It’s Women’s History Month and Fidelity Investments® 2022 Money Moves Study revealed three saving and investing behaviors that stand out among younger women, ages 18-35 years old, as this next generation makes strides in breaking down financial boundaries.
1. Start Early – On average, the next generation of women (18-35 years old) started investing in a brokerage account at age 21, compared to age 30 for older women1 who started to invest during the same age frame.
2. Invest With Purpose – When asked what they are most proud of in respect to their finances, women report events that have personal meaning and purpose: achieving important goals for themselves or family, using money to make a difference or leaving a legacy for their children. While this is evident among all women, it’s higher among the younger generation (43% versus 34%).
3. Start Small – More than one-third (35%) of younger women say they started investing with a small amount of money to get comfortable first. This is consistent across generations, and Fidelity makes it even easier, offering zero minimums to start investing, zero commission trades and the ability to place a trade with as little as $1.
Seize the Moment, Start Early
Beyond opening a brokerage account by age 21, Fidelity’s Money Moves Study shows that younger women also opened a retirement account even earlier, age 20, compared to their older peers who opened one at age 34. No surprise, the pandemic has caused many people to reevaluate their finances and in the case for some younger women, this was the time to start investing with 50% reporting they have started to invest in the past six months, or they plan to do so in the next six months. Meanwhile, when women age 36+ reflect on their biggest financial mistakes, more than one-third (36%) say they waited too long to start saving for retirement — the most common regret cited.
The earlier a person starts to invest, the more time compounding can make an impact on the balance. For instance, compare a person starting to invest at age 25 to a person starting at age 40. With each person contributing $50 per month, by age 67, the person who started earlier will have accumulated approximately $144,000 compared to the person starting 15 years later with $46,000, assuming a hypothetical 7% annual rate of return.
Align Money to Values, Invest with Purpose
Younger women (43%) more so than women ages 36+ (34%) are proud of the actions they are taking that will better the future, whether making a difference at large, or helping themselves and their families. Fidelity’s customer data shows women are directing a higher portion of their contributions into sustainable investment products, aligning their investments to themes shaped by environmental, social or governance factors.
Every Dollar Counts, Start Small
Gone are the days when a person needed thousands of dollars to start investing. In fact, 46% of all study respondents say any amount of money is OK to begin investing, the important thing is to start.
Moving Past the Barriers That Hold Back Women Investors
Fidelity recently conducted research into the impact of the pandemic has had on women’s total well-being. Particularly for women with caregiving responsibilities, they are feeling overworked and overwhelmed, causing many to step away from the workforce. For many, a career break or job change may also mean an interruption in saving and investing for retirement or other financial goals.
According to Fidelity’s 2022 Money Moves Study, 30% of women report upcoming transition in their careers — whether changing jobs, re-entering the workforce or leaving the workforce — in the next six months, meaning future change is imminent for some. Additionally, 58% of all women report that pandemic is influencing the way they think about money and make financial decisions.
While we’ve seen such encouraging progress, there are still other factors holding back the next generation of women from investing more money:
They can’t afford it (26%)
They think investing is risky (20%)
They think their savings account is the best place to keep their money (20%)
This commentary was originally posted by business wire March 01, 2022
Source: Smart Money Moves: Women 18-35 Years Old Start Investing Nearly One Decade Earlier Than Women Ages 36+ | Business Wire
**Disclaimer: This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction.