Women have historically lacked the confidence in their ability to invest. Financial wellness is no longer a taboo topic as more women take control of their financial independence and build their wealth.
About the webinar
In this session, we celebrate International Women's Day 2021 with a special talk between some leading women entrepreneurs in Singapore, as they discuss their personal investment journeys and their insights on building financial wellness for women.
Find out more from Sin Ting So, Chief Client Officer of Endowus; Anna Haotanto, Founder of The New Savvy and COO of ABZD Capital; Dr Elaine Kim, CEO of Trehaus; and Dr Juliana M. Chan, CEO of Wildtype Media Corp; as they discuss the importance of female investing in Singapore.
0:00 Introduction to Endowus
0:58 Introduction to guest speakers
9:32 Why do you think men and women look at investing differently?
13:43 How do women look at investing and money management?
17:05 Personal investment journeys of guest speakers
29:00 Should women be investing more?
31:00 What are some lessons and mistakes women make in investing ?
39:08 Mistakes women should avoid when investing in their children's futures
43:30 How you should strive for financial independence and take care of your family
51:00 Advice for new female investors
How did you start investing your own money? (16:48)
Sin Ting So, Chief Client Officer of Endowus: There remains a large wealth gap between men and women. About 60% of Singaporean women rely on cash and personal savings for their retirement. How did you start investing your own money?
Dr Elaine Kim, CEO of Trehaus: I've always had a great interest in business and while I was working full time as a doctor, a way for me to get involved without starting something on my own was to be an angel investor. Over the years, I used my business experiences, such as selling my first business, starting Trehaus, and a lot of support investment learning through family investment circuits, to help guide my investment journey and portfolio.
Dr Juliana M. Chan, CEO of Wildtype Media Corp: I learnt investing from my dad in the late 1980s. I come from the generation where I looked at stocks on the tele-tax, where all the stock prices are issued on the television on a black and white line and my dad used to plot everyday stock prices on a gigantic graph plot and use a ruler to draw a line and connect the dots. Today, seeking alpha or market watch apps do that for you automatically. As I grew older my dad advised me to invest in Reits (real estate investment trusts). He always encouraged me to hold for the long term and over the years I maintained that long-term outlook.
What are your biggest financial regrets or mistakes? (31:00)
Anna Haotanto, Founder of The New Savvy and COO of ABZD Capital: The first mistake I made was actually to listen to a hot tip. I went home and bought some shares in a certain company and the stock fell. I went in and bought more, and in the end I lost all my money because the company went bankrupt. Throughout my journey I have heard people say "you should buy this" or "I have this tip", and you get a bit tempted. What I've realised is that the big money you can make, the life-changing money, is actually in investing long-term. Basically just put it there and don't feel any urge to trade.
Dr Elaine Kim: I agree with Anna about not trading. Unless you can be doing it full-time, intensely trading and really watching the markets, it is very hard to do. Try to have a long-term view.
Dr Juliana Chan: I did not learn to diversify my investments early enough. I'm always impressed by how diverse institutional investor portfolios are. They have precious metals, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, everything under the sun, they have diversified so well they don't have to worry about one falling.
How do you handle family duties while managing your own finances? (44:13)
Sin Ting So: When it comes to financial wellness and stress, family can play a really big part. Women in Singapore take the lead in managing day-to-day expenses. But when it comes to major, long-term financial decisions, eight in 10 women here leave those matters to their spouses. How do you handle family duties with your partner, so that you are free to take care of your own finances and life goals?
Dr Juliana Chan: My husband and I have our own separate accounts where we keep our savings and our earnings, and we have a joint account where we put 50/50 into it to manage our children's activities, school fees, mortgage payments, and so on. When the joint account runs low, we top it up when needed. I think that's generally a healthy practice.
But I've seen some women who only hold a joint account with their husbands, without their own accounts for their personal finances. Either party can withdraw sums from the joint account — so in the event of any mishap between the couple, you can be left penniless. If the husband is responsible for all the investments, some of them may be solely in his name. When that time comes, it may end up being a very lopsided situation (unless the law is in favour of the woman), and I wouldn't want any woman to be caught unawares with the rug pulled out from under them.
Given the rising number of divorces in Singapore and globally, we should all be prepared for a case where we might need to fend for ourselves. Financial literacy is survival. We need to know how to manage our money and also have a rainy-day fund that only we have access to. I encourage women to have private accounts for their own money.
What advice would you give someone who's new to investing? (52:16)
Sin Ting So: Every woman should be her own Chief Financial Officer. What resources would you recommend to a woman starting on her investment journey? Should she engage a financial advisor?
Anna Haotanto: Start as early as possible, start small, and learn as much and educate yourself in things you don't know. There are always platforms like Endowus that have professionals managing it for you.
Dr Elaine Kim: For women especially, I think New Savvy and Endowus are great resources to learn with and start your investment journey.
Explore the Endowus Fin.Lit Academy to understand investment fundamentals, grow your wealth, and get smart with your financial and retirement planning. To get started with Endowus, click here.
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