Saturday, February 21, 2009

Women Rising

Help is on the way. Hope is on the way. Women of Wealth are rising up. No longer to be eclipsed or overshadowed, or diminished. Our current state of economic affairs is complex, as most problems have gone beyond the point of "simple solutions". But thankfully, the solutions are there. And some brilliant Female minds will figure them out.

Over the last twelve months, I have been doing some research on the market for Alternative Asset, and other investment products among women. In order to understand the size and propensity, I needed to look at how Women view investing, and their approach to money in general. What I discovered may surprise you.

men have traditionally viewed women as "consumers", hell bent on spending every one of their hard-earned dollars on clothes, shoes, etc., not savers. This myopic view is not only insulting, it is factually incorrect. In fact, when it comes time to formulate a wealth plan, as Mary Rudie Barneby of UBS so aptly puts it, "'men invest to grow their principal, and Women invest to protect it''

We all know where the current indices are for the major Capital Markets these days. So much for "growing principal"!! A very insightful look at how this "increase my treasure at all cost" attitude by men has gotten us to a very dark place see Jacki Zehner's recent post.

Yes, Women do often balance their use of wealth between current consumption and a secure retirement. But they would never take the kinds of risks that men have by creating "financially engineered" products (CDS) that have no intrinsic value, then collateralizing them over and over again. Or reselling a mortgage by splitting it up into "tranches timed by maturity", only to find the maturity date is moot if the original homeowner is in foreclosure.

Is it coincidence that recent headlines are filled with the names of men - Madoff, Stanford, etc - that have victimized Women and men alike? How many high profile Women do you know that have been tied to the recent scandals plaguing Wall Street, Washington, and Main Street? I can't recall seeing any.

Yes, Women are rising. And they are angry, justifiably so.

Until next post, continue to believe, achieve, receive. SDG - JBHIV

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