Women investing

January 3, 2012


A few weeks ago, one of my best friends was featured in the Global and Mail. She was talking about how she has created a budget and has made concessions to invest online with her own money. I didn’t realize that this was something that needed national attention, but apparently it does.

Women, everywhere, are more hesitant than our male counterparts to jump into the online investing pool. I understand this. Women tend to be slightly more cautious with their finances, and the women that I know don’t trust their judgement enough to make retirement decisions by themselves. Obviously I am not speaking about every woman out there. Bloggers such as LaTisha and YoungandThirfty are examples of financially intelligent female investors, unfortunately, they are the exception, not the norm.

According to a summer survey by TD Waterhouse 66% of its women investors have signed up in the last 5 years and about half plan to increase their portfolio soon. Thats the good news. The bad news is that the percentage of men is still significantly higher. Age is also a key indicator. Women in their 2o’s just don’t pay attention to it -unless they are Personal Finance bloggers.

So it breaks down like this- I am a woman in my 20’s with tons of student debt. I figure out that I should start investing, but I had no idea in what or where to even start. The beauty of the internet is that you can find a lot of great information that allows you to be informed before you start making your financial decisions. There are simulated classes, websites, tutorials, forums, personal finance blogs– literally tens of thousands of sites where you can get information.


A few months ago, after much research into TD Asset Management services, and visiting my local branch,  I started an e-series account and transfered most of the funds into Index funds. The experience was great, even though the market is not doing that well. I chose to invest in E-Series and Index Funds over actively managed mutual funds, mainly because of the lower MERs and the fact that it made my life a bit easier. I also opened up a Questrade account and started buying stocks individually. Not a huge sum of money, but enough to allow me to get my feet wet. You know what? It wasn’t as hard or as complicated as I expected it to be. And, because I am research nerd, I have Google Finance open on my computer all the time. As you might know, there is a debate going on about investing in Mutual funds or ETFs or Index funds etc.I don’t know if one particular type is right for you as typically, the choice between ETFs and index funds will come down to the most important issues: management fees, shareholder transaction costs, taxation, shareholder involvement, and other qualitative differences.But everyone owes it to themselves to be fully informed about where your money is going and who is handling it.

I feel like women and investing is a natural fit as it involves patience, and research. As such that I have started promoting online investing to most of my friends. I believe that investing is a conquerable goal and should be treated as such, but be sure you know where you stand before jumping in head first.



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  • Shaun @ Money Cactus January 3, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    Perfect opportunity to experiment and hopefully make money in the process. As you said there is a ton of information available and the only way to learn is to do. Good luck, I’m looking forward to your updates.

  • Hack - Smart Money Hacks January 3, 2012 at 2:41 pm

    I have no doubt that you’ll find the best investment for you. A lot of people don’t even get to the point where you have, so props to you for wanting to research more about stocks and investing. I’d stick with index funds (like the investments at Betterment.

  • Miss T @ Prairie Eco-Thrifter January 3, 2012 at 6:09 pm

    I think you have done great by doing the research you need so you know where to start. This is really important. Many people just go about things blind which really hurts them in the end. Knowledge is power so you are now empowered.

    We us TD e-series brokerage too and we really like it. Plus when we get stuck we just call them and they help us 24/7. Awesome customer service.

    • Marissa January 3, 2012 at 7:26 pm

      Thanks, Miss T! I really like the E-series funds as well.

  • Niki January 3, 2012 at 9:29 pm

    I am still in the research phase. I am also in the stop being a fraidy cat phase.

    I hope you will be sharing more about this. It’s the one facet of finance that I find intimidating.

  • Sustainable PF January 4, 2012 at 3:26 am

    I hardly think myself even “average” at investing. I do want Mrs. SPF to get more involved and I will be sending her the link here to read this interesting insight. Thanks!

    • Marissa January 4, 2012 at 3:55 am

      Glad to hear it. I am far from even good, but its frustrating to see how women still shy away from the subject.

  • YFS January 4, 2012 at 11:50 pm

    Hmmm… interesting Mrs YFS has not clue about investing but knew enough to invest in her 401k prior to our marriage. I think women are more patient than men and can suffer through market losses better without moving their money. Indexing, with a buy and hold strategy works really well if you don’t touch your money and keep dollar cost averaging.

  • John@MoneyPrinciple January 5, 2012 at 1:57 am

    Some itneresting points although some women are real risk-takers and some men risk averse. I am not sure it is gender specific whatever TDW sauys – it may be that women have less disposable income or they chose to spend on other areas.

    There is a lot of interest in investing these days, which is probably because property has fallen through. We will see whether proerty will return in some form but although we are no longer 20-somethtngs, we do need to generate passive income so are keeping our options open.

  • Mik Chamberlain June 17, 2012 at 12:07 am

    Let me ask a few questions for you recent investing?
    What are your investing goals?
    What is the correct asset allocation for your goals?
    What is your expected rate of return needed to reach your goals?
    What amount of risk is in your portfolio?
    Is your portfolio tax efficient?
    Do you have an Investment Policy Statement?
    What benchmark are you using to know if you are doing well compare to the market?
    Can you list 5 of the Generally Accepted Investment principles?

    Using low cost mutual funds vs ETF’s is way down on the list of importance when investing.
    Opening an account and picking where to put your money without an understanding of you, the portfolio design and the implementation is similar to walking into a casino and deciding where to place your bets.

    Good Luck!

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