These day, if you want to get to the top of your career, mere hard work will not do; you need to plan well & strategize.
For busy young women professionals or those who do not know much about financial management and planning, hiring a financial advisor or representative might seem like a good option. However, some financial advice may not turn out the same way for different people.
That is why it might be a good idea to listen to some custom financial advice made specifically for women.
The challenges women to face
We have gone a long way compared to the past when it comes to equal rights and opportunities for both sexes, but that does not mean that there are challenges that are exclusive to each group. Considering this, it is almost common-sensical to think that the advice given to men and women should not always be the same.
This is not to be exclusivist, sexist, or discriminative; rather, it aims at giving better financial advice to each sex by addressing their issues and concerns that may not be faced by other groups/the opposite sex.
Women, being the marginalized group in the past, certainly face more issues than men do, especially in the business world which is still largely male-dominated. It would be tedious to list each and every problem, but the list would include the tendency of lower income (even for the same job), more leaves and vacation periods (due to events and responsibilities like pregnancy and taking care of children), and the fact that women tend to live longer than men.
Due to these facts, they also have shorter time to save and prepare for their future retirement.
While consulting a financial advisor is also an option, we can help you start off by compiling for you custom financial advice for women.
Customized financial advice for women
- For all women: Know the current state of the economy and your market.
Before we get to anything specific, you should first analyze the current situation of the market and economy in wherever you are from. Remember that you must be honest as possible in determining their current state; the steps you have to take depend on how good or bad things are going to the country’s current economy & markets.
For women from places with good/steady economy/market: Make the most out of your privileges and advantages, but at the same time, share your talents and knowledge to train others as well.
The good news is that you have an advantage. Now, it is up to you what you are going to do with it. Having the advantage does not guarantee success; it still requires you to act on your goals.
Other than that, you have to know that, contrary to the scares and warnings about the “real world” you hear from your business professor, it does not have to be completely a dog-eat-dog out in the world, even in the business community.
In fact, many times it is more beneficial to lend a helping hand to someone in need. So be helpful and generous in giving advice and help to interns and that new hire. If you do this, you will be rewarded with loyal and motivated talents.
For women from places with bad/unstable economy/market: Double hard work may be required of you, but do not think that it’s impossible; some have done it before!
We have to admit that just like more hard work is required from women than men when it comes to proving themselves worthy of promotion, some women have to work extra harder to make it, depending on the current state of the market and economy.
You will need to take greater risks, but while there is a bigger possibility of failures along the way, let them serve as lessons and reminders on what not to do in the future. It might take you longer and more attempts and trials and errors, but remember that it is never too late to be successful in life.
- For all women: Depending on varying factors, you may need to adjust your lifestyle more to save more.
According to your current job, savings and inheritance, you may need to adjust your budget and even your lifestyle to allot a bigger portion of your earnings for your savings (retirement savings &, emergency funds).
In fact, even the current events in your life will impact your financial progress.
Are you currently married/about to be married? Do you have kids and/or planning to have one in the future? Where do you plan to reside permanently and how is the place’s current cost of living? You have to consider these factors as you do your regular budgets.
- For all women: Find out what your choices are, what resources you can work with, and which opportunities are available you want to take.
For women in engaged in family business: Given your apparent advantage, do not be too comfortable and still be competitive enough to try and prove yourself on your own.
Your parents did a great job of ensuring a good financial future for you, but it is still up to you to keep the things working and in tip-top shape. Its future success still depends on how knowledgeable, hard-working, persevering, and competitive you are.
Show that you have what it takes to fulfill your duties in your job position and that your being there is not only because of mere entitlement by bloodline.
For fresh graduates: Things might be slow and painful at first, but everyone starts somewhere.
Yes, at first, your choices are quite limited, unless you have special privileges. Some have to start from scratch, but that does not mean they cannot make it big. It just means they have to work harder and be more competitive and bold in their jobs.
It’s a cliche, but it has to be said — do not give up. Do not be afraid to try new things; this is the time for you to try different fields or explore the different ways to invest. There will be mistakes along the way, but see them as ‘battle scars’ you should learn from.
For women employees: Save and invest.
You have to admit that to make it big, you also have to take chances. Being employed in a big company might steadily generate you income, but it is difficult to get to the top this way alone. Being an employee is not at all bad, but you also may have to work on other side projects whose income can grow faster than waiting for the next promotion or raise.
If you do not have a lot of savings yet to invest, you can try savings a portion of your current income. Once you have saved enough (including 6 months worth of emergency funds and some retirement savings), study the market and explore your investment options.
For women starting on their own: Do not underestimate the power of proper planning.
As Benjamin Franklin nicely puts it: “if you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” No need for an overly specific and complex and detailed plan, but know the basics: what are the current movements in the market, what others/the competition are doing, what is your edge/what sets your product or services apart, and what you can do to get and maintain an advantage competitively.
Understand your strengths and weaknesses; aim to be better where you are good at and know how to use them wisely and strategically, while you can seek the advice of an expert in the fields you are not good with. Look at the bigger picture; do not be limited by what you currently offer and think about what the customer would want and be willing to pay handsomely for.
She was nominated and selected for FORTUNE Most Powerful Women conference in 2016 (Asia) and 2015 (San Francisco, Next Gen).
Anna has 10 years of experience in the financial sector and is currently a Director in Tera Capital. Her previous work experience includes positions at Citigroup, United Overseas Bank, a regional role in Business Monitor and a boutique private equity firm based in Shanghai. She graduated from Singapore Management University (Finance and Quantitative Finance).
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