What a Difference Investing Can Make

Category : FINANCE

Featured on DailyWorth

The value of $10 per week in 10 years if you…

Spend it now
Save it*
Invest it with Betterment*

Is $8,437 a realistic number, based on realistic returns? In fact it is—although as they say, “past performance is no guarantee” of what the future holds. But in this economy it’s vital to give your money every possible chance to grow.

Want Betterment now? Click here to sign up and get a $50 bonus on your initial investment of $1,000 or more.

Look at how $10/week can really add up:

If you have $10 to spend this week, you can treat yourself to:

A few cups of coffee
One cab ride or a partial tank of gas
An e-book (or two)

If you save $10 a week in a savings account earning 1% interest, in 10 years you could buy:

A deluxe espresso machine and a year’s supply of coffee beans
A down payment on a used car
A couple of college classes

If you invest $10 a week in a Betterment account earning 9%*, in 10 years you could afford:

Stake in a coffee company
A down payment on a new car
Tuition for a full semester

Join Betterment now and earn an instant $50 with your initial deposit of $1,000+.


The She-Economy Has Officially Arrived

Category : CAREER

Why women will run the economy

Excerpt from MSN Money.com

Moving on up

“She-conomy” sounds like some kind of bad cable-TV reality series. But in fact, a series of significant changes are adding up to a new financial reality for American women, who wield more economic power than ever before:

  • Women hold 60% of advanced degrees among adults 25 to 29, the Census Bureau reported last month, and half among adults of all ages.
  • As more women attain advanced degrees, their earnings power is likely to rise, the Census Bureau predicts. According to 2008 data, the most recent available, people with bachelor’s degrees earned an average of $58,613 a year and those with advanced degrees an average of $83,144.
  • Women are now the primary home purchasers in nearly 25% of all deals, up from 14% in 1995, according to the National Association of Realtors.
  • Women control about $4.3 trillion of $5.9 trillion in U.S. consumer spending, calculated the authors of “The Female Economy,” a study published in the Harvard Business Review in 2009.
  • Women occupy half (49.8%) of the U.S. work force and, according to the Internal Revenue Service, constitute 43% of the nation’s top wealth holders — those with assets of at least $1.5 million.

Embrace it, baby

No longer are women “fearful financial wallflowers,” says Linda Descano, the president of Women & Co., a financial advisory division of Citigroup.

“When you combine all the different ways that women are influencing the economy, it adds up to what we’re calling the she-conomy,” she says.

And women are embracing the new economic order, Descano says, citing the results of “Women and Affluence 2010,” a study by Women & Co., which surveyed more than a thousand women ages 40 to 70 with investable assets of $100,000 or more.

Not only do 82% of women rate themselves as knowledgeable about investing and finances, compared with 75% in 2008, two-thirds consider themselves “the chief financial officer — responsible for their families’ financial planning, investing and retirement,” the report states.

How’s your retirement?

But even for these more affluent women, as for most of us, security and retirement remain paramount concerns.

Recent surveys suggest that women still don’t feel confident about their ability to manage their retirement plans, according to theWomen’s Institute for a Secure Retirement. A 2009 study by McKinsey indicated that 32% felt unprepared for retirement.


1. Make your plan work for you

One of the intriguing conclusions that Descano has drawn, after many years at the helm of Women & Co., is that traditional financial plans don’t always serve women’s needs.

Women’s lives typically follow a different rhythm than men’s, often with more time out from the work force — to care for kids and again later to care for aging parents — and/or more time spent working part time.


A retirement calculator that assumes annual raises of 3% a year may not return as useful a result, for example, as one that allows for year-by-year changes and shifting goals, like ESPlanner.

“Women have different financial lives than men do, and their financial plans need to reflect that,” Descano says.

2. Assert yourself

Whether you’re sitting down with your spouse, money buddy or a fee-only financial planner, make your needs, views and values clear, says Descano (she used to be a planner herself). “You often hear, ‘Women aren’t interested in money,’ when the truth is that they want to hear about money in a way that interests them.”

At least, that’s how I talk myself out of most frivolous purchases these days. I envision living in a tiny house on a fixed income and never getting on a plane — versus a comfy house, nice trips and freedom from worry. That puts me in touch with the power of my she-conomy.

3. Imagine your future wealth

Human beings have a hard time saving, for countless psychological and possibly biological reasons. (See “Secrets of successful savers.”) Policy wonks, economists and lawmakers keep devising new ways to trick us into saving, but you still have to find ways to do it yourself.

One way to overcome the paralysis that prevents you from putting aside money now for the far-off goal of retirement is to visualize, in detail, the life you want. And point out that new Adirondack chairs are not — sorry, sweetie — going to help you get there.

At least, that’s how I talk myself out of most frivolous purchases these days. I envision living in a tiny house on a fixed income and never getting on a plane — versus a comfy house, nice trips and freedom from worry. That puts me in touch with the power of my she-conomy.