Last week was International Women's Day, and it brought to our attention to the idea of women as investors. Thankfully, there's some good news around this, ladies (and gents), as, on many occasions, women make great investors. And while we realise these are some broad generalisations, there are some very real characteristics and data that show why women can make great investors.

These include:
1. Women are better savers. On average, women save an additional 1% of salary compared to men, which adds up over a working life.
2. Women actually log on to their investment accounts 45% less frequently than men, and they change their asset allocation 20% less frequently than men.
3. Generally, women are less erratic than men and they make less rash moves with their investments.
4. Women are not afraid to ask for help or speak up when they don't understand something.

Some downsides for women are:
1. They are often more risk-averse and prefer to invest in lower risk investments such as cash and term deposits
2. Women can often think a property is the only asset class available for investing in over cash and term deposits

For any investor, be they male or female, the biggest regret anyone will ever have is not starting their investment journey sooner.

Our tips for success include:
1. Set yourself some financial goals –Be bold in what you set and be accountable and reward yourself when you achieve little milestones.
2. Have a plan –Having a strategy provides direction and helps set up some discipline around achieving what you want and how you are going to get there.
3. Take a risk –Whether it is starting a business or taking a chance on something you have wanted to develop. From day one, consider how you can turn your business into an asset to use as a cash cow or for future sale.
4. Earn more and save more –Invest pay rises and windfalls, instead of spending them and increasing your cost of living. If you put these amounts away, you will be surprised how much they amount to. If you don't, your cost of living will increase with your pay.
5. Structure –Having the right structure can certainly save you big dollars so think about in whose name you should hold particular investments and businesses as this can save you tens of thousands of dollars down the track.
6. Take on debt and pay it off smartly –Using the bank's money to make you money is a great way to get ahead as it magnifies your gains… but don't forget it also magnifies your losses if things go wrong.
7. Have buffers –Always have an emergency fund or back-up plan for contingencies such as being out of work, time off work for children or health, business is slow, an investment property being vacant for six months and the list goes on. Ensure you have between three to six months' worth of your expenses and commitments in an emergency fund or accessible if needed.
8. Don't forget about super –Putting a little extra into super or salary sacrifice pays off in the long run and helps minimise tax. Putting a little away now will mean a big difference at retirement.
9. Get great advice –Seek the advice of a reputable professional who understands your goals and explains things in easy-to-understand language. They will be able to provide you with the knowledge, figures and most importantly will give you options around your plans and keep you accountable for your goals.

As a woman in today's modern society, it is important to understand your options and take action to secure your own future. If you need any advice or general information on the options, the team at Schuh Group would love to help. Call us anytime for an obligation-free appointment on 5482 2855.