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Welcome to another week of discussing matters pertaining to personal finance and wealth management.

As we are aware, International Women’s day is always celebrated in the month of March. Incidentally, today – March 8 is International Women’s Day 2021 and this year’s theme accordingly is #ChooseToChallenge.

This week, in celebration of this day, we will be discussing how women can challenge through financial independence.

Since proper management of one’s finances (investing inclusive) is critical to financial independence, it is critical that women are confident in this regard.

You will agree with me that investing means different things to different people (women inclusive) especially when they have differing circumstances. For instance, a single woman at the peak of her career will invest differently from a single parent or even a married woman who happens to be the breadwinner.

Our discussions will look at how women in the following groups can invest:

  • Young and single
  • Married and working
  • Single parents

Young and single women: For women in this category the earlier they start saving and investing, the better. Women in this category especially those in their 20s, can afford to take more risk with their investment options. Older single women may find that their investing activities will become less risky over time. As mentioned severally, it is advisable that your investing cover short to long term goals.

The main advantage here is the freedom to save or invest more as it is expected that the responsibilities will be less and as such is logical that one optimises the opportunity to build up assets.  

Recommended investment vehicles here cover equities (shares) and the regular fixed income instruments – savings bonds, treasury bills, government bonds and commercial papers.  

Real estate is recommended for single women (in their 30s and 40s) provided they can afford it. Some older single women tend to invest also in jewellery as an alternative store of wealth.

Married and working women: many women in this category tend to wear several hats – wife, mother, employee or business owner and as such may either have outsourced financial decision making to their spouses or 3rd parties. In some cases, it even may be something that has taken the back seat in the scheme of things.

For those in this category, investing vehicles have to be tied to specific goals – children’s education, real estate acquisition or even capital for business amongst others. The major tasks here are to build up assets, track and monitor them.

For those over 40 in this category, portfolio diversification across various asset classes must be prioritised to minimise risk exposure. It is also encouraged that attention is paid to proper documentation and record keeping of one’s assets and financial dealings.

Single parents: women in this category (divorcees and widows inclusive), tend to be solely responsible for themselves and their children.

In some cases, there may be help in the form of alimony payments or monies left behind by deceased spouse. The paramount concerns here are the children’s upkeep and education, but as the women grow older, retirement planning must be a key consideration.

The key focus for such women when investing, is to ensure that there is a safety net to fall back on. Fixed income securities, shares of blue chip and dividend companies and commercial real estate are majorly recommended.

For women, irrespective of the category one belongs to, the key consideration should be safeguarding one’s future regardless of the responsibilities we have.  This is because women are natural nurturers who tend to put their needs last.

Whilst this is commendable, investing (when properly done) ensures that we are able to take good care of ourselves when the need arises. Here’s wishing us all a successful journey as we choose to raise up to the challenge!

As the COVID vaccines start arriving the country, kindly ensure you do the needful and book an appointment to receive yours. In the meantime, keep wearing your masks, washing your hands and continue to practise social distancing.

Here’s wishing my female readers, Happy International Women’s Day celebrations. Do have a wonderful week!

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