What Do Women Want?
By Dr. Judith Briles
As a Smart Money Woman, the things that you do to achieve
financial independence don't need to be complicated. When
it comes to money, thousands of women I have met over the
past year at workshops and conferences have shared their thoughts
and concerns about their money lives and futures. What they
do with their money is woven into the 10 key areas below.
See if any match your expectations, needs, and concerns.
Women are concerned about their security, and not just physical
but fiscal security. What is going on with Social Security
and Medicare? Can Congress be trusted to sort out the issues
and set a realistic plan in motion before a real crisis erupts?
Many of us are feeling a vertical squeeze today between financial
and emotional responsibilities for both kids (sons and daughters
don't move out as soon as they did in previous generations)
and parents (mothers and/or fathers who need or require financial
and emotional support).
Wherever monies have been placed for preservation and/or growth,
we want to know that a company or financial institution is
not going to go out of business.
When women invest their money, they want to be secure in
the notion that the individual with whom they work or the
place where they invest their monies will react or behave
in a stable manner.
Will my money be safe? Will it be accessible? Will I be able
to sleep at night?
As this is being written, we have two Presidential candidates
who have decidedly different views about Social Security,
a key factor in millions of women's financial lives in our
If Social Security converts to a form of private fund, will
it be solvent? Will my dollar today keep up with whatever
inflation there is tomorrow? Will my monies have real value
tomorrow, next year, when I retire?
Today's lifestyles come in MTV-style sound bytes. Everything
moves quickly, and the speed doesn't allow for complexity.
In reality, over the past two decades, women have been the
proponents for a more informal style of living, and they want
to manage their money in the same mode. No frills, just explanations
of the pros and cons in easy to understand terms. Just the
facts, thank you.
In the wake of the last decades incredible stock market
success, women who invested in the stock market discovered
that many of their decisions and strategies led to profits--in
some cases, huge profits.
Will the stock market yield the same type of returns in the
new millennium? No one has a crystal ball. The Smart Money
Woman wants to know what strategies fit her lifestyle as well
as her overall objectives.
Because of the statistics showing that women live longer
than men, their investing strategy must help them become self-reliant
in money matters. In assessing options, determine if a particular
investment approach is nothing more than a hot investment
fad or something that, if implemented today, will be viable
and profitable when it comes time to retire. Will yesteryear's
investment market be as successful as tomorrow's?
We feel responsible for the impact our monies have on the
larger world. Women want to know that our funds "do good"--for
our families, our environment, our communities, and ourselves.
We are bombarded on a daily basis with problems that affect
our families, our society, and the country, even the world.
Women must learn to filter out the problems that they have
no role in or control over. Instead, women need to be creative
and start working on the solution side of the ledger. Mistakes
will be made, but movement is what we need--not paralysis,
procrastination, or politics.
Men are known for jumping into things and attacking whatever
problem presents itself. Women are problem solvers too, though
our methods may be a little different. In the financial realm,
the first step is to gain money knowledge--which in turn leads
to our individual and collective achievement.
Whatever we do, we want to feel that there is a reason and
a rational for what we do with our money. Women look for satisfaction
in how we earn our monies, and we want to be satisfied that
weve been given multiple options in terms of money management.
When women are satisfied that theyve followed the right
strategies for themselves and their families, both professionally
and financially, they ought to cheer their success. Bravo
to the Smart Money Woman who knows that she is on track and
celebrates her success.
Above all, women want to feel that whatever strategies they
create and follow make sense for who they are and what they
believe in. It's not enough simply to have money. The real
question is "Am I comfortable with how I accumulate,
invest, and spend my money?"
Which of these 10 areas strikes a cord in you? What do you
Judith Briles, Ph.D. is a speaker, columnist,
and award-winning author of 20 books including 10
Smart Money Moves for Women and Smart
Money Moves for Kids. She can be reached at 303-627-9179
and e-mailed at DrJBriles@aol.com.
Her Web site is www.briles.com.