March is National Women’s History Month. So, in honor of that, I’d love to tell you about some female financial pioneers… In addition to mentioning that we have several female financial advisors on our team!
The wife of President John Adams, Abigail Adams, is credited with being the first female investor. Abigail managed her household’s finances while John Adams served in the Revolutionary War, as many women did. John encouraged Abigail to invest some money in farmland. She ignored that advice, and instead invested the money in government bonds. Good thing, because that investment earned them 18% interest every year. Way to get paid, Abigail!
Henrietta “Hetty” Green was commonly referred to as “the Witch of Wall Street.” She lived from 1834-1916 and her family made their money in whaling. She, too, took the Abigail Adams way of investing, and I truly love this part—sold the beautiful clothes that her dad gave her to attract a wealthy suitor, and instead put the money into government bonds. She ended up with a fortune worth more than $2 billion in today’s dollars.
Muriel Siebert was the first woman to have a seat on the New York Stock Exchange in 1967. She is often referred to as “the First Woman of Finance.” One thing I like about her is that she donated millions of dollars to help other women start businesses. Women have different considerations than men when it comes to retirement and finances in general. Why?
- Women have a longer life span than men = money must last longer
- Women are more likely to take a few years out of the workforce to care for children or parents
- The gender pay gap (ugh!) means women still make less, on average, than men
- Nearly five in ten marriages end in divorce = may have to depend on yourself, not your spouse
- Women’s social security payments are lower than men’s because of lower wages and being out of the workforce
We women tend to be busy caring for others, and often, neglect ourselves. I’m sure most women are tired of hearing this, because I sure am, but we need to put on our own oxygen mask first, THEN help others with theirs. So, I wanted to give women some simple tips to help them with their specific financial needs.
- Start savings as much as you can and do it consistently
- Educate yourself on basic financial principles
- Figure out your financial goals and create a plan
- Be a part of your household’s finances. Even if you don’t pay the bills – know what you pay and where it goes and how to find out more information
- Protect your assets – get your estate documents in order, name your beneficiaries, create powers of attorney for healthcare, maintain insurance, etc.
- Do not just pull out of the markets when you are scared
- Do not help your kids (with college, with letting them live with you forever) at the cost of your retirement savings
- Hire professional help if you need it
It’s estimated that women will control much of the $30 trillion** in assets that Baby Boomers’ will possess by 2030. Let’s show them that we are up for the challenge!
Any opinions are those of Jill Carr and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete.