3 Tips for Female Beginner Investors


Louisville, KY—January 17, 2017—Women account for roughly half of the U.S. workforce and represent a slight majority of those in professional and technical occupations. Additionally, women are leading in college graduation rates, are starting twice as many new businesses as their male counterparts, and as a group have regained all the jobs they lost during the recession—versus men, who still have more than two million jobs to recover. “Despite these gains, women continue to lag men when it comes to money,” said Carla Dearing, CEO of SUM180, an online financial wellness service designed to make financial planning simple and affordable.

“Through no fault of their own, women are behind the eight ball, financially speaking. This is due to a combination of lower wages—which result in less in retirement plan contributions, and lower pensions and Social Security benefits—and the nature of women’s lives—women are more likely to take breaks from work for child rearing and caring for aging parents, and longer lives,” continued Carla.

“These results suggest women must be that much savvier about their financial lives. Yet, as a group, women lack investing confidence—a TODAY.com survey of women about money reveals that fully 82% of respondents feel some level of insecurity about investing—which is an essential element to building a secure and stable financial future,” Carla said.

Carla provides the following three tips to help women new to investing gain confidence:

  1. You don’t have to learn investing before doing it—contrary to what the financial services industry would have you believe. The truth is, you can get started investing in just a few simple steps. To get set up: call one of the high-quality, low-fee money management companies, like Vanguard, Fidelity or T. Rowe Price, tell them about yourself and ask them to tell you what type of account or fund you need, and what minimum investment requirements apply. These companies, which are the gold standard in the financial services industry, are extremely knowledgeable and committed to serving their clients (who, in the case of Vanguard, are also their shareholders). Companies like this get you started with a comprehensive, diversified, low cost fund that will serve you well as a beginning investor.  Follow their recommendations and you won’t go wrong.
  2. Max out your retirement accounts first. We don’t always think of retirement savings when we think about investing, but the fact is, your retirement accounts are the very best place to start, at any age. Your pretax contributions give you a larger pot to grow over time, and your distributions after retirement will likely be taxed at a lower rate—a double benefit! You’ll want to do all of your investing in your retirement accounts until you max them out. Let a trusted financial planner or adviser simplify the process by telling you exactly which types of retirement accounts you’re eligible for and what your maximum contributions would be each year.
  3. Know the right funds to buy for your taxable investment portfolio. After you’ve maxed out your retirement accounts, you’ll want to start a taxable investment portfolio. Set savings goals for this account and work up to them—$25,000, then $40,000 and, eventually, $250,000; it helps to have contribution goals to shoot for. When you are just starting out, choose one or two tax-advantaged funds, like the Vanguard Total Stock Market ETF or the Vanguard Small Cap Index ETF, or similar index funds. These passively managed funds do a minimum amount of buying and selling (what the industry calls ‘churning’), which translates into significantly less taxable investment income for you to deal with each year. They also tend to outperform most actively managed mutual funds over time.


About SUM180

SUM180 is an online financial wellness service designed to make planning and dealing with your money simple and affordable.

Specifically, SUM180 is differentiated in the following ways:

  • SUM180 meets people where they are. SUM180 plans are personalized to help people wherever they are right now on their financial journey; whether they’re just beginning, starting over or well on their way.
  • SUM180 plans are simple. They start with only the three (3) most important next steps, making them easier to accomplish, and gives clients a clear picture of where they are.
  • SUM180 doesn’t assume clients want to become financial experts to meet their financial goals. SUM180 provides the tools they need, without overwhelming them with “education” and details they don’t need.
  • SUM180 offers a community for users, unfiltered, which allows them to explore and share.
  • SUM180 serves; never sells. Earning and keeping client trust is SUM180’s highest priority. SUM180 never makes commissions from any of its recommendations, ever.

Additional information about SUM180 may be found at https://sum180.com/.

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Robin Schoen
Robin Schoen Public Relations
215.504.2122 office
215.595.7542 mobile



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