According to the Money FIT Women Study by Fidelity, “75% [of women] want to learn more about money and investing.” Women know this is an incredibly important topic, and they are eager to know more about it. The study also showed that women are comfortable with day-to-day financial tasks like budgeting or paying bills but are unsure when it comes to long-term planning, like picking investments.
I interviewed six female CPAs and asked them to share what they want their female clients to know about investing. I’ve included their responses below.
Don’t Be Intimidated
Over the years, I’ve heard so many stories about women being ignored in a meeting with an adviser or being worried the questions they want to ask sound silly. Marianela Collado, a CPA and CFP, wants women to know that “investing is not as intimidating as it seems.”
She urges women to “pick the right adviser” and to “develop a relationship with someone you can trust and relate to.” Collado says that the right adviser will be someone who takes the time to teach you and educate you.
Remember, you should never feel awkward or intimated when you’re speaking to an adviser about your financial future. The right person will be interested in your future and eager to help you learn about investing so you can build wealth and achieve your financial goals.
Start Saving as Early as Possible
Heather Christian, a CPA who works as a business coach, wants women to “start saving early – right with your first job.” She understands that money can be tight when you first start working but still encourages women to invest “even if you feel you are stretching it.” The reason, she says, is to “have compound interest on your side over time.”
Cathy Derus, a CPA, agrees. She says she tells women to “not be afraid of investing” and that “every little bit helps, thanks to the beauty of compound interest.”
In sum, even if it’s hard or you’re on a tight budget, try to start investing when you’re young.
Learn About the Different Types of Retirement Accounts
Imelda Moreno-Acosta, a CPA based in El Paso, Texas, wants women to know there are a diverse array of retirement options and retirement accounts. She said, “We have to be smart about investing and not just assume it’s limited to one type of retirement account.”
She went on to urge women to “explore and research options so that you are not limited to a basic IRA.” If you’re a business owner, know that there are other vehicles to increase your annual contributions.
Make Sure You Know About Fees
Kim E. Forrester, CPA/CGMA, cautions, “There are fees that are charged for purchasing and selling a security, and there may also be fees for managing the security.”
As you do your research, learn about the market, and even hire a financial adviser. Forrester suggests you first research fees: “The projected amount of the return, less the fees should be included in your research in order to determine if it is a worthwhile investment.”
Invest in What You Know
It can be tempting to follow a hot stock tip that your co-worker tells you about or to invest in a friend’s company because they promise a huge return. However, Rhonda Culver, CPA, encourages women to “invest only in industries, businesses and stocks that you understand. If you don’t understand them, move on. There is probably a good reason.”
Culver also reminds women to invest in themselves. She explains, “Typically, the bulk of an individual’s residual income will come from their craft.”
Ultimately, these six female CPAs show that women can be highly successful in the world of finance. So, even if you’re unsure or intimidated by financial lingo, take the steps today to learn how to invest in your future. You definitely won’t regret it.
If so, subscribe now for tips on home, money, and life delivered straight to your inbox.