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Are women more reluctant to make the most out of their Wealth? – a guest blog post by WiseWomen

We were recently posed the question:  Why are Women more reluctant to make the most out of their Wealth?  Our response comprised another question:  Are we?  In our experience, once we have acquired the knowledge (namely, an understanding of investment principles and the vast scope of investment options available) women are excellent investors: intuitive and with a healthy skepticism that serves us well when others are jumping in to invest in the Next Big Thing.  We need to reframe women’s natural instinct to be more risk averse into a positive light and, with growing financial literacy, encourage women to become more confident with taking appropriately rewarded risks.

Yes its true, women have more difficulty accumulating wealth as a result of our different life paths from men.  No denying we often take time off to have children, and then spend the next 2 decades balancing mothering with our careers or perhaps making a choice to not return to paid work.   This has long-term consequences for accumulation of retirement savings and our ability to regain earning capacity that existed prior to having children.  Hence our support for Elizabeth Broderick’s second priority area in the Gender Equality Blueprint 2010 – Ensuring Women’s Lifetime Economic Security.  

But, it’s important we front up to our responsibility in this area too.  We can’t rely on regulation to solve all the issues of inequality and less than adequate retirement outcomes for women.  Vital is our proactive acquisition of knowledge, equal participation with our partners in mapping our family’s financial path, and key to all of it (and the seed of wealth creation): awareness of our spending habits.  Spending Less Than You Earn over a lifetime is the core and something completely within our control.  No regulation required, just discipline.

Abdicating responsibility in this area can have costs that sometimes do not crystallize in women’s minds until unforeseen and perhaps unfortunate events occur.  We can become confident to cope with whatever life has in store, by being adequately acquainted with our personal financial situation and investment principles.   We don’t expect someone to monitor our health issues – so why would we with our finances?

Another emotional aspect surrounding wealth creation for women is, generally, we don’t accumulate money for money’s sake – we do it for what it gives us – economic choice and flexibility.   Unless we have a sound understanding of what we want to achieve out of life, i.e. define our life goals, the financial path we need to take is very nebulous indeed.

About the Author | wisewomen is an independent organisation helping women to gain confidence and know-how with their finances, through education and one-on-one coaching. See


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