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The Benefits of Investing in a Second Home

The Benefits of Investing in a Second Home

Owning a second home is not just about having a getaway spot – it’s a strategic investment offering multiple financial and personal benefits. Whether it’s a beachfront condo, a mountain cabin, or a house in a serene village, we’re exploring the multifaceted benefits of investing in a second home.

Investment Potential

Investing in a second home can be a smart financial move. Many properties, especially those in sought-after vacation destinations not only hold their value but also appreciate over time. This appreciation paired with choosing the right location and maintaining the property well can turn your second property into an increasingly valuable asset in your long-term investment strategy as years pass.

Rental Income

One of the most appealing aspects of owning a second home is the opportunity to generate income through rentals. When you are not using the property, you can rent it out to travelers or even long-term tenants. This rental income can help cover the cost of the mortgage, necessary maintenance, and property taxes, allowing you to own and maintain this additional property with minimal personal expense. If your vacation home is in a popular destination, it can command high rental prices, especially during peak tourist seasons, and provide you with substantial supplemental income. 

Tax Deductions

Second homes can also offer tax advantages. As the property owner you have the potential to enjoy tax deductions on mortgage interest and property taxes, much like with your primary residence. These tax benefits can help make owning a second home more affordable while also easing your overall tax burden. It is important to speak with a tax professional to fully understand and maximize these benefits based on your own unique financial situation and both local and national tax laws. 

Diversified Assets

Diversifying your investment portfolio is a fundamental strategy used to mitigate risk, and real estate plays a vital role in this diversification. Investing in different types of properties in various locations allows you to reduce the risks associated with market fluctuations in any single investment area. A second home adds a tangible asset to your portfolio, which is often less volatile when compared to stocks and other financial investments. 

Customizable Vacations and Family Gatherings

Aside from the financial benefits, a second home provides a personal retreat tailored to your preferences. It eliminates the hassle of booking hotels or dealing with the uncertainties of vacation rentals and other accommodations. More importantly, it serves as a consistent gathering place for family and friends, helping to build cherished memories in a familiar setting. Owning a second home ultimately means customizable vacations where the only thing you need to plan is how to enjoy your time!

Retirement Preparation

For many, a second home is not just used as a spot to vacation or retreat but also as a potential retirement destination. When purchasing a second home during your working years you can also transition it into your ideal retirement residence. This approach allows you to become acclimated to the community and area you wish to retire in and gives you the advantage of planning ahead for the lifestyle you wish to live in retirement

Second homes present a unique blend of investment opportunity and personal sanctuary. Contact Blakely Financial today to see how a second home can enhance your financial plan!

 

Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals. Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM  to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being.
Commonwealth Financial Network® or Blakely Financial does not provide legal or tax advice. You should consult a legal or tax professional regarding your individual situation.
Investing in Your Graduate’s Future: Planting Seeds for Long-Term Success

Investing in Your Graduate’s Future: Planting Seeds for Long-Term Success

Graduation is right around the corner! It’s an exciting time to celebrate your child’s accomplishments and look ahead to their future. As a parent, you play a crucial role in setting them up for success, and one of the best ways to do so is by investing in their future. There are countless ways to sow the seeds for long-term financial security and prosperity. In this blog, we are delving into ways you can invest in your graduate’s future journey today, so they can watch the returns flourish in years to come.

Roth IRA Contributions

Consider starting a Roth IRA for your child if they’ve earned income. A Roth IRA offers tax-free growth and withdrawals in retirement, providing a valuable tool for building financial security over the long term. By making contributions to a Roth IRA early on in your child’s life, you can leverage the power of compounding growth and set them on the path to a comfortable retirement. While Roth IRAs can also be used for educational expenses, in order to withdraw money without being charged taxes or penalties, you must be over 59 ½ years old and the account must be at least five years old.

529 College Savings Plan

Investing in a 529 college savings plan is an excellent option to support your child’s educational goals. These plans offer tax-free growth and withdrawals for qualified education expenses, making them a tax-efficient way to save for college. Parents are not the only people eligible to contribute, allowing family and friends to give a lasting gift to the beneficiary’s future. 

Whether your child plans to attend a traditional four-year college or university or pursue vocational training, a 529 plan can help ease the financial burden of higher education and provide valuable opportunities for their future. If your child receives a scholarship or decides against further eligible education, 529 savings plans offer the flexibility to change the beneficiary to avoid paying taxes and fees on unused savings.

