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Women are ready to make their money work harder

Jeanie Ahn
Senior Producer/Reporter

Wall Street might be dominated by men, but women investors are ready to demand more from their money. Seventy-two percent of women in a new survey by Fidelity said they’re ready to make bolder money moves in the next six months. Next steps include creating a financial plan, investing more of their savings, hiring a financial planner, and selecting more appropriate investments for their goals.

Among the women who are already investing in the market, most of their money is still parked in their savings and checking accounts. In fact, only a third of their savings is invested in the stock market. Of the 56% of women who said they aren’t investing in the market, 11% is saved in cash, and a whopping 70% of their savings is still in their savings and checking accounts. Only four in 10 women surveyed by Fidelity associated investing with growing their wealth.

Most financial advisors recommend having enough saved in your emergency fund for three to six months of living expenses. Beyond that, your money can and should be put to work. Despite the fact that women are very confident in their day-to-day financial matters, their confidence level tends to drop dramatically when it comes to investing. This latest round of data from Fidelity shows that most women feel good about making big budgeting and spending decisions for their household, but only 15% felt confident about choosing the right financial investments for their goals.

But study after study has shown that when women do invest, they get better returns than men. They are less likely to react to the daily ups and downs of the market, holding onto investments with the long game in mind, and are risk-aware (not risk averse) about what’s at stake.

More than any other generation surveyed, millennial women are the most proactive investors. Nearly half, 48%, are currently investing outside of their retirement accounts, followed by 40% of Gen Xers and baby boomer women.

“Women deserve to have their hard earned-savings work just as hard as they do every day,” says Kathleen Murphy, president of Fidelity Investments’ personal investing business. After all, women today are living longer than ever before, and every minute they’re not growing their money is an opportunity lost to add to a healthy financial future.

Jeanie Ahn is a senior reporter and producer at Yahoo Finance, covering personal finance and women in business. Reach out by email jeaniea@oath.com. Follow her on Twitter.

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