POLL: Those who invest *AND* do not invest what barrier(s) did/do you experience when starting to invest? 🍏 Intimidation/overwhelm, πŸ‹ Started but met obstacles, 🍌 Not financially ready, πŸ‰ No issues, πŸ‡ Other

This question stems from a very frustrating experience that recently flared up, which I also recently realized has been a frustrating feeling for the last nine years and I couldn't help but wonder if other women were also feeling or experiencing the same.*The reason why I care:* I find that financial health and goals aren't really a topic amongst a large portion of my network of female friends and I think being financially independent is a topic that isn't really taken seriously or talked about enough among most of my female friends *unless* they are the incredibly ambitious type (this is obviously a generalization; there are always exceptions) and/or have a background in finance. I always make it a point to make it a topic of conversation with my girlfriends who try to shy away from the topic because I care that they are financially set-up and stable or at least are taking the thoughts/steps to do so (I've seen some friends make not-so empowered choices that were based off of not having enough financial support).*If you want the background:* The last four weeks has proven to be the most impossible and really discouraging (third) start to my investment journey with Charles Schwab (CS). Long story short, I've finally found myself in a financially stable lifestyle (after years of freelancing and traveling the world) to where I could now allow myself the mind-space to start taking investments seriously beyond just my 401K contributions. But, I've had disappointing interactions with CS time after time for the last four weeks and I can't help but wonder if it's because they don't see me as a lucrative-enough customer. Let's just say you would think I would be two completely different individuals if you saw my 2018 taxes vs my 2020 taxes.I know where my expertise is and isn't, and it isn't in finance. A friend of mine who is also with CS had told me that a financial consultant from a local branch had called her up and had literally held her hand and walked her through her all the necessary CS tools and even provided her with three investment strategies that he recommended. This left her feeling empowered on top of her limited knowledge of finances & investing and sparked my interest in receiving help from the same person. I've been met with unmet commitments after multiple calls and wasted hours for the last four week, which left me teared up out of frustration (I'm not a crier either). I ended up calling my friend and having her walk me through what the financial consultant walked her through, which left me feeling super empowered now that I have this baseline to jump off of (I've signed up for newsletters, subscribed to blogs, followed podcasts, and more). I realized that if I was shown this simple walk through when I first had the will to invest when I was 18 (with considerable amount of savings for that age), I could've gained the last decade in compound interest and savings that I would've allocated to my investments during the times that I had extra income. I tried again just four years ago and felt the same as I did when I was 18 and, again, as I did before my friend walked me through the platform and process.I realized that it was just pure intimidation that left me paralyzed all this time even despite the presence of companies/products/services that tackle this very issue and I feel activated to keep solving this issue as a designer. My goal is to solve the pain for those younger than me who are just starting off in their financial journey and have them avoid the expensive cost that I have paid = time.
There was a similar thread about this as well here some months ago: Personally, I've always been a 🍏with feeling incredibly overwhelmed!
Amazing! Thanks for the share! Love that this is already a topic (and not surprised). Has that overwhelming feeling left you stuck in your investment journey?
In many ways, yes. My brother is my financial advisor (I don't recommend this setup where family is tied to your personal finances but this was something out of my control β€” as advocated by my mother), and he manages my portfolio.Given that, I don't feel like I "own" my investment journey because I've become completely reliant on him – I probably would be more involved had it been someone outside of family. It's part laziness and part overwhelm, but I still wish I have more time to care more about how and what my investments are actually doing.
That is super interesting. I'm actually starting off my research with surveying brothers & sisters to start scoping out the problem that women are facing. I have yet to come across a brother/sister pair that have equal or close to equal understanding and empowerment of finances.
@teresaman we will need to add this to our agenda when we meet :D
Go YOU for seeking financial stability! I agree with everything you say and I am sorry you are experiencing these feelings of frustration towards your network of friends (women) but hope you do meet some like-minded people here :) In my case, I started investing seriously a little over 2 years ago and the road has been great :) no particular issue or maybe I really love the risks so my asset allocations might give some a heart attack...
Thanks for the support Iynna! I feel super proud of myself to keep pushing through this time despite the obstacles, given that my friend was a god sent. What do you mean by investing "seriously"? What were you doing before you started to "seriously" invest? Do you have a background in finance? How did you feel enabled enough to start diving in? Would love to hear your experience seeing as it seems like you didn't feel hindered to start.
I don't have a background in finance at all and found that you don't need it to get started/understand the stock market, it is so democratized now, all one needs to do is a bit of research on the topic and stick to resources that work for them.I hate wasting, and the iea of sitting on a pile of cash (while seems appealing) is the equivalent of wasting (if you consider inflation, cost of living on the rise etc.), so I decided that I did not want to sit on a pile of cash, I knew about the power of compounding, and I wanted to jump on as early as possible so I educated myself and got started and since then it's been a beautiful journey :)
Go you for being activated enough to push through and get yourself set up Iynna! Unfortunately, it seems like there's a lot of mental and emotional barriers for other women that inhibit them from making the most of the research that they do pursue. I think this is the real problem; not the lack of resources or information available, but feeling empowered to make decisions and getting started.
You're unfortunately right - I fundamentally believe that humans (and yes women do fall in that category) are our own obstacles. So when I see women being afraid of investing, these are self-created roadblocks that sadly as much as I'd like to help there is not much I can do. Change comes or has to come from within.
I think breaking down social norms that we're ingrained to believe is okay from a young age has to do more than just "changing from within". I also wouldn't let that stop anyone from providing a solution to a problem that a particular demographic is experiencing, hence, almost all of the products and services that we're provided with today. I also think finances are something different from a characteristic quality that might be assumed in the message above. If you read what I wrote in the description, if it weren't for my friend who was knowledgeable about the basics and the platform, I wouldn't have gotten the help that I needed and gained the confidence as I have now if it weren't for her. It wasn't a lack of knowledge or my multiple attempts to understand. I wasted hours of my time speaking with so-called experts. Nothing changed except for the fact that my friend was present and willing to help after hearing me out.With that kind of comment that "changes has to come from within", do you think therapists should exist? What about people who need that guidance from expertise that they lack? Do you think that they can just Google everything themselves and get started? What about if your internet goes out: would you feel like you need to "change yourself" to research into all the hardware intricacies to understand that your router was bent and inhibited your connection? Yes, I understand that you cannot change people unless they want the change themselves, but there is no harm in helping people activate themselves and give them the foundation to do so. Whether it's finance, weight loss, confidence building, setting career goals or anything other topic in the left-hand side of this screen.
Agreed. That being said, my comment "as much as I'd like to help there is not much I can do" is directly speaking about my experiences, not yours or anyone else which I obviously can't comment on. If you have identified this as a mission, then absolutely go for it! There is a clear need as you said yourself, and I am all for someone doing it. However, while it may be your passion it is not mine. Yes I want to democratise talking about money, yes I want more women to be comfortable but there is a certain level of energy I have and perhaps this is not where I want to spend it all.