Custodial Accounts (UTMA/UGMA)

Opening a custodial account, such as a Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) or Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA), allows you to invest in stocks, bonds, or mutual funds on behalf of your child. These accounts are a great investment option because they offer flexibility and control, allowing you to manage the assets until your child reaches adulthood (at 18 or 21, depending on the state). Introducing your child to the world of investing early on can help them develop valuable financial literacy skills and set them up for financial success in the years to come. 

Additionally, the funds can be used for the minor’s benefit before they take control of the account, including to help pay for college! Earnings are taxed at the minor’s tax rate, subject to kiddie tax rules. Before pursuing custodial accounts, talk to a financial professional to confirm which tax rules apply and how to best manage the funds. 

Financial Literacy Education

Investing in your child’s financial education is perhaps one of the most valuable investments you can make. Providing access to resources and courses on financial literacy from a young age can equip your child with the knowledge and skills necessary to manage and grow their finances effectively. From budgeting and saving to investing and retirement planning, a strong foundation in financial literacy sets the stage for a lifetime of financial success. 

As graduation season approaches, now is the perfect time to start investing in your graduate’s future. Regardless of the investment options you choose, every investment you make lays the groundwork for their long-term success. By contributing to your child’s journey to financial literacy and prosperity today, you can help create a bright and prosperous future for your graduate tomorrow. If you need assistance getting started, contact Blakely Financial today. Our team is here to help you discover the best investment options and work towards a secure financial future for you and your family. 

The fees, expenses, and features of 529 plans can vary from state to state. 529 plans involve investment risk, including the possible loss of funds. There is no guarantee that an education-funding goal will be met. In order to be federally tax free, earnings must be used to pay for qualified education expenses. The earnings portion of a nonqualified withdrawal will be subject to ordinary income tax at the recipient’s marginal rate and subject to a 10 percent penalty. By investing in a plan outside your state of residence, you may lose any state tax benefits. 529 plans are subject to enrollment, maintenance, and administration/management fees and expenses.
Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals. Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM  to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being.
Commonwealth Financial Network® or Blakely Financial does not provide legal or tax advice. You should consult a legal or tax professional regarding your individual situation.

Monstrous Money Mistakes

It may be the season of spooky haunts and horrors, but don’t let these monstrous money mistakes lead you to the financial graveyard!

Investment Zombies

Don’t neglect your investment strategies. Just like zombies mindlessly wander, not actively managing investments can lead to missed opportunities or poor performance, even for high earners. Revisit and reevaluate your investment portfolio periodically to be sure you are diversifying your investments and maximizing your returns. Talking to your financial advisor can help you avoid an investment zombie apocalypse.

Estate Planning Ghouls

Failing to create a comprehensive estate plan can haunt families after a high-earning individual passes away. This mistake can lead to unnecessary taxes, legal battles, and confusion over asset distribution. Meet with your financial professional to discuss the best estate planning options for you and your loved ones. Review your plan annually and make adjustments to reflect any life changes that may occur.

Lifestyle Vampire

This monstrous money mistake involves succumbing to lifestyle inflation. High earners might start spending excessively as their income rises, without properly considering the long-term impact on savings and investments. Don’t bite off more than you can chew with your spending.  It is crucial to find a balance between your desired lifestyle and your long-term financial goals and well-being to really enjoy life to the fullest. 

Debt Demons

Credit card ghouls, student loan specters, and mortgage monstrosities. Oh my! These debt demons come in many forms and can feel like never-ending financial nightmares if not managed properly. Be sure to explore interest rates and different repayment options to pay down your debt, and even consider refinancing your loans or mortgage to make payments more manageable. Utilizing a budget can help you do this more easily. Exorcize these debt demons and keep control of your financial future!

Budget Banshee

You’ll hear the eerie wails of the budget banshees if you neglect proper budgeting. The shrieks serve as haunting reminders of overspending, impulse purchases, debt, disorganized finances, and unexpected expenses. Create a budget unique to your financial situation by tracking your income and expenses and establishing your financial goals. Explore where you may be able to save and remain disciplined when it comes to your spending. Don’t forget to factor an emergency fund into your budgeting to cushion the impact of any unexpected financial shock! Evaluate your financial health routinely and adjust your budget accordingly to banish the budget banshees. 

If you need help battling these monstrous money mistakes, contact Blakely Financial today. 

 

Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals. Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM  to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being.
Commonwealth Financial Network® or Blakely Financial does not provide legal or tax advice. You should consult a legal or tax professional regarding your individual situation.

