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Taking Control of Your Financial Future

Women in America have made great financial strides since the 1970s, when banks frequently required women to bring a man with them to cosign for a credit card. Today, women control $14 trillion, or 51%, of the wealth in the United States – and that number is expected to reach $22 trillion by 2020.1

Yet research suggests a majority of women would like to be more engaged with their finances and that a lack of knowledge and confidence surrounding financial planning and investing might be holding them back.2, 3

The key to handling any situation life throws at you – financial or otherwise – is preparation. Baird Women Advisors, a network of female advisors at Baird, shared several ideas on how women can build their knowledge and confidence about money and investing:

TALK TO A FINANCIAL ADVISOR

Whether you have or are considering establishing a relationship with one, a financial advisor is a great place to start. "Trust me, most advisors are happy to teach you what they know, and to spend time answering your questions and sharing resources that can help you gain financial knowledge," BWA President Angela Krause-Lane said.

SIGN UP FOR A CLASS OR SEMINAR

Many advisors offer seminars and materials on educational topics that will help build your financial knowledge. Your local college or university, park and recreation program or senior center may be a good resource as well. This can be a nonthreatening way to learn about financial planning, especially if you bring along a friend.

LEARN FROM YOUR PARTNER OR CLOSE FRIEND

If your partner is savvier about money management and investing than you are, ask what their approach has been to making financial decisions. A family member or close friend you trust may be willing to share insights as well.

ADDRESS YOUR FEARS AND CONCERNS

Many people – men and women – have fears about money that can hinder their ability to make good financial decisions. Common concerns might include running out of money during retirement or not having a safety net if life throws you an unexpected financial challenge. You might find those concerns lose their power when you talk about them – and you might even turn them into action items.

MAKE A PLAN

If you feel you're in over your head, you're not alone – nearly two-thirds of women report feeling overwhelmed by the financial information and options available to them.3 Stick with the basics of financial planning – set goals and create a solid financial plan that reflects what matters to you. Importantly, take time to review your portfolio on a regular basis with your financial advisor, working with them to understand when to adjust your investments and keeping your paperwork up to date.

However, you'll likely find the peace of mind that comes from understanding your finances and being intentional with your financial future well worth the effort. Your Baird Financial Advisor is with you every step of the way to help you plan and make good financial decisions.

"The key to handling any situation life throws at you – financial or otherwise – is preparation."

1http://www.marketwired.com/press-release/bmo-report-despite-controlling-14-trillion-wealth-american-women-still-have-challenges-tsx-bmo-2006436.htm

2https://www.fidelity.com/bin-public/060_www_fidelity_com/documents/women-fit-money-study.pdf

3https://www.allianzlife.com/about/news-and-events/news-releases/Women-Money-and-Power-Study

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