Let’s be honest – we all need a little motivation to work hard, especially when we hit a wall or fail at a task. We’re talking those times when you feel like you just need that familiar voice that’s been there, and can offer that extra push for you at work.
That’s why we seek out the wisdom of successful women who’ve been in our shoes and can share stories of failure along the road to success.
There is a lot of career advice for women these days. A lot. And it’s great. You can find advice on almost every topic. From how to deal with a bad boss, to how to make money at your side hustle; ask for the raise. Get a mentor; get a sponsor.
Big relief, right? There’s so much we can learn.
But one of the most important pieces of career advice isn’t being shared, according to Sallie Krawcheck, co-founder, and CEO of Ellevest, a women-focused digital investment platform. Actually, it isn’t even really being talked about at all.
And that’s to invest the money you earn. In a diversified investment portfolio. Some amount from every paycheck, like clockwork.
Ugh. I’d rather pull reports all day, you might be thinking. And, doesn’t investing involve a lot of markets knowledge and learning lots of jargon, and doesn’t it open you up to losing all your money too??
No one ever has ever lost all of their money investing in a diversified investment portfolio.* So, if you don’t take enough risk, you may not make enough money to meet your investment goals. And even if it requires some extra effort (though not nearly, nearly as much as what we are already doing, which is kicking a** every day at work and only getting half the reward), it’s so worth it. Here’s what it can do:
It can build your wealth . . . not by a little, but by enough to make a real difference in your life.
The numbers: if you’re earning $85,000 a year, growing in line with women’s salary curves, saving 20% of that annually (as personal finance experts recommend), and putting that money in the bank — after 40 years, you will have saved $1.5 million.
Put that same money in a diversified investment portfolio, and in 40 years you can have another $1 million, or $1.7 million, or more. We calculated this using up markets and down markets, and you end up with these amounts the majority of the time.*
Ok, you may be saying, I get how that can help me when I’m a cool old lady. But aren’t we talking about my career? How about me right now?
Here’s how investing can help you today
1) Money is our number one source of stress. If you’re concerned about money, you can lose two weeks a year in work productivity worrying about it. Taking action to be in greater control of your money, and earning more money over time by investing, can help us spend more time focused on work, rather than focused on not having money. So we can do a better job in our job.
2) Tell me: do you feel better about negotiating with your boss if you have more of a money cushion? And by the same token, do you feel better about marching into your boss’ office with the proverbial “take this job and shove it” if you have more money? (Heck, don’t you feel better about ending a not-so-great-relationship-with-anyone if you have more money, as compared to being financially dependent on them?)
The answer to all of these is, of course, yes . . . in fact, heck yes. Financial control and financial equality are freedom. And taking action to be in greater control of your money, and earn more money over time with investing, can help you spend more time focused on personal priorities and work, rather than worried about money.
Here’s how can you start to prepare financially today: Build an emergency fund that is 3 – 6 months of salary. But don’t build up too much cash (as many women tend to do), because that penalizes us financially. If you put $25,000 in a savings account, then you can grow that to approximately $40,500 in 35 years. Put that same money in a diversified investment portfolio and it can grow to more than $99,000*.
If we’re not investing, we’re doing most of the hard work around money (you know, going to work every day, staying late, landing the difficult-to-close client, beating our sales projections) . . . but we’re only getting about half (or less) the reward. And so we’re depriving ourselves of the ability to take on more risks in our career, to “do what we want,” to have more fun in what we do, to do more in our careers, if we don’t have a financial cushion built up.
And that is why investing your money can be some of the best advice for building an amazing career. You can start investing today. It takes only 10 minutes, and it will make a real difference in your life.
This story is part of Style Salute’s Empowering Women and Workplaces initiative. Style Salute, a media company dedicated to helping women live a smarter and more stylish life, scouts experts from all over the world to help readers tackle big decision-making moments by giving them the information they need to make informed and empowered choices whether that in civic engagement, finance, career, health, wellness and more.
Another habit that makes you feel irresistible to yourself? Organizing your $$$. Not sure where to start?
Don’t get all flustered. Our friends at Ellevest know a lot about how to handle that cash money. Their digital service uses an algorithm specifically designed for women’s incomes and life cycles to figure out the best investing strategy for you. Plus Style Salute readers get a little something extra to start you off. Learn more here.
In search of even more financial wisdom, here are more personal finance topics for you:
Questions? We’re here to help. Leave us a comment and we’ll get back to you!