Debunking 5 Common Financial Planning Myths

Did you know only 74% of Americans partake in financial planning and 90% of people say financial planning helped them achieve their savings goals? Financial planning is for everyone, regardless of income level, as it plays a major role in achieving financial security in the long run. These common financial planning myths often prevent people from engaging in financial planning, and we’re here to debunk them. 

Myth: It’s Too Late to Start Financial Planning

Don’t be fooled by this common financial planning myth – it’s never too late to begin financial planning! It is essential to recognize the power of starting now to ensure your financial security and well-being in the years to come. Even small steps can make a significant difference in achieving your financial goals, whether they are big or small. Talk to your financial advisor to begin your financial planning journey and see what steps you can take towards a secure future. 

Myth: Financial Planning is All About Investments

While having a diverse investment portfolio is a critical aspect of your financial plan, the financial planning process does not solely involve investments. In reality, it encompasses many elements including the following (and more): 

Work with your financial advisor to create a comprehensive plan based on your unique financial situation and goals. Utilize every tool in your financial toolbox to maximize your financial benefits long-term!

Myth: Financial Planning is Too Complicated

Financial planning can seem daunting, but your plan can be as simple or as complicated as you need it to be. You don’t need to be a financial expert with complex financial knowledge to create a basic financial plan! Simplify the process by breaking it down into more manageable steps. There are many resources and tools available for you to begin your plan, and financial advisors are here to assist you every step of the way. 

Myth: Financial Planning is Only for Retirement

Financial planning encompasses life as a whole, not just retirement. The process can yield results important to various life stages and goals such as paying for education, buying a home, family vacations, or even simply financial security. Set short-term, mid-term, and long-term goals, and use your comprehensive financial plan to meet these objectives. 

Myth: Financial Planning Guarantees Wealth

During the financial planning process, it is important to have realistic expectations for yourself and your finances. A financial plan can significantly improve financial well-being, but it does not guarantee instant wealth. By setting realistic and achievable financial goals, you have the opportunity to build your wealth over time. 

A financial advisor can significantly improve your financial planning process and help you lay your path to achieving your financial goals and securing your financial future. Contact Blakely Financial today to get started. 

 

Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals. Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM  to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being. Commonwealth Financial Network® or Blakely Financial does not provide legal or tax advice. You should consult a legal or tax professional regarding your individual situation.
The Benefits of Owning Property

The Benefits of Owning Property

June is National Homeownership Month, making it a great time to explore the benefits of owning property. Real estate holds great investment potential and can be a rewarding long-term strategy for building wealth. Owning property offers a range of advantages, which can be extremely beneficial to your financial security. Here we’ll delve into these benefits, highlighting why owning property can often be a smart financial move.

Builds Equity

Owning property allows the owner to build equity over time. Equity is the portion of your property that you own, calculated by subtracting your remaining mortgage balance from the property’s current market value. As you make mortgage payments and property values appreciate, your equity grows. Building equity means you are more likely to make a profit when selling the home, even with an outstanding balance. With higher equity, you have a better chance of selling the property for more than you still owe on the mortgage, even if the market changes. Homes are one of the few types of assets with the potential to appreciate in value, giving you the opportunity to build long-term wealth.

Increases Your Net Worth

Net worth is the value of your assets minus your liabilities. Any property you own is an addition to your portfolio of assets and over time, as property values rise, your net worth will also increase. Historically, real estate has shown long-term appreciation, making it a valuable component of a diversified investment portfolio and a significant contribution to increasing net worth. Appreciation will vary by market.

Opportunity for Tax Deductions

Mortgage interest payments are tax-deductible. Additionally, in most countries, property taxes paid on the property you own are eligible for deductions. If you use a portion of your property for business purposes or rental income, further expense and depreciation-related deductions may also be possible. With all of these deductions, owning property can reduce your overall tax burden. 

Passive Income Source

Investing in rental or other income-generating properties offers one of the biggest benefits of owning property – passive income. This means that the property can provide a steady and reliable cash flow with little maintenance involved. This recurring income can help cover mortgage payments, any other property expenses, and even additional income. This is a great option for those looking to diversify their income streams, make some money on the side, and/or increase financial security during retirement.

Before investing in income-generating property, work out the cash flows to ensure that it is profitable for you. You will want to assess whether your income from the property will be consistent before purchasing. Consider all your expenses and that this new rental income may be taxed differently than employment income. 

