woman elevating her financial education

3 Ways to Build Your Confidence as a Woman Investor

Why getting in the game is easier—and less risky—than you ever imagined

A new report by BlackRock, a leading investment manager, reveals a depressing fact about women and investing :

"We are seeing more and more women categorize themselves as savers versus investors and they're sitting on the sidelines in cash," says Karrie Van Belle, managing director at BlackRock Canada.

According to the study, only 44 percent of women report confidence when it comes to investing, as opposed to 55 percent of men.

As Van Belle states, "Over time, cash is likely not going to get you where you need to get to for your retirement."

And she’s right.

Savers are losers

As we’ve said at Rich Dad for many years, savers are losers. If you think that sitting on cash will get you where you need to be when it comes to financial independence, you’re in for a world of hurt.

Why? Because taxes and inflation will kill you in the long run.

So the question becomes, as a woman, how do you find the confidence you need in order to invest your money smartly and to be financially free?

The following are three ways that women can gain the confidence they need in order to invest their money effectively for the long haul.

1. Invest in financial education

I get it, putting your money out there can be a scary proposition. No one wants to make a gamble and then lose all that hard-earned cash you’ve built up over the years on bad investments.

So a great place to start investing is in your own financial education. What does this look like?

It starts with understanding that there are four distinct asset classes:

  • Real estate
  • Business
  • Commodities
  • Paper assets

Most people only think of paper assets when they think of investing, that is, stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Unfortunately, for most women, this means giving your money over to a broker and hoping it is invested well, all while racking up fees, even when you’re experiencing losses.

But there is a whole world of investing options out there both within paper assets and elsewhere that you can and should explore.

Once you know that these four, very distinct, asset classes exist, you can begin to hone in on what you are most interested in and then dig deep into that area to learn as much as you can.

As the old saying goes, with knowledge comes power. Once you are armed with the knowledge you need to invest wisely, you’ll begin to build the confidence you need to get in the investing game.

The good news is that investing in financial education has little risk and a huge upside. It costs a little bit of your time. Begin by reading books, attending seminars, and reading the daily financial news to connect the dots. It’s that easy to start.

2. Find a mentor

At Rich Dad, we’re huge proponents of not only building your financial education but also getting a mentor who can help guide you as you build your financial I Q. No woman is an island unto herself. You need a community of people to help you achieve your financial dreams.

Join an investment club and start meeting with people who are like-minded when it comes to money and investing. You’ll be surprised at how much you start to pick up along the way.

And with the right mentor, you’ll have someone to bounce ideas off of and gain insights from when you don’t have enough knowledge on your own to make the call. It’s an investment in relationships that pays off big time over the years.

3. Get a small amount of skin in the game

My first investment was modest by any measure—a small two-bedroom house in Portland, Oregon. At the time it seemed like a huge leap of faith, but in reality, the potential for loss was very small, just a few thousand dollars.

What I learned from that investment, however, was worth infinitely more. And the confidence I gained allowed me to move on to a new, slightly larger investment down the road.

Today, I own thousands upon thousands of apartment units across the US, but I would never have gotten to this point if I didn’t take action and invest in that small single-family home in Portland many decades ago.

With the right investments in your financial education and by finding the right mentors, it becomes easy to take this step of putting your money where your mouth is. Then, slowly but surely, you’ll begin to gain the confidence you need to make bigger and bigger investments.

Start today, there’s no excuse. Don’t hide behind your lack of confidence to build the financial future you dream of today!

Original publish date: March 17, 2016

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