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The Money Management Newsletter: Savings
Saving vs. investing (Women: Appreciating your worth)

While women are coming to recognize the need to save for their futures, many are still uncomfortable with the idea of investing. As a result, most women hold their RRSP money in guaranteed investment certificates (GICs) and savings accounts. According to Decima Research, 43 per cent of Canadian women held GICs and term deposits in their RRSPs in 1995, while only 32 per cent held mutual funds.

"The key is understanding the difference between saving and investing," says Elizabeth Hoyle, vice president of marketing at Trimark Mutual Funds. "Savings is accumulating your money, while investing is making that money work to earn more money. Savings and term deposits earn a fixed amount of interest, but investments like equity mutual funds or stocks have the potential to grow."

The research says that women look for security, and savings accounts and GICs are safe if you're looking at the short term. But for RRSP money, savings accounts historically haven't outpaced inflation. So women need to put their money into investments that will grow over the long term.

To help women understand saving and investing, as well as the concept of risk, Trimark launched an education program called Appreciating Your Worth (AYW) in 1993. Two years after its launch, the number of Canadian women who said they understood how a mutual fund works increased to 30 per cent from 20 per cent.

"Women want to know their options, so we created AYW to demystify investing, simplify the task of choosing a financial adviser and help women understand the importance of developing an investment plan that meets their individual financial goals," says Hoyle.

Appreciating Your Worth includes a 28-page booklet, written specifically for women who want to learn more about investing. It includes advice about how to choose a financial adviser, a worksheet to help you develop a plan, a glossary of financial terms, answers to common questions about investing in mutual funds, and profiles of successful women investors. The Trimark brochure is available from our office, please ask for it by name.

 

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