Becoming an Investment Savvy Woman

 

(The following information is provided solely to educate the Muslim community about investing and financial planning. It is hoped that the ummah will benefit from this effort through greater financial empowerment, enabling the community to live in security and dignity and fulfill their religious and moral obligations towards charitable activities)

Americans are more knowledgeable about investments today than ever before due to their increasing level of participation in the stock market through stocks, mutual funds and retirement accounts. Changes in the roles women play in the work force and family, combined with demographic shifts, have required that women become particularly investment savvy.

A generation ago, many women left most financial decisions tot heir husbands or other male family members. However, women’s increasing participation in the work force, their increasing earning power have changing roles in family structures have created a desire and provided opportunities to participate in making investment decisions. Today, many women are their families’ sole planners for retirement and other future goals.

Even for those married women who are not currently the family’s primary investment decision-makers, investing is a necessary skill. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average woman outlives her husband by seven years. While simply living longer than m en is reason enough for women to be a savvy at investing, divorce may also leave a woman suddenly in charge of the family’s finances. The likelihood of spending at least a few years in charge of finances has spurred many women to educate themselves about investments.

 

BEING PREPARED MEANS BEING INFORMED

Being informed about your financial situation and investments will help you prepare for any circumstances you may face now or in the future. Whether you are single or married, there are three easy steps to becoming more informed about and involved in your financial life.

The first step is developing a statement of net worth. By adding up all your assets (stocks, bonds, insurance, pensions, and collectibles) and liabilities (mortgages, loans, other debts) you get a very clear picture of where you stand financially. The second step is to identify goals, or financial milestones you can see in the future. If you have children, it could be paying for college. It could be a vacation home. Or, it could be building retirement savings. Whatever your goals, you need to assess what they are going to cost so you know the amount of money required.

The third step is developing and implementing an investment strategy to reach your objectives. Often, this is done with an investment advisor who can help you identify the vehicles that will help you reach your goals while remaining within your personal tolerance for risk. An important part of implementing this strategy is monitoring progress toward your goals. You should stay in touch with your advisor and ask questions. Also, read publications on investing and follow trends so you can make adjustments to your strategy along the way.

Women are far more knowledgeable and involved in investing for their financial futures than ever before. However, even expert female investors face unique challenges in managing their financial futures. By recognizing and addressing these challenges, they and their families will become more financially secure.

(Saghir A. Aslam only explains strategies and formulas that he has been using. He is merely providing information, and NO ADVICE is given. Mr. Aslam does not endorse or recommend any broker, brokerage firm, or any investment at all, or does he suggest that anyone will earn a profit when or if they purchase stocks, bonds or any other investments. All stocks or investment vehicles mentioned are for illustrative purposes only. Mr. Aslam is not an attorney, accountant, real estate broker, stockbroker, investment advisor, or certified financial planner. Mr. Aslam does not have anything for sale.)

 


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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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