Studies show women make higher returns on their financial investments than men.
Why, then, do so many take a hands-off approach to money? Authorised Financial Advisor Shiree Hembrow has dedicated 25 years to helping women plan for and reap the rewards of well-managed finances.
The phwealth adviser says women have a different perspective on money than men.
“Since I have been working in the financial planning world, I have noticed that few women I meet are fully engaged in their finances or planning for their lives after work, mostly leaving it up to their husbands, and sometimes to no one,” she says.
Taking an active role in managing it empowers women to protect themselves for their financial future.
Statistically, women live longer than men and earn less. Statistics New Zealand data shows the gender pay gap was more than nine percent in the June 2019 quarter.
“This means women will require more money saved for what is likely to be a longer retirement,” she says. “For women over 50, they need reassurance they will not run out of money or be a burden on their families. This is extremely important for widowed or divorced women.”
Shiree says a written personal financial plan from an independent third-party adviser allows women, both single and coupled, to map out what they want to achieve in their life and learn how money works so they can take an equal and active role in decisions around shared and independent finances.
“I learned in my life that a man is not a financial plan,” says Shiree. “I married at 42, which for my husband was a second marriage. At the time I was an independent person with my own career and enjoying looking after myself.
“Bringing two independent people together in a new relationship is a miracle in itself, but for me, putting our financial lives together was more than just checking the bank balance every so often. Some of our dreams are separate.
“We will not do everything together all the time. Knowing what each of us wants without having to do everything together is important to me as a woman. I am a woman who needs to know where I am going and where we are going as a couple too.”
Shiree says the benefits of a financial plan applies regardless of the size of your salary or assets – and evidence shows once women are empowered around money they become formidable financial forces.
Why women make good investors:
A 2017 Fidelity study found women earn higher returns on their investments and save more than men by about 0.4% per annum.
Women take a more hands-off approach, allowing investments to gain a better long-term return. There is a book called Warren Buffet Invests Like A Girl and Why You Should Too.
Women are more likely to evaluate success by asking the question, “Am I on track to achieving my goals?” whereas men can be reactive and try to “win” with frequent changes.