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facts about women investing

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There is a lot of interesting information out there on the investment habits of women and African Americans. Both groups do not typically invest as much or as regularly as non-Black men. However, studies have found that when women do invest they tend to see higher returns than men do. Translation: women actually make pretty good investors.

Research has found that, among Black individuals, there is a positive correlation between having financial education and the likelihood to invest. Financial socialization (i.e. becoming comfortable with discussing money matters) also plays a significant role in whether or not Black individuals invest. At this point in your life, you can’t change whether or not your family spoke to you about money during your childhood. But you can always pursue more financial education. And that alone is one of the many ways women can invest in themselves more. That’s not even a monetary investment but more of a time commitment. An investment, after all, doesn’t have to mean money. It is anything you give today that will offer larger returns tomorrow. And, on that note, we spoke to Rianka R. Dorsainvil, CFP®, Co-CEO at 2050 Wealth Partners about ways women can invest in themselves more.

 

facts about women investing

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Build your money team

The first step Dorsainvil suggests women take to investing in themselves is building a money team. “What I mean by their money team is a certified financial planner, a tax account or a CPA, and an accountability partner. Each person plays a very strong role in ways that they can invest in themselves.” If you’re wondering why you shouldn’t just handle your own taxes and finances, Dorsainvil addresses that next.

facts about women investing

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Why can’t you DIY your finances?

“A CPA and financial planner help us free up time because you can free up your time to use it elsewhere. You have your thing that you’re an expert in, whether that’s a photographer, teacher, X type of field — you’re an expert in your field. You know it frontwards and backward. One of the ways we try to potentially save money is to DIY things like personal finance, but personal finance is more complex than we give it credit. So having an expert in money handle your money saves you time, so you can advance your life in other ways.”

facts about women investing

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What is an accountability partner?

I asked Dorsainvil to elaborate on the concept of an accountability partner. “An accountability partner is someone who you share your financial goals with,” she explained. “It’s someone who you trust. Whatever you share, they will keep confidential. It can be your spouse or just a friend. You are entrusting them to hold you accountable.”

facts about women investing

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Have a regular money date

A money date may sound like a lavish date night, but it’s quite the opposite. Dorsainvil advises women to have a money date with their accountability partner. “Share your goals at the beginning of the month. And at the end of the month, have another money date. Celebrate your wins. Your accountability partner is not just going to stand by. They’re going to check in on you a few times a month. They’ll ask ‘Is there something I can do to make sure you attain a goal?’ They actually have responsibilities. They aren’t just someone who is inactive.”

facts about women investing

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Value-based budgeting

Dorsainvil encourages women to put their money where their values are – a concept she calls value-based budgeting (VBB). “Taking a look at how we spend our dollars can actually free up money. For a full month, do nothing differently, then look at it [your spending habits]. The way you spend your money — does it align with your values?”

facts about women investing

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An example of VBB

I asked Dorsainvil for an example of VBB, to which she said “Let’s say you value your health, but you gained the quarantine 15. So if my values are strong physical and mental health, I want to make sure that my budget reflects that. So if at the end of the month I’m looking at my budget and I see a lot of fast food, to me, that’s not aligning with the values that I’m placing on my body and my mind right now.”

facts about women investing

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Moving towards VBB

“If you see your spending isn’t aligning with your values, you should make those adjustments.” With regards to the healthy living example, Dorsainvil says, “Instead [of fast food], I’ll do some meal prepping. Also if you’re looking at your budget, ask ‘Do these things bring me joy?’ and if some of the things you’re spending your money on don’t bring you joy, hopefully, that’s something you can remove from your budget.  Then you can find money to invest in yourself and make room for other items that bring you joy in your budget.”

facts about women investing

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Direct money towards your skills

Another reason Dorsainvil suggests seeing what you can remove from your budget is that you can use that found money to improve your marketable skills. “If your budget is already stretched but you want to enhance your skillset doing so will cost money. If you evaluate your budget from a value standpoint, there are ways you can remove some expenses so that you can find room to invest in yourself.” This can mean taking classes to advance your skillset or even taking classes about financial planning.

facts about women investing

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Paying for services frees up your time

It’s not an expense everyone can afford, but Dorsainvil says, “If you have it in your budget, paying for someone to deep clean your house.” Then you have that new free time to invest in advancing your skills. “Having your home cleaned will bring you joy.” Decluttering can also boost productivity, which can help you invest in yourself.

facts about women investing

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Resting is also important

Don’t feel that you have to use new free time to take a class or work on your skillset in some way. Taking some time to yourself is also a form of investment. “I can spend that time resting and napping. Even if you use that free time to take a break, we all need a mental recharge. Or a physical recharge,” says Dorsainvil.

facts about women investing

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Use free time for research

Freeing up time by letting someone else do something for you also gives you time to get prepared for important meetings and opportunities. “Time is our currency. You have to be protective of your time. By having someone else do something that you don’t necessarily have to do, you can buy back time. So when it’s time for that client meeting, that venture capitalist meeting…[you have time to] do your homework, know all the facts, know all the data points, practice…”

facts about women investing

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Self-promotion as an investment

Everyone knows about buying ad space – whether it’s a bench ad, a radio ad, or a billboard – to self-promote. But it doesn’t always have to be that complicated (or expensive). “There are so many free ways to promote yourself and your business especially if you’re a business owner. Right now is not the time to be shy about your greatness. Period,” says Dorsainvil.

facts about women investing

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Free self-promotion

“With social media around, you don’t need to take out an ad to promote yourself,” says Dorsainvil. “You can invest in yourself from a time perspective. Create a social media calendar where, three times a week, you’re going to state something specific about your business and redirect them [followers] back to your website. It’s not something you do every day. It’s 30 seconds of ‘This is who I am, this is what I do, this is the service that I offer.’ Depending on the type of field that you’re in, you can provide a client example.  Seek out those testimonials.”

facts about women investing

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A note on imposter syndrome

We’ve covered imposter syndrome before, and Dorsainvil is familiar with how it can hold women back. But she puts this positive light on it: “Everybody can feel some sort of imposter syndrome as you start to ascend in your career, and if that starts to happen, that means you’re on the right track. If you’re starting to feel like ‘Am I in the right room? Am I on the right investor call?’ then yes, honey, you are in the right place. It means you’re out of your comfort zone. It means you’re challenging yourself.”

facts about women investing

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Have your support team

“As you start to ascend in your career, your assertiveness is going to be looked at as a threat,” says Dorsainvil. “Especially if you’re a black woman. It’s unfortunate that there are some people out there who are threatened by a smart assertive woman – especially a smart assertive black woman…But we have to be there to cheer each other on. Be around people who say ‘Me fanning your flame does not make me smaller.’ We have to have women on our team who fan our flame when someone else is trying to blow it out.”

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