Wealth Generators: What Women Can Do to Close the Wealth Gap
by Kaitlyn Ranze
In 2013, one in four women was the sole breadwinner in their household. Today, women are breadwinners or co-breadwinners in nearly two-thirds of families. This change occurred despite the Covid-19 panorama pandemonium pandemic bringing female participation in the workforce to its lowest in decades. That seems like progress, right?
One of the solutions for overcoming the wealth gap: Wealth generation.
What is wealth generation?
Wealth generation is the process of accumulating assets or generating income. This includes anything that has the opportunity to increase in value like your investments in your retirement accounts, your home, or even your crypto wallet. It’s a topic of which women have been first systemically and then socially been left out of. But that narrative is shifting.
There are many ways women can create wealth, including through business ownership, investing, real estate, and even traditional workplaces. By understanding the different opportunities available to us, we can work towards building a more equitable and prosperous future for ourselves and our families.
Generating Wealth through Entrepreneurship and Starting a Business
One great way for women to generate wealth is through business ownership which is growing in popularity. Between 2014 and 2019 the number of women-founded businesses climbed 21 percent according to one American Express Study. This number is only expected to grow in the years to come since women are now outpacing men in starting new business.
There are many reasons for this entrepreneurship increasing among women. Firstly, businesses haven’t been fair to women historically. Inequality starts as soon as women apply for the job. Women are 30% less likely to be considered for the hiring than men. Second, gaps in pay persists, despite increasing education rates amongst women. Several studies have shown higher education does not lead to pay equity while the pay gap is wider for women of color. Also, disruptions in childcare and a lack of flexibility during the panini pandemic drove millions of women from the workforce.
Women are realizing that they can be successful in business on their own terms. They can keep greater portions of profit, create cultures they believe in, and work the hours they want from where they want. Thanks to the rise of technology, it’s easier than ever for women to start their own businesses from home.
If you’re hesitant to get started and not sure you have something to offer – always remember:
“You have a unique perspective; therefore, you will create a unique business and product. It can be intimidating to see everything else that is out there, and you may even experience a bit of imposter syndrome, but you do deserve a seat at this table—the entrepreneur table, la mesa de las jefas. No matter how different you think you are—perhaps because you are not doing business in your native language, didn’t go to college, or started out with a career in a completely different field—you have strengths that are going to guide you through this process and help you stand out and build a reputation in your industry.”
Not to mention, women entrepreneurs often have a different perspective and approach to business, which can be an advantage in today’s competitive landscape since women-led businesses tend to outperform the national average. Start with a side hustle and work your way up.
Other barriers to generating wealth? Policy.
Banks and investment firms often refused to deal with women, or charged them higher rates than men. This meant that women had to find creative ways to invest their money, often through informal networks or family members. This was primarily due to women not being considered as competent or capable as men when it came to money and business.
A history of women and investing:
In the early days of investing, women were largely left out of the process. However, in recent years there has been a shift in this attitude, and now more women than ever are investing. Over 66% of women are investing outside of retirement accounts now, according to Fidelity’s 2021 Women and Investing Study—that’s up from 44% in 2018.
So what accounts for the increasing success of women in the world of investing?
There are a number of factors, but some of the key reasons include:
Increased access to education and information about investing
More women in public places like #FinTok talking about it.
Why you should generate wealth through investing
There are many reasons why you should start investing in order to generate wealth. For one, investing can offer you the potential to generate higher returns than savings account or other low-risk investment vehicle. While there is always some element of risk with investing, inflation is so high right now your money is losing value. By choosing a diversified mix of assets you can minimize your chances of losing money.
Despite the barriers that have traditionally been faced by women investors, a growing number of women are now becoming successful. In fact, according to a study by investment firm Oppenheimer, women now account for 37% of all individual investors in the U.S.
Other reasons women are generating wealth through investing is the desire to take control of their financial future, concerns over retirement, and the growing number of women in executive positions and on corporate boards
Women are also really good at generating wealth through investing
According to one Fidelity study, “On average, women investors achieve positive returns and surpass men by 40 basis points, or 0.4%, an analysis of annual performance across 5.2 million accounts from January 2011 to December 2020 shows.”
Why women are better investors:
There is no one answer to this question, as each woman’s experience as an investor will be unique. However, there are a number of qualities that women often bring to the table that can make them successful investors. For example, women are often more patient than men, and they tend to be more risk-averse. They are also more likely to do their homework before investing, and to take the time to understand the investment options available to them.
If you’re a woman who’s interested in investing, don’t be afraid to jump in. Despite recent market fluctuations, the waters are only getting more welcoming.
Speaking of hot markets…
Women and real estate investing to generate wealth
Despite a housing shortage and affordability issues, women are still investing in real estate. In fact, the National Association of Realtors says single women made up 19 percent of all homebuyers in 2021. Real estate can be a great way to build wealth over time, and there are many different ways to get involved.
1. Buy property for yourself. This is probably the most common way women invest in real estate. When you buy a property, you become the owner and landlord. You can rent out the property to tenants, or use it for your own needs. Either way, you will be making money off of the property.
2. Invest in a real estate fund. Another great way to invest in real estate is through a real estate fund. This is a pooled investment vehicle that allows you to invest in a variety of different properties. This can be a great way to spread your risk and get exposure to different markets.
3. Invest in a real estate investment trust (REIT). A REIT is a company that owns and operates a portfolio of real estate assets. This can be a great way to invest in real estate without having to deal with the day-to-day management of properties.
4. Invest in real estate crowdfunding. Real estate crowdfunding is a new way to invest in real estate. This involves pooling your money with other investors to buy a property. This can be a great way to get into the market without having to invest a lot of money.
5. Invest in a real estate development project. A real estate development project is a project that involves the development of a property or properties. This can be a great way to make money if you have some experience in the real estate market.
6. House hack. By renting out a room, you’re reducing your overall living expenses.
Building wealth through a traditional workplace
Despite what culture says, you don’t have to turn your hustle in to a source of income. And not everybody needs to be an entrepreneur.
The best ways to generate wealth in a traditional work environment
You don’t have to make six-figures to generate wealth. As Mackenzie points out in this article, “If you follow any personal finance page you probably saw a plethora of posts saying something along the lines of, ‘If you invest $500 a month, you’ll be a millionaire by [blah blah date].’ They’re not wrong. However, those numbers are not going to work if you’re only making minimum wage… Instead focus on small steps and max out your benefits.”
Generating wealth by maxing out your employee benefits
Make sure you’re taking advantage of all of your employee benefits. This includes taking the company 401k match. According to a FINRA report “Americans are leaving some $24 billion in 401(k) company matches on the table each year.”
Generating wealth by increasing your income at your Day Job
One way to increase your income and max out your benefits is to ask for a raise. If you feel that you are underpaid, or that you have been working hard and have not received a raise recently, ask your boss for a meeting to discuss your salary.
Generate wealth by investing in yourself
Another way to generate wealth is to invest in yourself. Take courses or attend workshops that will help you improve your skills and knowledge. This can help you get a better job or receive a promotion at your current job.
Finally, make wise financial choices. Try to save money wherever you can, and invest in things that will help you grow your wealth. Examples of such investments include stocks and in business. The only way to close the gap is by increasing our assets and generating more wealth.