Why Women Get An F In Their Finances

A young woman, Michelle that I met shared this, “A teacher in middle school told me I would never be good at math. I decided to go into a profession that would not require a lot of math and became a nurse.” Words are powerful. Far too many of my conversations are with women who have bought into this myth that finance and crunching numbers are too complicated. It becomes their excuse to either not invest or delegate the responsibility to someone else. Listen up ladies, “If you don’t do numbers, numbers will do you in” I was not surprised when I saw the findings from a Retirement Income Planning Quiz in which 72 percent of older women flunked basic retirement income financial literacy concepts. One of the most surprising findings was that women who used a financial advisor had the worst financial literacy.

“Listen up ladies, “If you don’t do numbers, numbers will do you in.”

No judgment here ladies. I attended a Catholic high school and did not take any high-level math courses until I got to college.The “girls” in my generation were put into business administration which was simply a glorified secretarial track. I learned how to type and do shorthand while my male counterparts took college prep courses. I failed miserably in my first algebra course at college and believe that the reason I dropped out of college initially was that I felt I didn’t measure up. However, what I learned when I started my career in the investment industry was that I had a real knack for understanding price earnings ratios, income statements, and balance sheets. I also developed the unique ability to demystify investment concepts and make it easy for anyone to understand. In other words, “learning how to invest is not that serious.”

Like me, Michelle knew more about numbers than she gave herself credit for. Michelle was a nurse oncologist whose responsibilities included administering medications and chemotherapy in precise amounts. A few years after meeting her, what I can say now is she is no longer afraid because she knows how to invest. She is contributing the maximum to her 401K and has a diversified portfolio of stocks, mutual funds. “I have learned how to equip myself with everything I need to know before making financial decisions, and I can now teach others how to do the same.” Michelle is no longer, “comfortable in her fear.”

Benjamin Franklin said it best, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”

Deborah Owens is America’s Wealth Coach and CEO of WealthyU.WealthyU incorporates a training framework of seven wealthy habits,™ that increase the financial capability of employees. To inquire about our programs or to schedule a session for your organization click here.