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May 29, 2024

Investing Basics Every Woman Should Know & Why You Should Start NOW

Post By:
Jo Stephens
In-House Contributor
CEO | Owner
Law Firm Sites, Inc
Guest Contributor:

If there is one thing I could tell my younger self, it would be to start investing sooner. Like many, when I was in the early stages of my career, I didn’t think I was worthy of investing or an investment strategy- I thought you needed to have a lot of money in order to invest. Then, as my career evolved and I acquired my business, there always seemed to be higher, more immediate priorities for my money. 

As I became more financially secure and “earned” my worthiness for investing, I quickly realized the power of consistency and compound interest- powerful tools available to everyone, no matter how much money you have or your stage in career or business.

And it's especially crucial for women. Think of it as your path to financial security, your ticket to those big goals, and your way of saying "no" to outdated limitations.

I have been with my company Law Firm Sites for over 16 years, working in multiple roles throughout my tenure, including Office Manager, Project Manager, and Director of Development. I’ve helped to build the company from just a few staff members, to now over 25 employees. In 2017, I became the COO, and eventually took over as CEO when I purchased the company with my husband in the fall of 2020.

As a businesswoman who started from the bottom and now proudly sits in the ownership seat, I am often asked about my journey and the advice I would give to others. In sharing my insights, I always hope to inspire more women to take charge of their future, especially their financial future.  The key is to start early!

So let’s get started with some investing basics every woman should know.

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The No-Nonsense Basics

Think of investing as a simple but powerful toolbox to help you reach your financial goals.  Investing is the act of putting your money to work with the goal of it growing over time. This means using your money to buy assets like stocks, bonds, or real estate in hopes that they increase in value.

Your investing superpower? Compound interest! Compound interest is the growth you earn on your investment returns. For example, you invest $100, and it earns a 10% return, giving you $110. The next year, you earn 10% on your $110, not just the initial $100. This cycle repeats, causing your investments to grow exponentially over time.

Even small amounts invested regularly add up massively over time because of this. The key is consistency and starting early! The sooner your money starts compounding, the more significant growth you'll experience.

Index funds are your beginner-friendly best bet – they track the overall market, giving you an instantly diversified portfolio with minimal effort. This diversification strategy spreads your investments across different assets, lowering your risk. If one area of the market experiences a downturn, it's less likely to tank your entire portfolio as you have exposure to many other companies as well.

To really supercharge your success, automate your investments. By making saving and investing a non-negotiable "bill" you pay yourself first, you remove the temptation to spend that money elsewhere.

Busting Investment Myths

Don't let common misconceptions discourage you from taking charge of your financial future.

Myth: "I Need a Fortune to Start"

Reality: This couldn't be further from the truth!  Many investing platforms allow you to start with very small amounts, even fractional shares (owning a slice of a company).  The magic is in consistency.  Small amounts invested regularly add up surprisingly fast thanks to compound interest.

Myth: "Investing is Too Risky"

Reality: Yes, all investments carry some level of risk.  But the key is to think long-term.  While markets experience ups and downs in the short term, the overall historical trend is upwards over decades. Long-term investing is about riding out the inevitable bumps and focusing on the big picture.

Myth: "I'm No Finance Expert"

Reality:  Guess what? Most people start knowing very little about investing!  There's a massive amount of free, beginner-friendly resources available – blogs, podcasts, websites, and even courses designed to break down investing in plain English.  Learning as you go is part of the journey.

Your Action Plan

Start by choosing your investing platform. Think of this as your home base – look for online brokerages with low fees (every dollar you save is more money invested for you!) and beginner-friendly resources like tutorials and explainers. 

Next, map out your strategy. It doesn't need to be complex. Ask yourself, "How much can I realistically invest each month?" Then, research index funds – consider those that track the overall market or align with your values.  

Finally, embrace the long-term mindset.  Market dips are inevitable, so avoid panic selling. Focus on your big-picture goals and the reason you started investing in the first place. 

For additional support, consider a consultation with a fee-only financial advisor – they can create a personalised plan tailored to your unique circumstances.

This is YOUR Power Move

Investing isn't just a financial transaction; it's a declaration  of self-belief.  Every dollar you invest is a vote of confidence in your future.  It's about taking action to build the life you want  and refusing to let outdated limitations define you.  It's proof that you're capable of achieving your goals and creating a secure future for yourself and those you love.

The beauty of investing is that you don't need to be a millionaire or financial expert. Starting small but staying consistent lays the foundation for incredible growth over time. With each investment, you'll feel your confidence grow alongside your nest egg. It's a journey of empowerment and possibility – a testament to the amazing things you can achieve when you take ownership of your financial destiny.