What Do Women Want?

What Do Women Want?

By Dr. Judith Briles

As a Smart Money Woman, the things that you do to achieve financial independence don’t need to be complicated. When it comes to money, thousands of women I have met over the past year at workshops and conferences have shared their thoughts and concerns about their money lives and futures. What they do with their money is woven into the 10 key areas below. See if any match your expectations, needs, and concerns.

Women are concerned about their security, and not just physical but fiscal security. What is going on with Social Security and Medicare? Can Congress be trusted to sort out the issues and set a realistic plan in motion before a real crisis erupts?

Many of us are feeling a vertical squeeze today between financial and emotional responsibilities for both kids (sons and daughters don’t move out as soon as they did in previous generations) and parents (mothers and/or fathers who need or require financial and emotional support).

Wherever monies have been placed for preservation and/or growth, we want to know that a company or financial institution is not going to go out of business.

When women invest their money, they want to be secure in the notion that the individual with whom they work or the place where they invest their monies will react or behave in a stable manner.

Will my money be safe? Will it be accessible? Will I be able to sleep at night?

As this is being written, we have two Presidential candidates who have decidedly different views about Social Security, a key factor in millions of women’s financial lives in our country.

If Social Security converts to a form of private fund, will it be solvent? Will my dollar today keep up with whatever inflation there is tomorrow? Will my monies have real value tomorrow, next year, when I retire?

Today’s lifestyles come in MTV-style sound bytes. Everything moves quickly, and the speed doesn’t allow for complexity. In reality, over the past two decades, women have been the proponents for a more informal style of living, and they want to manage their money in the same mode. No frills, just explanations of the pros and cons in easy to understand terms. Just the facts, thank you.

In the wake of the last decade`s incredible stock market success, women who invested in the stock market discovered that many of their decisions and strategies led to profits–in some cases, huge profits.

Will the stock market yield the same type of returns in the new millennium? No one has a crystal ball. The Smart Money Woman wants to know what strategies fit her lifestyle as well as her overall objectives.

Because of the statistics showing that women live longer than men, their investing strategy must help them become self-reliant in money matters. In assessing options, determine if a particular investment approach is nothing more than a hot investment fad or something that, if implemented today, will be viable and profitable when it comes time to retire. Will yesteryear’s investment market be as successful as tomorrow’s?

We feel responsible for the impact our monies have on the larger world. Women want to know that our funds “do good”–for our families, our environment, our communities, and ourselves.

We are bombarded on a daily basis with problems that affect our families, our society, and the country, even the world.

Women must learn to filter out the problems that they have no role in or control over. Instead, women need to be creative and start working on the solution side of the ledger. Mistakes will be made, but movement is what we need–not paralysis, procrastination, or politics.

Men are known for jumping into things and attacking whatever problem presents itself. Women are problem solvers too, though our methods may be a little different. In the financial realm, the first step is to gain money knowledge–which in turn leads to our individual and collective achievement.

Whatever we do, we want to feel that there is a reason and a rational for what we do with our money. Women look for satisfaction in how we earn our monies, and we want to be satisfied that we`ve been given multiple options in terms of money management.

When women are satisfied that they`ve followed the right strategies for themselves and their families, both professionally and financially, they ought to cheer their success. Bravo to the Smart Money Woman who knows that she is on track and celebrates her success.

Above all, women want to feel that whatever strategies they create and follow make sense for who they are and what they believe in. It’s not enough simply to have money. The real question is “Am I comfortable with how I accumulate, invest, and spend my money?”

Which of these 10 areas strikes a cord in you? What do you want?