Greater Security

Owning property offers a sense of security and stability in case of emergencies. It provides the assurance of having a place to call home without the risk of sudden changes in terms or potential eviction. Additionally, owning can act as  hedge against inflation as property values tend to appreciate over time. Real estate owned becomes a tangible and valuable asset serving as a foundation for long-term financial security, 

Owning property reaps a range of benefits to enhance your long-term financial health and build your wealth. When developing your investment strategy, consider the advantages of property ownership as it can be a powerful asset in building a strong financial future. Consulting a financial advisor can be helpful when making decisions regarding the purchase of property. Remember to consistently evaluate your financial situation to ensure your plan aligns with your goals. Contact Blakely Financial today to get started on your property ownership journey. 

Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals. Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM  to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being.
Commonwealth Financial Network® or Blakely Financial does not provide legal or tax advice. You should consult a legal or tax professional regarding your individual situation.
Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.

Planning Life’s Biggest Vacation: Setting Retirement Goals

Like a summer vacation, ‘life’s biggest vacation’ requires detailed planning. Retirement goals differ for everyone as they are dependent on your current lifestyle and how you see yourself living post-retirement. Making informed decisions when setting retirement goals will help you create a plan and guide you toward the happy retirement you’ve always dreamed of. Use these tips to start planning your retirement today!

Set Your Retirement Goals Early

Goals cannot be achieved if they are not identified ahead of time. When setting your retirement goals, consider where you would like to see yourself after retirement. What would you like to be doing? Where do you want to live? What are the interests and passions you would like to pursue? Answering these questions will allow you to begin road-mapping your retirement plan and solidifying your financial security. 

To most effectively plan your retirement, ensure your goals are specific, measurable, and attainable. The earlier these objectives are set, the sooner you can begin saving and investing. You will be able to establish a solid foundation for a secure and enjoyable retirement early on, keeping your options open and avoiding unnecessary financial strain later on in life.

Create a Retirement Timeline

When do you plan to retire? Once you decide, you can set or adjust your goals to match your ideal timeline. To determine if this period is realistic, assess your current financial situation. Get a clear picture of your financial health by taking a look at your assets, liabilities, and investments. Use this information to make informed decisions about saving and investing for retirement.

Work backward from your ideal retirement age to set milestones along the way. These could include saving amount targets, investment goals and strategies, and other financial decisions that will impact and contribute to your long-term retirement goals. 

Know How Much You Need to Save

When determining how much you need in your retirement fund, consider your basic needs, emergency funds, and leisure. Additionally, factor inflation and healthcare costs into your goals, as the cost of living tends to increase as time progresses. A general rule of thumb is to aim for between 70 to 85 percent of your pre-retirement income to maintain your lifestyle post-retirement. 

It is important to know where these funds for day-to-day living expenses and beyond will come from without a steady paycheck. Keep in mind Social Security, pensions, and individual retirement accounts. Take advantage of any plans offered by your employer such as 401(k)s and IRAs. Contribute as much as possible to these accounts, especially if your employer will match your contributions. Also, think about diversifying your portfolio of investments, and considering risk along the way.

To calculate how much you need in savings, assess your current savings and estimate your future retirement income from various sources like Social Security, pensions, and rental properties. Calculate the retirement gap by subtracting your estimated future retirement income from your current savings. This will give you the amount necessary to bridge the gap. Divide the retirement gap by the number of years until retirement to determine your necessary annual savings. Remember that these calculations are just a starting point. It is important to regularly reassess your progress and adjust as needed. 

Setting retirement goals allows you to take proactive steps toward achieving financial freedom and a comfortable retirement. Remember, retirement will not look the same for everyone. Your plans will differ depending on your age and aim and should be reviewed and adjusted periodically to stay on track. Planning your retirement can be overwhelming but talking to a financial advisor can significantly help you in your journey. Here at Blakely Financial, we want to help you embark on life’s biggest vacation fully prepared and ready to make the most of your years in retirement. Contact Blakely Financial today to get started. 

Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals. Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM  to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being.
Commonwealth Financial Network® or Blakely Financial does not provide legal or tax advice. You should consult a legal or tax professional regarding your individual situation.
Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.

 

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What Does the Silicon Valley Bank Collapse Mean for Investors?

Americans have suddenly witnessed three very large bank failures in only a few days’ time. The first was the collapse last week of Silvergate, also known as “the Crypto bank.” Soon after, we read the news of both Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) and Signature Bank collapsing. These are some of the largest bank failures in U.S. history. What is going on here? Should we be worried? Is another financial crisis on the horizon? The short answer is no.

