From The Straits Times    |

Want to grow your own money, but feel apprehensive about investing? “Women tend to be intimidated by the whole process of investing, so they avoid it altogether, leaving it to the men,” observes Mary Buffett, author of Buffettology and former daughter-in-law of legendary investor and philanthropist Warren Buffett. “However, we should aim to be self-sufficient, and not depend on others for our future.” We ask her for some tips on how to get started.

Decide on the products you want to invest in.
“For the average 35-year-old woman with a career and family, index funds and mutual funds are the best choice. At this age, you have a long-term horizon, so your investments should be geared more towards growth (stocks), rather than fixed income (bonds) and savings accounts.

“Also, consider how much time you have to invest. If you’re time-pressed, it’s better to invest in index or mutual funds – where professionals make the investment decisions for you – rather than individual stocks.”

Understand what you are investing in.
“If someone offers you an investment that sounds too good to be true, it probably is! It’s therefore important to educate yourself. You work hard for your money, so make sure you make educated decisions about what you do with that money. There are plenty of resources available online and in bookstores, including my bestselling book, Buffettology.”

Set aside a portion of your monthly salary to invest.
“Generally speaking, you should be investing 10 to 15 per cent of your monthly gross income to ensure that you have enough savings for your retirement. Budget this into your monthly expenditure, and make it a priority. Also, avoid credit card debt, which can eat into your investment fund.”

Be patient.
“Don’t expect instant returns when it comes to investing. Have patience and understand that time is on your side with your investments. You should invest for the long term and let the power of compounding returns work to your advantage.”