I have a girlfriend whom we know each other for over a decade. But I didn’t know that she is a savvy property investor until quite recently.
“Unlike men, we women seldom bring up topics about money, finance and investment. We talk about husbands and kids when we see each other.” She explained.
“As Asians, we are taught to be humble and not to show off our wealth. As women, we are taught to stay low profile about our capabilities.”
That is the reason why articles on money advice for women are about smart spending, personal saving, life protection and retirement planning. These are all defensive rather than active strategies.
That is also the reason why women end up focusing on shopping for discounts, saving money from their fixed income, signing up more insurance policies from agents, and buying even more banking products from the middleman.
Why women need more than conservative money tips
According to World Health Statistics 2017, women outlive men by six years in Singapore. The average life expectancy of Singapore women is 86.1 years which is the second longest in the world.
Women, on average, earn less per dollar than men, often take time off from work to care for others, and generally have very little time in their busy schedules. They can find themselves unprepared to reach their financial goals.
– Women and Investing, Wells Fargo Investment Institute
Aren’t women more entitled to a proper financial education? Isn’t it more relevant for them to learn about how to grow their personal wealth? Shouldn’t we encourage more women to be successful investors?
It’s easy to solve your problems when you’re a successful woman and you have your own money. I think about all the women who aren’t, and don’t, and the hell they must go through. It’s something we can never forget … But that is the whole reason to become successful. It’s when you really understand why you’ve worked so hard. So that when there is a crisis, your family doesn’t have to suffer.”
– Candace Bushnell, Lipstick Jungle
Female qualities that make successful property investors
When the media reports successful women entrepreneurs or investors, the stories often make fellow women feel that the high goals and marvellous achievements are out of their reach.
But that is the characteristic of media stories. They tend to report exceptional cases to attract readers.
Instead of singling out individuals, it should highlight how women can leverage their feminine traits to achieve financial success.
I have written in another blog post the “6 qualities that make women great property investors”. Because not many women know that their feminine qualities can help them to be successful property investors.
1. Meticulous and diligent
Women are more insecure and tend to do more planning in advance. Careful planning, budgeting and calculations are their strengths.
Women are also more careful with money. They are born shoppers who do their desk research and field studies diligently and patiently. When it comes to a property deal, rather than buying it on a whim, they are likely to check through everything meticulously before making the final decision.
2. Artistic and intuitive
Property investment is both art and science. Besides crushing the numbers, women are more artistic in nature. They have stronger aesthetic sense which is a set of principles governing beauty, taste and harmony. Whether in showflats or resale flats, the ones who point out design faults and building defects are usually from the fair sex.
Many women claim that they possess the sixth sense. They somehow have the instinct to know something which is inexplicable and beyond reasons. And that intuition can prompt them to make a shrewd investment decision.
3. Sociable and expressive
Women often have the social soft skills required to work with sellers, agents, lawyers, tenants and vendors. They are more compassionate in nature and are thus more empathetic to the needs of sellers and tenants.
Women are often better negotiators because they look less formidable compared with men. That makes them easier to come off as an amiable party even when they are proposing an aggressive offer.
4. Egoless and modest
Unlike men, ego is seldom an issue for women. Women don’t associate asking for help with incompetence. They don’t have to worry about being less ‘macho’. They feel comfortable asking for directions and are ready to seek advice. With good practice over the years, they have learned how to ask the right questions.
Furthermore, more ladies understand the virtue of being humble. As the late British Prime Minister Margret Thatcher once said, “The cock may crow, but it’s the hen that lays the eggs.” And they are the golden eggs. I often see guys who boast about a paper profit of tens of thousands, but I know ladies who keep to themselves after reaping millions.
5. Conservative and pragmatic
According to the Wells Fargo report, women have far lower investment return expectations than men. Women also outperform men on a risk-adjusted basis.
Women like to have things under control. They are more cautious and conservative in investment. Women are not comfortable committing to something that looks too good to be true.
Aggressive growth, fast turnaround or high risk high return investments are not for women. They are also less likely to be a property flipper, trader or speculator. They won’t be overly-excited about get-rich-quick strategies because they are not keen to be instant millionaires.
It is not a myth that women multitask better than men by juggling multiple roles at the same time. This multitasking instinct comes in handy after the purchase of your property – when you have to deal with the agent, the bank and the lawyer simultaneously. It is also useful if you have to manage different vendors in a home improvement or renovation project.
Multiple-property landlords have to arrange repair for one property, to renew the tenancy agreement for the second one, and to find a new tenant for the third one – all happening at the same time.
All women can do it. What they need to do is the motivation and courage to take the first step.
Courage is the most important of all virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.
My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style.
– Maya Angelou, American civil rights activist
When we were a girl, we longed for recognition from the elders.
When we were teenagers, we thought beauty and friends are everything.
When we were in our twenties, we wanted to build a successful career.
When we were in our thirties, we looked for a man who loves us to start a family.
When we were in our forties, we realized being heathy and balanced in life is most important.
When we reach our fifties, we finally make peace with ourselves and be who we really are.
Happy International Women’s Day!