‘The Traits of a Good Investor and How Women Can Make the Most of Them’ by Contributing Editor: Mary Williams

 

I’m thrilled this week to introduce another vital editor to the “B Well Team” here on Organic Contessa; Mary Williams. Mary is VP of Investments for Raymond James and her perspective on helping not only women entrepreneurs but all of us, build “sustainability” for the future speaks to another level of secure, healthy and enjoyable living. As I speak about so often, sustainable living encompasses so much more than just living “green” – it’s building a strong foundation that encourages strength and longevity in all aspects of life. 

Hope you enjoy getting to know Mary as she helps to guide us on the right path to creating the future we all so long for. 

Be well ~ Organic Contessa xo

One of the best things you can do for yourself and/or your family is to be prepared to manage your finances responsibly. This is one of the things I am most proud that I can hand down and lead by example to my family. I have four adult children, ages 21-27; they are learning to be on their own and taking charge of their financial planning. My Dad taught me at a very young age, I remember putting 20% of my babysitting money in a passbook savings account to save for a big purchase. And at that age making $1.25 an hour (yes I know I am dating myself) it was a huge impression on me of always putting away for the future.

Even if you see investing as overwhelming or complicated and boring, you need to know the basics behind a well-thought-out strategy-at least enough to protect yourself from fraud and/or communicate effectively with a financial adviser or spouse.

Women are increasingly taking responsibility for managing their own money. That includes those who in the past may have left investing to a spouse because they were busy raising a family or had no interest in the subject, but who have since found that divorce, a spouse’s death, or the
need to help a parent have forced them to learn some investment basics. However, many women, who are experts in their field, may not feel confident about their investing abilities.

If you’re one of them, you may have more going for you than you think. Traits such as patience, willingness to confront and deal with mistakes, and recognizing when help is needed can benefit portfolio returns, particularly for a long=term investor. Even risk aversion, sometimes a problem
for women who are concerned about their investing abilities, can be an advantage if it’s applied wisely.

Feel you aren’t as knowledgeable as you should be about investing?

Chances are you’re in good company. Plenty of people know less than they should but aren’t willing to recognize or admit it; as a result, their portfolios suffer. Recognizing what you don’t know can be an asset. Being willing to ask questions and understand some basics will serve you
better than sticking your head in the sand.

If you make a mistake, can you admit and deal with it?

Many investors’ portfolios have suffered because of a failure to recognize an investing mistake and deal with it; instead, their owners hand on, waiting for a turnaround that may never come. As the saying goes, “Good investors know how to take profits; great investors know how to take
losses.”

Are you risk averse in the right way?

When people feel unsure hbout their investing skills, they sometimes take the path of least resistance and invest very”conservatively. In some cases this can be helpful. However, this trait can also be a double-edged sword if you’re investing far more conservatively that is appropriate for your goals and circumstances, either out of fear of making a mistake or from not being aware of how risks can be managed.

You don’t have to become a financial wizard to understand principles that can help you manage risk. Having a child involves many risks, but I have not met a parent yet who knows everything that will be needed before taking the plunge to have children. You prepare as best you can and
improve along the way; it’s the same with investing.

Can you be patient?

A portfolio is-or should be-a means to an end, not a competitive sport. It’s a way to pursue your financial goals, rather than a measure of self-worth or a vehicle for bragging about how you “beat the Market.” What also comes to mind when I think of the question “Can you be patient?”, is that putting away a little bit each month is the discipline it takes to build a portfolio that will help you meet your goals. “Just like it’s never a dumb question, it’s never “too little” or “too late” to start putting away for your dreams.

Equipping yourself to pursue your financial goals is time well invested. All investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investment strategy will be successful. But perhaps the biggest risk of all is not taking the steps needed to secure your financial future.

Also, being a good investor doesn’t mean you need to do all the work yourself. A financial professional can help you set a strategy, select specific investments, monitor their performance, and make adjustments as your circumstances dictate.

Enjoy the Ride ~ Mary

Mary Williams, MBA is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER tm with Raymond James. She lives in historic Roswell Georgia in a 1940’s cottage where she enjoys her family and her edible landscaping. Learn more about Mary and our entire “B Well Team” !

Email: mary.williams@raymondjames.com

Website: Mary Williams

Photo Credits: DailyFinance.com

{Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification mark CFP® which it awards to individuals who successfully complete initial and ongoing certification requirements. O and N Collective is an independent organization and is not affiliated with Raymond James & Associates, Inc. member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC}

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