Let me start this blog post today by giving you a heavy warning that by no means am I a financial guru, or am in a position to give any kind of advice when it comes to building or managing wealth. I would be a raging hypocrite if I sat here and boasted about all of my amazing habits when it comes to money.
And not like I need to prove my shortcomings, but to put things in perspective, your girl here is still paying her student loans from 14 years ago. If I could put a face plant emoticon here I would. I’m pretty sure I could make a good argument as to why I’m paying a student loan that is headed into the next decade of its existence if I had not been gainfully employed, but that is not the case. In fact I landed a pretty sweet gig just upon graduation. After having spent years as a single parent in University living off of about $1200 dollars a month, working part time at Eddie Bauer and La Senza, making a salary was foreign to me. I felt like I had made it in the world and stepped up and out from below the poverty line, never wanting to go back again.
It would a be a year later that I took my first vacation since I was a teenager and travelling on my parents dime. And it was glorious- in fact so glorious that I would continue to take vacations on a steady basis. I figured I was living in Northern Alberta at the time so it was more of a necessity in order to deal with dark and frigid winters. And once you begin subscribing to the “Treat Yo’Self Tribe“- one could recognize that this is a slippery slope into years of bad spending habits. It becomes far more slippery if you begin using money as a means to cope, escape, or a distraction from the challenges that get thrown your way. And don’t get me wrong there is something very pleasing about pressing the checkout icon and getting the notification that the shoes you have to have are on their way stat! And to be fully honest I have made an art of this and am aware of others who practice such habits-there are support groups available for this! And if you are a fly on the wall you may here some examples below that sound awfully familiar.
So your kids got sent home because there was a Covid Outbreak at their school and Mrs. Holland expects you to teach New Math to your kids, but you only remember the old school way- Logic says, pour yourself a glass of wine into the biggest glass and order a set of new ones that fit the whole bottle on Amazon Prime that night.
So your significant other cheats on you and you want revenge. So its only right that you and your girls book a Girls Trip to Vegas that then requires hot new bikini’s, new wedges, new trashy dresses and the sickest hotel suite available. Add Cabana’s, bottle service, and somewhere in between some pricey Vegas Strip Pizza Slices.
You have a brunch coming up celebrating nothing extraordinary but its been awhile since you saw your buds so you need to have an epic new outfit. And not only that but you know that one girl is going to show up in her Red Bottoms, whereby mid conversation she will point them out to everyone. And even though you were all mid-conversation about the how hot we all thought Steven Tyler was in our teens, she’ll look down at her nose at you and impose the new topic about her sugar daddy who bought her 3 others just like it. So in the event, you order the best replica Birkin Bag on the market and hope it gets its ass over to you from China in time. You may even practice out loud how awesome its going to be when you tell her that you can buy your own damn designer goods and that Sugar Daddy’s are not a commodity you have time for because your too busy killin’ it at life. And then to prove your point you order bottles of the most expensive champagne, because why not, your already 8 Bellini’s in, so its basically more cost effective at this stage.
So unless you are born wealthy, won the lottery, or can suck the life right out of Daddy Warbucks little Happy Gilmore, your going to have to learn to be far more disciplined. I’ve also learned that being day drunk tipsey and having a credit card is also not wise when mall hours are still open. Pretty sure you won’t find that tip-a-roo in any Harvard Business School textbook, but you can definitely find it here on Cece D’s school of hard knocks.
It wouldn’t be until maybe 5 years ago I began saving money for my retirement. I remember when I sat with the financial advisor you’d think the panic in his face would have been enough for me to give up my Starbucks for life. What had a lingering impact however was when he asked whether I could change my quality of lifestyle upon turning 65. He said if I were to cut my monthly salary in half would I be alright with that and would that be enough to get by on? And as I sat with that question and tried to consider what I would be willing to give up I came to the conclusion. What’s the whole point of working your whole life to wind up in retirement, finally free to do whatever you want and not have the coin to fund the last chapters of your life story. Its not an ending I’d settle for!
So let me ask you when have you ever bragged about the extraordinary performance of your stocks during a girls’ night out? And if you do, then sisters…why are you not schooling the rest of us! As a woman with a now adult daughter and a career, the mind-numbing typical topics about relationships, children, and new sustainable fashion treasures have me asleep by the second round of Patron Shots that I’m usually ordering in the hopes to ignite more indecent and provocative subjects.
