First of a two-part series about why you should care about your financial life and how to establish a healthy, fulfilling relationship with money.
By guest writer, Zoe Wolpert, Associate Investment Advisor.
THE INVESTING GAP
Let’s start off with why, as women, it’s particularly important for us to be active in our finances. We’ve all heard about the wage gap, unpaid labour gap and the tampon tax but one of the lesser known is the investing gap. The fact is, far fewer women invest. Why does that matter? Well due to the impact of inflation, money saved in your bank account will actually be worth less in the future. In order to compensate for this depreciation, your money has to be earning something. Add onto this that we live longer and may take breaks in our career and the outcome is that not investing can dramatically lower our lifetime income and accentuate the other gaps.
So why don’t more women invest? One big factors is that the finance industry is made by men for men. In fact, the most often heard words in investing are Alpha, Performance and Growth … sometimes I wonder what they are really talking about.
That being said, there is no better time for women and money. A surge of companies have emerged all geared toward helping us close these gaps. For example; Glassdoor, a salary comparison site that you can use when negotiating a raise or Ellevest an American, online and female-run investment firm that has an amazing intro to investing. It’s up to us to leverage these resources and learn how to use our money to our greatest benefit. Thankfully, this can be fun, fulfilling and definitely rewarding.
A SOLID FOUNDATION
Before building anything, including your wealth, you need a solid foundation. Think of your money as you would a romantic relationship. If you want it to last you don’t want the intense ups and downs of a tumultuous affair, you want the steady growth that comes with a partnership built on shared values. Developing a Healthy Money Mindset is a way for you to re-frame the way you think about money, so that the decisions you make are in line with what you care about.
So, we all already have a money mindset, it’s simply the first feelings that come to mind when you think about money. It can be good, bad, confused or just indifferent. These feelings are developed through our experience or parental influences and they directly impact the way we manage or don’t manage our money.
An example of a very common money mindset is the “I don’t have enough” mindset. Sound familiar? If this is your foundation you feel stressed about money or just avoid looking it all together. Is this helpful? No. When I’ve felt like this I was more likely to impulse buy and then feel guilty, there was no plan or sense of a big picture.
Another common mindset is “spend now, worry later”. Ever do this? This type is generally care free but for a limited time only. What happens when you want something bigger? Like a house or trip? Having this type of mindset leads to accumulating debt and burdening your future self instead of setting her up for success.
BUILDING A HEALTHY MONEY MINDSET
The idea is that a Healthy Money Mindset helps you set the tone throughout your financial life. There are 4 key elements.
- Acceptance: We need to forgive ourselves for past mistakes and make an effort to learn from them.
- Appreciation: Take care of what we have. This includes our money, our health, possessions and relationships.
- Advancement: We need to let our money work for us by putting it towards our long term goals and yes, this means investing.
- Application: Spend and save creatively by deciding what is worth our money and what is not.
All it takes to improve your mindset is a few mental adjustments and a bit of practice. Tune in next week for a step-by-step guide.
Zoe Wolpert, Associate Investment Advisor
Zoe is a wealth professional at Canada’s largest independent investment firm where her focus is goal oriented and tax efficient wealth management strategies for high net worth clients. Zoe has extensive experience working with accredited investors, private placements and impact investments. Applying her knowledge of personal wealth management and private funding, Zoe fosters initiatives to get women investing and help female founders raise capital. She has a great interest in the financial implications of gender bias in business and is an advocate for equal pay and equal opportunity. Zoe is currently working towards her Chartered Investment Manager (CIM) designation.
Contact Zoe at: 416.572.5421