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Women, it’s time for an investing revolution 

International Women’s Day should be about three things: celebrating the progress we’ve made towards equality, recognising there’s more to do, and recommitting ourselves to eliminating gender inequality.

Then again, I recognise the irony here: I’m a bloke in a male dominated field — finance in general, and investing in particular — passing judgement on an issue that I have experience with, but only from the outside. I’m not female. I haven’t suffered from the explicit and implicit gender stereotyping that tells women that finance isn’t for them. That money isn’t something girls should worry about. That finance is what we see in Wolf of Wall Street: testosterone, braces, swearing and drinking… you know, guy stuff.

It drives me nuts.

It drives me nuts because women are missing out. It drives me nuts because, as the cliche goes, ‘a man is not a plan’. And it drive me nuts because, contrary to the stereotypes, Warren Buffett invests like a girl!

And we all pay the price. Our mothers, sisters and daughters are less likely to enjoy an independent, comfortable financial future — because of the gender stereotypes our society has perpetuated. I know, because at the company I work for, the overwhelming majority of members are men. As in, somewhere above 8 out of 10. Maybe they’re investing on behalf of their wives and their families? Sure, but where are the women investing on behalf of their husbands?

And gents, we’re worse off, too. In any professional endeavour — medicine, law, childcare and yes, finance — if you’re only drawing from around half of the available talent pool, you’re not getting the best. Now, things are changing — the editor of Fairfax’s Money section is female. As are most of the presenters on Sky News Business and ABC’s The Business program. J.P. Morgan’s Australian Chief Economist is a woman, and they don’t come better than Fairfax’s own Elizabeth Knight and Adele Ferguson. On the flipside, when we last advertised for new staff to join The Motley Fool, there was just a single female applicant.

The good news is that finance has never been more accessible. Thanks to the internet and (slowly) changing attitudes, investing has been democratised. If you’re female and reading this — and if you haven’t already — please get started investing. And whether you’re male or female, please share this with a female friend, family member or colleague. Women, getting started is easier than ever — and easier than you think:

  1. Women tend to be better with money. That gives you an instant head-start, because you need to have it to invest it.
  1. You don’t need to cosyup to an old-school stockbroker from central casting. A good broker will value you regardless of gender (and I’m yet to meet a woman without a finely tuned ability to know when she’s being condescended to). Or you can embrace the low-cost, online brokerage opportunity, and do it yourself with a few clicks.
  1. You have the skills. As I mentioned above, Warren Buffett invests like a girl. So do most of the great investors I know. Don’t believe the movies: women make great investors.
  1. The rewards make it worthwhile. The statistics on compounding are astonishing. And while the best time to start investing is ‘yesterday’, the next best time is today.

Foolish takeaway

I’m glad men are taking control of their financial futures. But I’m frustrated that more women aren’t. I don’t blame them, but I know it’s costing them. And that drives me nuts. Please do yourself a favour. Get started investing, today. It’s easier than you think, and incredibly worthwhile.

Top 3 ASX Blue Chips To Buy In 2017

For many, blue chip stocks means stability, profitability and regular dividends, often full franked..

But knowing which blue chips to buy, and when, can often be fraught with danger.

The Motley Fool's in-house analyst team has poured over thousands of hours worth of proprietary research to bring you the names of "The Motley Fool's Top 3 Blue Chip Stocks for 2017."

Each one pays a fully franked dividend. Each one has not only grown its profits, but has also grown its dividend. One increased it by a whopping 33%, while another trades on a grossed up (fully franked) dividend yield of almost 7%.

If you're expecting to see the likes of Commonwealth Bank, Telstra and Wesfarmers shares on this list, you'll be sorely disappointed. Not only are their dividends growing at a snail's pace, their profits are under pressure too due to the increasing competitive environment.

The contrast to these "new breed" blue chips couldn't be greater... especially the very real prospect of significant share price gains, something that's looking less likely from the usual blue chip suspects.

The names of these Top 3 ASX Blue Chips are included in this specially prepared free report. But you will have to hurry. Depending on demand - and how quickly the share prices of these companies moves - we may be forced to remove this report.

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Scott Phillips is the Motley Fool’s director of research. You can follow Scott on Twitter @TMFScottP. Motley Fool contributor Scott Phillips (TMFGilla) has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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