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Do you have a seat at the financial decision-making table?

When I sat down to write this article, I wondered how many women reading it would realise that they don’t actually have a seat at the financial decision-making table. Perhaps it has just happened that way. Perhaps it was by design.

The fact is that statistically most women will outlive their male counterparts by 5 to 7 years. This means that in the more “traditional” family structure, women will almost most certainly be running the family’s finances in the future. As such, it is absolutely imperative that women are invited to the family financial decision-making table, now… But not only invited but included in the decisions that are going to affect them both now and later, when they take over those decisions.

Perhaps the situation is more along the lines of yes, you do have a seat at this table. But you feel like an imposter, and you are constantly wondering whether you are making the right choices. Because for years, you have just felt that the whole financial services industry is reserved for people who are, well… just not you! So, what to do? Statistically, as women we lack confidence in our financial decisions, regardless of our financial acumen, leaving us feeling anxious about our ability to execute these decisions.

So, we get nervous and take all our money and place it in a savings account. It feels safe because the banks always take care of you… right? Do they?

No, is the answer to that question. Making a move like this will simply erode your wealth as the investment won’t even keep up with the cost of living (aka inflation).

Money is the number one cause of stress for women and yet we aren’t doing anything to take control of our wealth or understand how it works. We keep deferring this power thinking that we probably just don’t understand it.

Daily I meet women who have inherited wealth and simply don’t know what to do with it. Or women who are just going about their day, taking care of their kids and trying to save but not really knowing whether they are on the right track. And then some women have chosen to leave a toxic relationship that they should no longer be in, and I applaud you for that because it isn’t easy. But all these women quite often feel like they have suddenly been left out in the open to fend for themselves. Not sure where to turn and how to go about it all.

It is time to fix this and change the way the financial services industry thinks about women. Because at the end of the day, you define you, not your surname, not whom your family would like you to be. No, you define who you are and the life that you would like to live. Through the goals, aspirations, and objectives that you as an individual have. Your finances need to echo this and allow you the freedom to achieve these ideals.

Find an advisor: a wealth advisor, a friend, or a family member. Someone who understands you, the woman you are, and the path that you are currently on. Who speaks to you and not at you. Who explains the basic steps of investing what it is and how to achieve the ideal which is to live off the interest earned from your investment.

The whole industry and all the structures put together at the financial decision-making table are essentially trying to achieve.

That’s it. That’s investing. No big secret, just plain and simple logic. There are many ways to do this and no they aren’t that complicated. But it’s the reason you can’t just leave your money in a savings account.

So, get invested, in your education and your wealth creation, because having money and being in control of your own money gives you choices, like investing in a business, buying a house, having children, or leaving a relationship you should no longer be in. It gives you not only your place at the financial decision-making table, but a voice and the confidence to chart your life the way you want.

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