The Feminine Money Mystique

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

into the market are direct investing and dividend reinvestment plans. Direct investing lets you bypass the stock broker and buy sh
ares directly from a company, often through monthly deductions from your bank account. For a searchable database of over 1,600 direct investment plans that also let you purchase online, check out the Netstock Direct program on

DRIPs also let you purchase shares (even fractional shares) of company stock at low minimum initial requirements. With DRIPs, the dividends you receive are automatically reinvested in more shares. This gives you the advantage of dollar-cost averaging, which lets you purchase more shares when a stock’s price is lower and fewer when it’s higher, smoothing out the average cost. For more on DRIPs, see

Once you’ve started to put your money to work for your future, you can fine-tune other aspects of your finances. For more guidance on crafting an overall money-management plan, see “All-Purpose Tips for All Women Investors” on

Women are taking control of their financial lives in a big way and will continue to make even greater strides, says Stephens, if they stay focused on the right priorities. “You don’t want to just be a senior citizen,” she says. “You want to be a 92-year-old lady with a financially secure future that you made for yourself.”
–Additional reporting by Christine Verdi

43% of women are more likely to rely on friends and family for financial advice vs. men, 76% of whom are more likely to rely on personal research. (National Center for Women and Retirement Research)

62.5% of women started investing through their company’s 401(k) plan vs. 50.6% of men. (be Financial Survey)

84.6% of men have been in the stock market for 20 years or longer vs. 71.5% of women.
(be Financial Survey)

From 1991 to 1997, women’s portfolios on average earned 1.4% more than men’s. Single women did even better, earning 2.3% more a year than single men. (University of California at Davis)

Women tend to trade stocks less frequently than men, thus following a more long-term investment philosophy and incurring fewer commission costs. (University of California at Davis)

Women investors tend to conduct thorough research; don’t act on emotion or stock tips; invest consistently; have the patience to ride out share-price ups and downs; are more socially responsible investors; and typically purchase shares in well-known consumer companies. (National Association of Investors Corp.)

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