WOMEN AND FINANCIAL LITERACY

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As a financial educator, 8VIC’s CEO Pauline Teo is concerned that those who do not have sufficient funds for retirement have chosen to do nothing about it.
By ShuQi Liu

“Women tend to be good savers. However, with low interest rates, we cannot and should not allow our money to just sit in the bank without beating inflation.”

Women are better and safer investors than men, states Pauline Teo, CEO at 8VIC, a regional education and training company specialising in creating wealth through value investing.

 

“Women tend to be more careful,” begins the financial educator over an email interview. “They conduct more research in their investment choices than men, who are generally more confident when it comes to investing. But that can sometimes lead to overconfidence instead,” she explains.

In layman terms, the concept of value investing is to invest in an asset which is worth a dollar, at 50 cents only.

“Let me illustrate the difference between price and value,” articulates Pauline.

“Imagine you buy a house. The bank values it at $500,000, but the seller asked for $700,000. Would you purchase the property? It is very unlikely you would, unless you love it very much and have too much money to spend,” she cautions.

“Let’s assume that you found another house: freehold, prime area, valued at $1.5 million. Due to foreclosure, the bank is selling for $700,000. Which property would you invest in?”

The answer is simple. This same principle can be applied while investing in the equities market. Over the past seven years, Pauline imparts financial literacy knowledge to thousands of women so they can also invest in shares worth $1 at 50 cents.

Pauline: At an infancy stage. Women tend to be good savers. However, with low interest rates, we cannot and should not allow our money to just sit in the bank without beating inflation. Especially in Singapore.

P: I don’t think so, but it does take more time to convince women that we are as good in financial management and investment as men. If not better.

P: Blissful, liberating and gratifying.

P: From my experience, most of my girlfriends and colleagues do not forgo their careers. But one of the key reasons this happens is due to childcare arrangement.

In caring for young children, not all couples are fortunate enough to have strong family support, like grandparents. Another reason is that mothers would prefer to be with their children and participate in every process and milestone during their growing up years.

At the same time, it can also be very tiring for women to juggle family and career. A working mother’s typical day looks like this: Waking up early to get the children ready, dropping them off at the childcare centre or caregiver’s place, then rushing off to work. Thereafter, she gets back to pick up her children. After dinner, she is busy with household chores, helping children with homework, and bonding as a family.  

With these factors put together, women may prefer to just focus on the family during this intensive period, before their children can be independent and capable of taking care of themselves.

P: When our program graduates thank me for making a difference to their lives.

After completing the Millionaire Investor Programme, one of our graduates thanked us for providing her with the ability to buy a property. This was possible because the shares she invested in had grown by 500% within six years.

These earnings, coupled with CPF, provided the opportunity to acquire a new property for her brother and herself. Both were single.

P: A wife to my husband, mother to my children, daughter to my parents, a friend to my friends, and a pillar of support for my team members.

Photos by 8VIC

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