While not many women currently venture into investing, they should seriously consider giving it a try. This is because they are outstanding investors. They switch off their emotions, aren’t afraid to ask for advice, are more cautious than men and make well-considered decisions. Two top financial experts – Martine Hafkamp, Director of Fintessa Vermogensbeheer and Marianne de Boer, Director of online pension administrator BeFrank – agree with this wholeheartedly.
How did Warren Buffett become the world’s third richest man? By investing like a girl, says LouAnn Lofton, author of ‘Warren Buffett Invests Like a Girl – And Why You Should, Too’. Growing numbers of women are better educated than men, good at multitasking and better communicators than men. The related advantage of these qualities in the financial world is that women are not restless. They don’t let themselves be swayed by the issues of the day when it comes to investing. But there are nevertheless still very few women who are aware of their talent for investing.
Goodie bag with dividends
Hafkamp and De Boer see the fact that investment and pension accrual is a guy thing as a missed opportunity for women. De Boer: ‘We’re all employed, living longer and the current pensions system doesn’t provide any guarantees for the future. So it’s time to take action.’ Hafkamp advises young women – and men too of course – to start setting aside 100 euros a month as soon as they start working. She also suggests tying up your investment for five years and preferably longer. Hafkamp: ‘You can start by investing in tracker funds that give you good diversification. With this investment you track an index or sector, for example an emerging sector such as cyber security of crowdfunding. The younger you start, the better. If you stick to investing 100 euros a month for 25 years, there’s a very good chance your capital will have increased many times over during that period. And if you invest in companies that pay dividend, you’ll also get a goodie bag with money every year.’
Low level of interest in pension accrual
BeFrank’s mission is: ‘To bring pensions closer to people.’ De Boer explains: ‘We have around 80,000 members and employers have given 35,000 of them the possibility to invest their pension premiums themselves. But the overwhelming majority don’t opt for this and have us do it for them. Only 6 percent of the group that chooses to invest for themselves are women.’ The percentage of members that log onto the BeFrank portal and app where members can track their pension also reveals room for improvement in terms of awareness of pensions. De Boer: ‘55 percent of the members check the status of their pension from time to time. While this might not be a bad percentage in the market, we think it should be much higher. We must do everything we can to increase awareness of pensions in the years ahead. And the government can help us in this task by amending the related laws. Make people responsible for their own pension and there will automatically be a rise in awareness of pensions.’
Hafkamp shares a few investment tips:
• Know why you want to invest and what your goal is.
• Don’t fall for other people’s success stories.
• Look closely at the fundamentals of the company in which you invest.
• Be aware of the risks and don’t be swayed by the issues of the day.
• Stay calm even if the stock exchange index falls, because it is always bound to recover in the long term.
De Boer says in conclusion: ‘At the very least take a look at your financial situation every once in a while. Ask yourself: How much pension can I expect to receive? And how much income will I actually need later? Be aware of your choices and take control. Retirement might seem a long way off, but make sure you start planning for it today for a secure future tomorrow.’
BeFrank has been operating in the collective pension market since 2011 and is the Netherlands’ first Premium Pension Institution (PPI). BeFrank provides a clear pension, unambiguous communications, online services and low costs. BeFrank specialises in pension accrual and does not offer pension benefit products. It is part of the Delta Lloyd Group.
For more information, contact Isabelle van Ast.
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