Why We Shouldn’t Press the Panic Button

Let’s start with the bottom line before we get into the details. This is something to keep an eye on, but it’s not the start of the next financial crisis. Unlike in the great financial crisis of 2008, the government is getting ahead of the problem rather than trying to clean up afterward. That is a very positive sign. We can certainly expect market turbulence—in fact, we’re seeing it already—but the systemic effects will be limited, and we’re not set for another major crisis.

Instead, the takeaway so far is that regulators and the federal government are on the case and are willing and able to support the financial system. Sunday night, the U.S. Treasury announced that depositors would be fully protected in the interest of maintaining systemic confidence and that funds were being made available to support banks under stress. Again, this quick action is what differentiates this situation from that of 2008.

What Will Happen Now?

Many people have written good descriptions of how and why these banks collapsed, and I won’t try to replicate those. To investors, the “why” is interesting, but what we really need to know is what it all means for the future.

The Federal Reserve’s (Fed’s) interest rate hikes are indeed affecting the financial system. The fact that the collapses have principally been in the tech and crypto spaces suggests that these sectors are even more at risk than the economy as a whole. While other banks will likely move to replace SVB, they will not be as focused or as dedicated to the sector, and things will slow down in the tech sector going forward. In short, one of the primary enablers of the tech boom is now gone.

Do These Failures Indicate a System-Wide Problem?

The answer to this question is good news. To set the stage, let’s look at the three factors that caused the financial system to lock up in 2008:

  • There was little transparency around asset values, which caused a lack of liquidity for those assets.
  • Banks didn’t have sufficient capital to weather a crisis.
  • There wasn’t enough available credit in the early stages of the crisis to support the banks until liquidity came back.

We’re in a very different place now on all three.

In terms of the liquidity issue, U.S. banks generally now hold very liquid assets, dominated by U.S. Treasury notes. Those values are clear, and there is a large market for them. Banks can raise cash, if necessary, simply by selling or borrowing against those assets.

Regarding sufficient capital, U.S. banks are, by and large, very well capitalized. They have the money to weather storms and, as noted, they can access those funds. These circumstances are both very different from those of 2008.

The third cause, lack of available credit, is where we must be careful. Banks have seen those Treasury notes decline in value significantly as rates rose, and there are questions in some cases about whether the value of the bank capital still covers the liabilities. This is what drove the collapse of SVB. What the Treasury did Sunday, however, was to solve this problem by providing a way for banks to borrow against long-term assets, like Treasuries, based on the par value, not the current market value. That largely eliminates the insolvency problem and will provide the credit that was missing in 2008. It will not eliminate the entire problem, though, as banks may still need to rebuild their capital bases. But it will allow the banks time to recover, which will be key to rebalancing the system.

Explained differently, the system is more transparent and has a more solid foundation compared to 2008. The government has also identified the remaining problems and put programs in place to deal with them. From a depositor’s perspective, the government’s decision to stand behind all deposits also reduces the risk of further bank runs. With a stronger system in place, and the government being aggressively proactive, there looks to be little systemic risk right now. We won’t see another great financial crisis.

What Comes Next?

What we can expect to see is continued turbulence. The primary purpose of diversification is to mitigate risk. By spreading your investment across different asset classes, industries, or maturities, you are less likely to experience market shocks that impact every single one of your investments the same. Our approach is to maintain a disciplined commitment to well-diversified portfolios. It may be a bumpy ride, but one that will eventually end. This story is not over yet, and we don’t fully know how it will play out. We do know, however, that we will make it through.

Certain sections of this commentary contain forward-looking statements that are based on our reasonable expectations, estimates, projections, and assumptions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks and uncertainties, which are difficult to predict. Past performance is not indicative of future results. All indices are unmanaged and investors cannot invest directly into an index.
Steve LaFrance, CFP®, AIF®, ChSNC®, MBA | Blakely Financial
Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals. Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being.
Commonwealth Financial Network® or Blakely Financial does not provide legal or tax advice. You should consult a legal or tax professional regarding your individual situation.
Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.
5 Staggering Stats About Women & Finance

5 Staggering Stats About Women & Finance

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, it is important to look into the ways in which women differ from men in the financial world. Though women have been greatly increasing their stake in global finances in recent years, they still have fewer advantages than men. You may be surprised to learn just how large the gender gap is when it comes to high-power positions, investing, savings, and marital finances. 

Only 19% of women are confident they’re on track to retire without running out of money

The fact that only 19% of women are confident they are on track to retire without running out of money, compared to 35% of men, implies a significant gender gap in savings plans. Women are more likely to face financial insecurity in retirement due to various factors such as the gender pay gap, caregiving responsibilities, and longer life expectancies. Women tend to have lower lifetime earnings and savings than men, which makes it challenging to achieve their retirement goals and can lead to a lower quality of life in later years.

