a bill, didn’t know how to write a check, or which bank they used. Her husband had been a day-trader in commodities. During the months it took her to unravel the mysteries of their finances, she and her daughter could have been completely wiped out by not knowing where or what they were invested in.

On the flip side, many women are very financially savvy and they make the investment decisions early on. I know a doctor’s wife who handles their medical office bookkeeping and has taken extensive courses in investing. Her husband is the one that doesn’t have a clue about banking or investing.

We need to face the fact that we will be in charge of our finances — if not now, then in the future. How prepared and knowledgeable are you? Do you have any idea how much money you need to send your children to college? Even though it may seem like an eternity away, do you know how much money you need to retire comfortably?

Close your eyes, take a deep breath and picture your life twenty years from today. Do you want to travel, spend time with your family, or read a book on the beach? Write down what your perfect retirement looks like. This is the first step in taking charge of your financial future.

Don’t be afraid by how much you don’t know. Start with what you do know and what you desire. To learn more you can read a financial article daily, meet with an advisor, and be an active participant in your financial life. Remember, we women will end of up with the wealth. Let’s be prepared.

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10 Terms to Test Your Investment IQ

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I know you’ve heard them talked about and mentioned a million times. But, do you know what they mean? How many of these ten financial terms can you can define:

Equity,

Bond,

Yield,

Risk,

Mutual Fund,

ETF,

Dividend,

Asset Allocation,

Blue Chip,

and DOW.

imagesIf we women are going to own the world, then we better know what we’re talking about. How many times have you listened to a financial advisor and your eyes glaze over? Is it because financial professionals take for granted that you have knowledge that you don’t have? Is it their jargon? Or, are they are just plain boring!

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Take a moment to quiz yourself. FYI, the answers are right here:

Ten Investment Terms

Equity  — stock, ownership in a company.

Bond — Unlike a stock, where you are an owner in a company, with a bond, you lend money to a corporation, municipality or government agency.  In return, you will be paid back your money plus interest.

Yield — This term is often found to be confusing.  There are several types of yield, but the basic definition is the income return you’ll receive on an investment.

Risk — The more risk you take, the higher your chance of reward and vice versa. There are many different types of risk including company, market, inflationary, reinvestment risk, etc.

Mutual Fund –  A pool of money that is collected from many investors and invested in stocks, bonds, options, commodities or money market securities.

ETF  — Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) is an investment traded much like stock on the exchanges.  An ETF closely mimics an index, such as a stock or bond index.  (SPDR is an example that follows the S&P 500.)

Dividend — Corporate profits paid to shareholders of common and preferred stock.

Asset Allocation — Diversifying your investments across different assets (cash, stocks, and bonds) to protect against volatility.

Blue Chip — Large, well known companies that have performed well over a long period of time.

DOW — The Dow Jones Industrial Average known as the “DOW” is a compilation of 30 blue chip companies, that gives a snapshot of how the overall market is doing at a particular time.

How did you score?

0 to 3  financial flounder

4 to 7 fiscally efficient

8 – 10 financial wizard

imgresHere’s a link to a great article on planning and saving for college education.