The Finance Sisters turn one in June - what a ride the past year has been! We've discovered so many things, and also adapted our opinion on a few things. Here is a short countdown listicle of the things that shaped the past year for us:
10. Starting is the hardest part. This is true for many things in life - we have carried the idea of Finance Sisters around with us for a long while before finally taking the plunge. Likewise, we heard from many Sisters that even though they have done their research and they feel they are ready to sort their finances or even invest, it is such a big hurdle. We can only encourage you to take that step. Remember, it can be a small first step and nothing has to be perfect (see below!). If you need some extra guidance, we have developed our new 6 weeks email course to get you started.
9. Bitcoin warrants further research. We get the Bitcoin question a lot during our workshops, and rather than just dismiss it as being something we don't understand or too much of a gamble that we would never invest in it, we now think that it warrants further research beyond the headlines. This article on the JL Collins website is a good start. One thing we loved about it was that the comments section was quite reasonable (at the time of writing) and did not feel aggressive at all. The Girls That Invest Podcast has an intro on Bitcoin as well.
8. The reality of the gender wealth gap is real. We learned through one of the Instagram feeds that 56% of women in a relationship leave investing to the man, and 85% of them believe that their spouses know more about finances. This number definitely needs to be closer to zero! A good podcast to listen to relating to this to topic of women and investing is the new Financial Feminist podcast, which reached Nr. 1 in the Business Charts in the US even before it launched. The movement is gaining momentum! Our favourite episode so far is the one with Ellevest founder Sally Krawcheck
7. Straying from the core investment philosophy is not worth it. Earlier this year Sister V thought to stray a very little bit from the straight and narrow All World Broad Traditional ETF (also known as the bogleheads 3 fund portfolio) approach to invest a very small proportion of her investments (1%) into something more speculative (but not bitcoin). So far it doesn't seem worth the effort and my portfolio feels "untidy" if that makes sense. Even Sister M admits that while it can be fun to try new things (in a sensible way!), in terms of efforts vs. results, an automated broad ETF saving plan is hard to beat
6. Don't get slowed down by perfectionism. A healthy dose of perfectionism can be a powerful driver for high quality outcomes - but be aware it can slow you down. Especially in an important topic like our finances, we tend to yearn for the "perfect solution". It does not exist. Just get started, you can always adjust and fine-tune and perfection will come with time! We as Finance Sisters also had to learn to let go of perfectionism when releasing new ideas or resources - otherwise this space would still be a big white blank.....
5. It takes a while to get a partner on board. Sister V's partner is only now fully on board after he can see the positive returns... 3 years after first investing. Patience is required and we now discuss finances regularly and openly.
4. Our workshops are the most fun and impactful part of Finance Sisters. After we launched, we focused relentlessly on writing an e-workbook. We are super happy with the result, however we think our workshops are more impactful and also more fun. We love seeing a full screen of ladies who join to learn about taking control of their finances.
3. Surround yourself with financial feminists and you will think taking care of your finances is normal and mainstream. Managing our Instagram account has given us an insight into the Financial Feminist Influencers (mostly Gen Z by this point), of which there are many. Our feed consists of only one topic: Finance! It's made us feel empowered, and gives us lots of excellent "tips on the go". Check our instagram "following" list to also surround yourself with these positive financial vibes. Sadly the reality is very different,....
2. We are realistic with our assumptions, but it's good to be more pessimistic. We recently came across a Financial Independence, Retire Early blogger that is more cautious than most other voices we have read. For example, one assumption that many investors (us included) use, is that the average annual rate of return, after inflation, is 7%. This is based on historical performance. Tania Hester believes it is worth assessing the impact of a lower assumption, for example 6%, on your future goals. Her blog is worth checking out.
1. Nothing beats having a (Finance) Sister at your side. Tackling important decisions, getting started, pondering over options, being disheartened or angry because things are not going your way, or celebrating successes - nothing beats having an ally you can trust and that always has your back on your side. Sister V and M are so grateful to have each other. Even though we do not always agree on matters concerning investing, or even the Finance Sisters, our foundation of friendship and trust is the base for discussions and insights. We are each other's cheerleaders on our investment journeys, share tips and tricks and serve as a sounding board for new ideas. So make sure to get your own Finance Sister and embark on the journey to Rule your Financial World together!
Financial terms alert.... we use some terms here that you may not be familiar with. Please look them up on places like Investopedia if you don't understand them. As we are just starting out with the blog we cannot cover them here now but we will strive to do so in the future.