The Feminine Money Mystique

The secret's out: women can create and manage lasting wealth

me.” Even so, Hackney continues to read up on and study the market. “I’m heavy
in technology now, because that’s what I know.”

Whether or not you have prior experience, investment companies are taking a strong interest in cultivating women investors. All you have to do is tap into the myriad offerings. For example, Oppenheimer’s Women & Investing kit (800-525-7048; www.oppenheimer funds.com) provides an overview of the basics, what it takes to get started, a worksheet and resources for finding a financial advisor. The African American Women on Tour program, now in its 10th year, offers a variety of seminars on financial empowerment in six major cities annually (for more information, see www.aawot.com). And the national Girls, Women & Money Conference, sponsored by the National Coalition of Girls’ Schools, will be held this September and offers a variety of seminars on five different tracks of financial programming (see www.edupr.com).

Prefer logging on to learn? A new Website, the Women’s Financial Network (www.wfn .com), is the first network of financial advisors for women. A Website for women, iVillage.com, offers a MoneyLife area that breaks out the financial stages of life and offers a variety of articles and tools to help you plan yours. At www.brookestephens.com, you can sign up for daily e-mail advice on investing with less than $1,000, credit and debt, and buying a home.
Of course, there are also plenty of offline resources, such as the business sections of the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times, as well as financial coverage on programs aired on CNBC and CNN.

Tracie Howard
used investment sites such as www.raging bull.com, www.edgaronline .com and www.cnbc.com to bring her financial skills up to speed. In addition, she followed TheStreet.com’s Investment Challenge, a stock-picking portfolio contest. The challenge required participants to manage a fantasy portfolio that started with $500,000.

Do you prefer the group experience? Try going to investment seminars or joining an investment club, suggests Broussard. “We aren’t raised to take risk,” she says. “We want safety and security. To overcome this I encourage women to join or start investment clubs. This way they can learn to invest without risking large amounts of money, and they’re educating themselves at the same time.” For more on investment clubs, log on to NAIC’s site at www.better investing.org, or read The Millionaire’s Club by be Contributing Editor Carolyn Brown (John Wiley & Sons, $19.95)

MAKE A PLAN
Besides adequately funding your golden years, do you have your sights set on a house, college or a retirement home? “Start by sitting down and writing out your financial goals,” says Broussard.

Mapping out a plan also means determining whether or not you want to work with a financial planner-a traditional area of resistance for women investors. According to the Ariel-Schwab survey, 41% of black female respondents thought stockbrokers and financial advisors are more interested in making money for themselves than giving good advice. And according to the National Center for Women and Retirement Research in Southampton, New York, less than 4% of women of color-including black,

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