Women Aren't Different; They Just Live Longer

Here's a diehard truth: It's more important for women to be good investors than men. That's because women live longer, typically earn less, and spend fewer years in the workforce. A surprising 80 percent of men die married whereas 80 percent of women die single.

So women have the greater need for investment income. Yet, all too often, they are significantly poorer at investing than men. Consequently, women over the age of 65 are a whopping twice as likely to live out their golden years in poverty than men.

In this chapter I am going to try to get behind the averages. That's because some women are among the best investors and financial pros you will ever see, and others are the worst.

Let's talk about the best. A number of women are (or were) outstanding financial writers. A few who come quickly to mind are Jane Bryant Quinn, Terry Savage, Nancy Dunnan, Mary Rowland, Grace Weinstein, and the late Sylvia Porter. Successful newsletter editors and publishers include Janet Brown, Chloe Lutts, and Mary Anne and Pamela Aden.

Among women who have made successful careers discussing money and financial topics on TV, Suze Orman, Consuelo Mack, Maria Bartiromo, and Sue Herera are on CNBC; Gerri Willis on Fox Business, who covers business news in terms of how it affects viewers' finances, and many others. All of the personal finance magazines and many newspapers employ outstanding female writers.

Barron's publishes an annual list of top ...

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