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Women and the Stock Market

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Happy Woman 3

Kevin A. Pemberton, Senior Vice President at a leading investment firm is a financial guru and a stock market expert. This seasoned executive addresses why the majority of women – the chief purchasing officers of their households and consumers of more than seven billion dollars worth of cosmetics, jewelry and personal care, per year – shy away from risking some of that money on the stock exchange floor. A recent Boooz & Co. report shows that about 75 percent of women, who control an estimated $4.3 trillion of the $5.9 trillion in U.S. consumer spending, simply prefer to play it safe.

Why are women fearful about buying stocks?
Women tend to live longer and move in and out of the paid labor force more frequently. Even women who work full-time, average fewer years of work experience than men, so they build up less seniority, and their retirement savings lag. Nowhere is this Mars-versus-Venus divide more apparent than when it comes to investing in the stock market. Far more women than men express a lack of confidence in their ability to invest. As a result, many women either don't do it at all, or invest too conservatively. Although women are more educated, more involved in financial decisions and control more wealth than ever before, a startling 90 percent of them (interviewed in a study by the life insurer Allianz) said they felt somewhat or not at all financially secure. While women want to preserve their assets, men figure they can make back their losses.

Does purchasing stock require risking large amounts of money?  
Several brokerages allow you to open a stock trading account with $100. This doesn’t not mean that you should. Being under-capitalized reduces your choices of which stocks to trade. Additionally, having a small trading account magnifies any losses--even a tiny loss is a significant percentage of a tiny account. There are plenty of ways to put $1,000 to work. Throughout the bear market you can invest about $200 a month in a portfolio of stocks. To keep transaction costs low and build your portfolio quickly, shares can be bought through ShareBuilder and Buy and Hold, both of which are online brokers that cater to small investors. ShareBuilder has no investment minimum, no account minimum and no annual fee.

What’s the best way to prepare for your initial stock exchange process?  
Review your motives and expectations for trading. Ask yourself:
1. Do I want to place orders electronically or with a live broker?
2. Do I want to give him power of attorney and let him make the trading decisions?
3. Which markets do I want to trade, what are the margins for that market and can I afford them?
4. How much money can I afford to lose?
5. Is it for fun, for profit or to make a living?

For more financially sound advice click here!

Filed Under: Money and Power
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