By Jesse Draper, investor
I know everyone is penny-pinching due to COVID-19. What is interesting about men versus women is men know how to grow their money and women tend to hold onto their money. Over generations, men have passed down their pocketbooks and investments to their sons. While for women, the norm is teaching their daughters nothing about how to invest or manage their money. In fact, to take this one step further, women have actually been taught to literally give away money. Women give to charity more often and feel more comfortable giving away cash than investing it. This is a problem. We need to invest our money. That is how we grow our capital and create wealth for our families and level out the playing field for the next generation of women.
Here are a few things to think about when it comes to investing your money versus holding onto it. With as little as $100, you can start investing and growing your money. If you have more than $100 – invest $500 – invest $5000. The more you invest, the more money will grow. Today I am going to give you a few tips on public investment, private investing and the most fun investing, investing in your wardrobe!
Public investing typically refers to the stock market. These are companies that have grown large enough to go through an Initial Public Offering, or an ‘IPO’ which means, anyone can purchase a share AKA ‘a piece’ of the company. A stock is a group of shares. There are a few different ways to purchase a share of a company. The Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley’s of the world are where you would work with a banker to purchase a large amount of stock. These are typically for the people of high net worth AKA more dollars to spend. Today, there are so many great ways to do this without a banker and with even just small amounts of cash. Some apps to get started are Robinhood, Acorns, Stash -even Etrade and Schwab have apps now too. Public investing is one of the less risky opportunities to grow your money. And my rule is to only invest in what you understand and know. The best way to get started is to look up the Fortune 500 which are the best performing 500 companies each year. You will see names like Amazon and Starbucks and companies you are familiar with. After purchasing your first share or stock, you can watch it go up or down in value. The biggest misnomer here is that you should never worry if the stock goes down. We are trying to grow our money and that doesn’t happen overnight. It happens over time. Fidelity did a study on the people who made the most money in the stock market over decades of time – and the people who ended up making the most money were the people who literally forgot they had invested it! So you can think about leaving it in the stock market to grow with this mentality.
Private investing is typically a little riskier. This could refer to anything from angel investing in a startup to a real estate deal to your friend’s restaurant. Today, we’re going to focus on ‘angel investing’. If you have money to invest in a startup company, your best bet is to divide that amount by 10. This is typically how many start-ups you need to invest in to actually see something back. With high failure rates for early-stage companies, you want to be incredibly careful with angel investing. There are a few ways to make private investments like these less risky: You can find an angel group in your area -a group that pools their resources and invests in deals together. You can also use companies like Porfolia, Plum Alley, Angelist and ifundwomen.com to dip your toe into angel investing. Many people invest in and alongside venture capital funds to learn the ropes and de-risk their angel investments because funds invest in many startup companies in a single portfolio so they aren’t dependent on every single deal having to do well.
Yes, you can look at your closet like the stock market. Start thinking about quality versus quantity. ‘Investment pieces’ if you will. You want to purchase a nice blazer for work or a great purse. Before you spend a significant amount like $500 on anything in your closet, go look up the brand and how well it holds value. Re-sale sites like The Real Real, Tradesy and Poshmark have great data on this. The Real Real has a great list of brands that hold the most value which they update daily. Typically, when it comes to high-end brands, Chanel, Gucci, YSL, Louis Vuitton and jewelry brands like Tiffany&Co or David Yurman hold value forever. In terms of more affordable brands, go do some quick research before you consider buying a new suit or pair of jeans to see what resells well. If you think about your closet in this way and how it holds value, you always have the opportunity to resell. Sometimes certain pieces increase in value over time! If you are a fashionista, this is definitely something you should be thinking about in terms of your closet.
photo courtesy of @lefreaks_
Draper was listed by Marie Claire magazine as one of the ‘50 Most Connected Women in America’. Draper has been a contributor to Marie Claire, Mashable, Forbes, and is a regular investor and tech personality on shows including TLC’s Girl Starter, The Katie Couric Show, Fox’s Good Day LA, CNBC’s Who Wants to Be the Next Millionaire Inventor? & Freeform’s Startup U.
She proudly sits on the board of directors of Trust & Will, Blue Fever, Carbon38, Preemadonna (creator of the Nailbot) and the non-profit board Bizworld and Project Glimmer. Draper supports the Parkinson’s Institute and is very involved with growing UCLA’s female entrepreneurship community.