I don’t know what happens during a guy’s night out. I feel like there is lots of meat eating and bravado nonsense talk, but I imagine men like to show off when their portfolios are booming. And I suspect this because I love talking about my portfolio now and find myself texting/calling the male members of my family who are all heavy into trading and have done well. Now let me say this, the only time they do talk much is when the scotch is flowing, never knowing what crazy absurdity will blurt out their mouths next. Things have changed though with the introduction of my own stock market and trading knowledge whereby we have at least 15-20 minute conversations now and they are actually 55.8% sober during these moments. Impressive I know.
So my question is: Are women uninterested in the stock market or are they just not talking about it?
I personally have begun bringing it up every chance I can get when I’m in a social conversation. Not only because its something I’m interested in, but I am also lacking in the area of newsworthy events to discuss. The success of their attentiveness on the subject has been about 1 in every 3 who will actually engage in further conversation. While most of my women friends are professionals, business owners, and many have also spent a large chunk of their life making babies or taking care of babies. And No Judgment, somebody needs to do this job as well, and do it real good. And there are still some other topics besides family, but where shall today’s moms fit in stock shopping? The days are fully scheduled with child care, work, trying to keep fit, and self-care.
So it should come as no surprise that only 26% of American women invest in the stock market. I struggled to find the Canadian Percentage- perhaps no one knows or has bothered to care?
According to an article by the Globe and Mail A report from Boston Consulting Group published earlier this year estimates that women now control 32 per cent of the world’s wealth, and they’re accumulating that wealth at a compound annual growth rate that’s 2 percentage points higher than that of men.
Additionally, within Canada alone, a 2019 report from CIBC World Markets Inc. finds that Canadian women control $2.2-trillion of personal finance assets directly, a figure that’s expected to grow by more than 70 per cent in the next decade. A big reason for that is that women now constitute 61.4 per cent of Canada’s labour force, according to a report from Catalyst published last month.
The author Donna Bristow-managing director of North American Wealth states when one considers Canadian women with full-time jobs make just 89 cents for each dollar earned by their male counterparts, with even wider pay gaps at senior roles. Add women’s longer lifespans and tend to peak earlier in their careers, and it’s clear that it’s even harder for women than men to save for a comfortable retirement.
In times of gender equality propagation, why the heck are we not taking care of our financial futures? Why are so many women ignoring the opportunity of building wealth?
Karolin Wanner touched on some legitimate points in her article: 4 Reasons Why Women Don’t Invest in the Stock Market
1.Lack of Knowledge and Confidence
2.Women Are Less Risk-Averse Than Men
3.Women Have Less Capital Available
4.Women Have Less Time Because They Are the Major Drivers for Household Duties and Child Care
So now that you are ready to put a power suit on and buy a briefcase in every colour, how do you begin now that you are obviously dressed for success?
Clever Girl Finance wrote Investing For Beginners: How To Get Started with A Little Money ,an informative and straightforward guide to get you going. Not only does it touch on the To Do’s but covers the mistakes to avoid and what emotional implications to plan for. I read, and continue to read many articles like this that use common language that don’t assume that you already know what an ETF is. I look up words and terms that I’m not familiar with then I seek more insight as its no secret, I’m a social worker, not a finance major. Don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed if you need the Dumbest book for Dummies. For gods sake, a large majority of us took home economics in high school. Who would have thought that Skip the Dishes would bless our lives 2 decades later, now wishing we had learned finance to fund our love for Quiznos and their soft cookies at midnight on a Tuesday/Thursday and sometimes Saturday night.
Reflecting back on how I decided to begin learning about the stock market and without being cognizant of the above reasons, I’ve become kinder towards myself with regards to the mistakes of the past. And since I began this new financial interest, I’ve approached it with an uncanny ferocious sense of commitment. I admittedly sink most of my “Funny Money” into heavily researched stocks that have consequently prevented me from spending money on anything that loses value the minute is leaves the store. I’ve also shared with friends that the more money I have tied up, that the likelihood of my famous impulsive buys and spiraling Amazon Sprees is now a thing of the past.
So the next time Louboutin Linda flaunts her shoes, I’m ready to ask her about what percentage of returns those broken in heels gets her. It will go over her head and most likely no one will laugh or get it. Regardless, there’s an unmistakeable boost of confidence that comes along when taking control of your future. Move over Leonardo, here comes Cece D- The Cougar of Wall Street