We are so over gendered ideas about money. Most money stereotypes are also just straight up wrong. Statistically, women are better investors than men. Companies with more female execs make more money, and women are increasingly the household CFO. You’re probably thinking, “Oh, I get it, this is about money and women because it’s Mother’s Day.” Well, yes, and no! This article is about parenting and money, and in 2019, those are topics that are relevant to all genders.
Parents exist along the gender spectrum, households are diverse, and who handles what responsibilities is continuing to shift, morph, and change.
Women make great investors, men can handle a family budget. Gender may have plenty to do with how we view our relationship with money, but it has nothing to do with our actual ability to manage our money.
This article celebrates all parents, future parents, and anyone who has had a parent. Because it turns out, the skills that make a great parent, also make a great investor! So let’s explore why being a parent (of any gender) is on the ground training for investing. Investing, just like parenting, isn’t about gender, it’s about skill and knowledge.
Knowing how and when to call out the BS is part of being a parent, and also part of being an investor.
The top 4 parenting traits that will also level up your investing game.
The single most important quality for any investor (and every parent) is patience. If you can change 10,000 dirty diapers, sit through kindergarten piano recitals, help them with their homework, and power through the thousands of other tiny, day-to-day trials and tribulations of raising a human, you are PRIMED to be a great investor.
Investing is a long-term game. If you pay too much attention to the daily ups and downs, you lose sight of the true goal. Just like if you get too caught up in the crayons on the walls and the competitive sports league politics, you can lose sight of what it’s all for. Small wins, small losses, they all come out in the wash at the end of the day. Investing is about keeping your eye on larger goals and sticking it out.
2. You Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
That crayon art on the walls and the throw up on your cashmere sweater? Eh, you can deal. You’ve mastered the art of prepping a diaper bag, making pajamas look chic, and sneaking in a glass of wine or beer with your friends at least once in a while. You may not have mastered balance, but you know what matters and what doesn’t.
Parenting helps to teach us how to not make mountains out of molehills. And good investors understand this as well. Small dips and quick spikes are just market noise, they fade away. You are looking at broader trends and staying true to your goals and not panicking just because some sweaty guy on TV yelled “sell” while hitting a comical button.
3. You Listen to Good Advice and Ignore the Bullsh*t
There’s a lot of bullsh*t advice out there; both about parenting and about investing. Parenting helps to teach you to tune out the noise. The latest parenting fads are often just that, fads. Not everyone with a mommy and me blog is an expert, and not every finance bro with a twitter account should be giving financial advice.
Knowing how and when to call out the BS is part of being a parent, and also part of being an investor. And that also can mean knowing when to call a pro. If your kid is really sick, you call a doctor. People who are serious about investing know that it’s okay to talk to a financial advisor. You don’t have to do it all yourself, you can ask for help.
4. You Care Less About Appearances and More About Substance
At a certain point as a parent, you just have to stop caring if you haven’t been able to do your makeup in weeks, there’s spit up on your suit, or your kids have worn the same outfits for days in a row out of sheer stubbornness. It just doesn’t matter what things look like, it matters what they are. In the era of social media it can feel so tempting to compare, compare, compare. But nothing strips bare the facade of the filter better than the day to day struggles of raising a kid.
Parents understand that there are always cracks behind the perfect veneer. And the same is true when we compare our financial lives to those around us. Get rich quick ploys, pyramid schemes, and any investments that promise you 80% returns are bunk and you know it. Practice in letting go of external markers of success and focusing on long-term goals can make you a great investor.
Kids teach us a lot about who we are, and those skills are directly transferable to what it takes to invest well and stay committed to your goals. Parents, you are incredible, and we celebrate you.