In order to achieve financial and investment success it is important for all investors to have a financial plan which lays out a path toward reaching specific goals. While all investors should develop a system which helps them organize, analyze, and plan their finances, the comprehensive financial planning needs of women can be unique. For example:
- Women are less likely to be the financial decision maker in the household
- Women typically have shorter careers and earn less over a lifetime than men
- Women live longer than men
- Women often suffer financial losses after a divorce
For all of these reasons it is essential for women to take the financial reins sooner rather than later. Taking control of your finances is really about two things — education and engagement. You don’t have to become an expert, but having general investment and financial knowledge will help you make sound decisions as you become more engaged in the process and can help guide you when selecting an advisor. Being financially engaged is about things like saving a portion of your income for retirement, spending less than you earn, being involved in the management of family finances, building an emergency fund, and working with a financial planner to develop a roadmap for the future. It’s never too late, or too soon, to get engaged and develop a financial plan.
When selecting an advisor it is important to put significant time and effort into finding one that you are comfortable with and has the skills necessary to meet your financial needs. As you interview potential advisors be sure to ask about qualifications (CFA Charterholder? Certified Financial Planner?), experience (years in the industry?), pay structure (salary or commission?), and fees (asset-based or transaction-based?). Look for highly qualified, experienced advisors whose interests are aligned with yours.