Women Belong

In 1965 Mattel put out a Barbie that came with a scale fixed at 110 pounds and a diet book with a single instruction: “Don’t Eat.” In 1992, Teen Talk Barbie came with four phrases from a random list of hundreds. Some of the girls heard “Math class is tough.”1

Mattel has since undertaken a total overhaul of the Barbie brand but, wow, it took a while.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg once said that “Women belong in all the places where decisions are being made.”2 That idea most certainly applies to financial decisions. Throughout my 15-year career serving as a financial advisor, I have observed how women play a prominent, and in some cases, lead role in financial decisions.

Over time I have learned to encourage both parties to participate in our initial meetings and mid-year conversations. Usually, one person will commend the other for their support to get to where they are today. “It’s a team effort.” We realize financial planning is a difficult project to tackle alone – that’s why advice in our industry is so valuable in every season of life.

Studies have shown how women save 9.0% of their salary annually, yielding an average of 6.4% annual rate of return. In contrast, men save 8.6% of their salary annually, yielding an average of 6.0% annual rate of return. Saving more and patience with gaining investment momentum produce healthy financial planning practices. The theory behind this phenomenon is that women around the world are responsible for the operation of the household, which mandates a longer-term view when it comes to planning for the future. These habits are reflected especially in the frequency of churn in a portfolio – men who trade tend to trade 55% more frequently than women. Studies have shown that women are better investors, with an outperformance of around 40 basis points per year vs. men. We realize it’s not about timing the market; it’s about time in the market.

Eight out of 10 women will be solely responsible for their financial well being at some point in their lives. Experience tells us how managing finances can become increasingly complex over time as shown in the graphic below.

Collectively, we’re here to help. There is a need today to be selfless leaders who focus on listening to what motivates our clients to take action for their days ahead. Our team’s diversity in skill sets and experiences allow us to be intentional when it comes to financial planning.

By the way, I now play with barbells and carry my financial calculator in my purse.

1Jack Hough, Barron’s, November 18, 2021.


The information contained in this report does not purport to be a complete description of the securities, markets, or developments referred to in this material nor is it a recommendation. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of Melissa Montalvo and not necessarily those of Raymond James. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice. There is no guarantee that these statements, opinions or forecasts provided herein will prove to be correct. Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or loss regardless of strategy selected. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Future investment performance cannot be guaranteed, investment yields will fluctuate with market conditions.

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