This gender gap in retirement savings highlights the need for greater financial education and support for women, including increasing access to retirement savings plans and financial advisors who can help women navigate the complexities of retirement planning. Additionally, policymakers and employers must address the systemic barriers contributing to the gender gap in savings, such as the gender pay gap and lack of paid leave for caregiving responsibilities.

40% of men have invested money in the stock market compared to just 22% of women

There are nearly twice as many men invested in the stock market than women. This difference could be incredibly costly. Though the cause of this discrepancy cannot be determined with certainty, it is likely rooted in social and cultural norms which discourage women from taking an active role in financial decision-making. Additionally, the lack of representation of women in the financial industry can also create a barrier to entry for women, as they may not see themselves represented in the industry and may not have access to female financial advisors or mentors.

Addressing the gender gap in stock market participation requires a multi-faceted approach which includes increasing financial education for women, addressing systemic barriers limiting women’s financial opportunities, and promoting greater gender diversity in the financial industry. By creating a more inclusive and equitable financial system, we can help ensure all individuals, regardless of gender, have the opportunity to achieve financial security and prosperity.

If given an extra $1,000 men are 35% more likely to invest it 

There’s an investing gap between men and women. And for women who earn six figures, this gap could cost them as much as $1 million over a 30-year period.The disparity in investment behavior may be attributed to differences in financial literacy, risk tolerance, and cultural and societal norms between men and women. Men may be more likely to invest an extra $1,000 due to greater exposure to financial education and encouragement to take financial risks, whereas women may be more risk-averse and may prioritize more conservative investment strategies.

58% of women married to men leave financial planning and investment decisions to their husbands

Every couple is different in their ideas about financial responsibility, but most women leave the long-term planning and investing decisions up to their husbands. When wives are not involved in the financial planning, they could potentially be blindsided by the adverse effects of failed investments or lack of saving by their husbands. Though many relationships are successful under this planning system, it can leave women at a disadvantage by limiting their control over the long-term financial decisions for the marriage. 

Only 10% of Fortune 500 Company CEOs are Women

This statistic has remained around 8% for many years, so the increase is certainly a good sign of the increased power of women in the business world. However, 10% is still a shockingly small number considering the overall contribution of women to the workforce. This underrepresentation of women in top-level positions not only limits their opportunities for professional growth and economic advancement but also reinforces the systemic barriers preventing women from achieving their full potential in the workplace. Additionally, the lack of diverse perspectives in corporate leadership can lead to a lack of understanding of the needs and experiences of women, which can negatively impact company culture, policies, and decision-making.

Moreover, women’s underrepresentation in top corporate positions also contributes to their overall financial power. When women are excluded from the highest echelons of corporate leadership, it can exacerbate gender inequalities in wealth and income, perpetuating a cycle of economic disadvantage for women.

The Bright Side & Next Steps

Thankfully, plenty of progress has been made, and there is more to come. According to Fidelity’s 2021 Women & Investing Study of over 5 million investors in the last 10 years, on average, women outperformed their male counterparts by 40 basis points. The study goes on to share more women are investing than ever before.

Here are a few steps women can take toward financial freedom:

  • Seek the advice of a trusted advisor (like Blakely Financial). Investing can be intimidating, but working with an expert is the best way to make sure you’re getting the most out of your money.
  • Improve your financial savvy, you can improve your financial savvy by speaking with your financial advisor, referencing trusted online resources, and attending financial webinars.
  • Get a clear image of your financial situation, analyze your monthly expenses, and divide them into your needs, wants, and wishes. This will help you identify any extra income you can use towards investing.
  • Take advantage of all employer-offered benefits, for example: your employer may offer a 401k match. Make sure you are utilizing every financial opportunity your employer has to offer.

We believe strong representation of women in the financial field can encourage and inspire other women to make the most of their wealth. With an experienced financial advisor, successful women can take full control of their money and build a strong long-term financial plan. 

Blakely Financial, Inc. is an independent financial planning and investment management firm that provides clarity, insight, and guidance to help our clients attain their financial goals. Engage with the entire Blakely Financial team at WWW.BLAKELYFINANCIAL.COM to see what other financial tips we can provide towards your financial well-being.
Commonwealth Financial Network® or Blakely Financial does not provide legal or tax advice. You should consult a legal or tax professional regarding your individual situation.
Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, Member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.