When I tell people that I teach women about personal finance, investing and wealth the first thing I often here is “oh, like Suze Orman!” “Nope,” I say, “not like Suze Orman at all.”
The truth is that when I worked in the investment management industry, I learned to teach just like her.
What I am coming to believe is that the model of investing that we’ve been taught and that is available in any number of books on the topic is a very masculine take on the subject. We’ve all been taught to pay ourselves first, to establish emergency funds for the rainy day that’s right around the corner, to tighten our belts, to clip coupons and to chase the stocks, bonds and mutual funds with the highest returns so that some day, in some uncertain future, we can put our feet in the sand in Florida. (more…)
In my days in the investment management business, I was taught some “incontrovertible” truths. I was taught that given enough time, markets will always go up. I was taught that proper diversification was far more important than stock selection. I was taught that all you needed to do was buy low and sell high to do well with your investments.
I believed all of it.
I believed that companies numbers were indeed their numbers and that banks would use our deposits in ways that benefited small business and community.
The thing is, while there are a great investment opportunities for women – I believe now, after much reflection that we need to broaden our definition of Investing. Because the system described above is clearly a broken system.
Markets will go up over time, except when they don’t.