Although this happened to Australian Mary Donaldson who married Crown Prince Frederick of Denmark, the chance of meeting a wealthy prince for most of us is probably far less than winning tattslotto.
If this is your financial plan then I’d say you still believe in fairy tales. Most women I talk to today, rightfully want to create their own wealth and it is achievable.
So, what do modern Australian women really want?
The movie ‘What Women Want’ staring Helen Hunt and Mel Gibson is one example that comes to mind- we want a fantastic relationship apparently. But is romance and sex all we really want in life? I can just imagine my husband laughing if I came home and declared that. I believe we want more.
Over the past ten years I have met many women across a large variety of ages and backgrounds and what they tell me is usually the same. My research shows me how what we want is freedom to choose in all areas of life; love, money, career, family, health and fun. One area that stands out for us is how we are placing a far higher priority on creating wealth, and it usually ranks in the top five of the most important pressing of issues for women to address.
Sadly, there are many roadblocks in the way.So what sources of information are there to help us keep pace and remain well ahead of the poverty trap?
Government agencies don’t help our cause. When it comes to finding out about some really good statistics around women and wealth creation, the data is found to be terribly lacking. But this doesn’t mean women are not highly active in the area of creating wealth. You only have to attend a few workshops to see how many women are serious about running their own share and property portfolios. Or see how many women’s’ networks that are available to assist you to build your own wealth opportunities.
One area where statistics are reliable is in superannuation, and women are clearly way behind the eight ball, unfortunately. I am hugely concerned that the average superannuation retirement balance for women in Australia is only around $54,500, less than half that of the average for men. Although the government is lifting the super contributions from 9 to 12 per cent, this is not going to be enough for most women when they reach their desired retirement age. We live on average longer than men and we may have to survive on a lot less, which is why we need to get proactive now.
There is some good news however, and despite the barriers we are extremely active. A 2006 Newspoll survey by First National Real Estate showed one out of every five homeowners is a single woman. Women also account for one-third of all apartment and townhouses purchased, and in particular single women outpace single men when it comes to home ownership. Despite the lack of help women appear to receive, Australian women are carving the way to be a rising force in the property market.
The quickest way to get started with your aims to build wealth is to get a few like-minded friends together and start an investment club. You each work out your goals, select areas of wealth creation that you are interested in, such as property, shares, term deposits and superannuation and work together on gathering information. There are many sources including publications, books, blogs, websites like ASX where you can find lots of free information, seminars and professional financial planners or a good accountant who invests themselves. Not only is this a lot of fun to do, you are guaranteed to learn a lot and much faster than if you tried to do it alone. You will also be helping other women you care about and creating another excuse to get together.
Janine Cox is the Senior Analyst at Wealth Within, a private investment company specialising in managing direct share portfolios through their Individual Managed Account Service.
For further information visit: www.wealthwithin.com.au.