“Why can’t a woman be more like a man?” asks Henry Higgins in “My Fair Lady.”
Women and men have much in common, but when it comes to money, there are some significant differences.
Our September 20 annual women’s money panel, sponsored by the South Florida Financial Planning Association, explored some of the ways that men and women don’t always see eye to eye when it comes to saving, investing and spending.
Our panelists included Morningstar behavioral economist and HelloWallet contributor Dr. Sarah Newcomb, author of the new book “Loaded: Money, Psychology, and How to Get Ahead without Leaving Your Values Behind“; Amy Botwinick, published author, transitions expert and certified life/divorce coach; and Jay Feldman, executive coach to leading financial advisors and female entrepreneurs. I was honored to serve as moderator.
Women and money: sometimes an uneasy relationship
Here’s what may be a surprising fact: women have a lot of money and are on track to have a lot more. Women will inherit 70% of the money that gets passed down over the next two generations, and in many households, women are out-earning their partners as the primary breadwinner. Women now control over half the investable assets in the country.
Yet, surveys reveal that women are significantly less confident in handling their finances than men. Women-owned and operated firms like ours are still a rarity, and it’s challenging to attract enough women into the investment and financial planning profession.
“Behind every financial decision there’s a story”
Sarah Newcomb’s new book is all about the money stories in your head, and how some women can sabotage their own financial future with destructive and unproductive behaviors. By understanding your values and past experiences with money, you can stop undermining your goals and use money as a productive tool to get to your desired destination.
Amy Botwinick’s speciality is working with married women as they contemplate divorce and wrestle with the “should I stay or should I go?” decision. She talked about how a good financial advisor can help educate women about their financial choices, so they can make confident decisions knowing all the facts and the consequences of each.
Jay Feldman, a successful financial advisor before he turned to coaching, discussed how women have innate leadership strengths that often make them better at understanding people and solving problems. While it’s hard to leave your comfort zone and make the changes you hope will let you reach your ultimate life goals, women can do just that by making incremental moves that gradually get them closer to the life they want to live.