Wednesday, May 09, 2001

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Investment Clubs...

...but were afraid to ask" was the topic for the May 9th Single Women's Alliance Network (SWAN) seminar. SWAN Founder and Executive Director Mary Springer introduced the topic and encouraged all attendees to join the organization, if they hadn't already. She pointed out some notable stats, such as 40% of the adult female population in the United States are single women (that's over 40 million women, including never-married, divorced and widowed women of all ages), and that single women put billions of dollars into this economy. After a few more words about upcoming events, she introduced CEO/Co-founder Clara Lipson, who presented the main topic.

Clara pointed out that despite women's economic strength, a surprisingly small percentage of them feel comfortable with finances and investing. Did you know, however, that women make up 47% of all investors in the U.S. (NASD), and that American women hold more than 51% of the wealth in the U.S.? They do! The case for investment clubs builds when you consider those facts along with the fact that 67% of women are uncomfortable dealing with brokerage firms and 82% of women are skeptical of the information they receive from financial representatives. Clara outlined areas where women can learn more about financial topics: professionals, courses and investment clubs. Women's investment clubs are growing at a considerable rate. Between 1990 and 2000 there was a 25% increase. Of the 37,000 investment clubs registered with the NAIC, 54% are women only, and of the 850,000 people who are members of registered investment clubs, nearly 70% are women! Obviously, this is a place where women feel comfortable with their money. Many women join these organizations as a social outlet as well. Clara showed us the navigable parts of the Web site, where you can find a club, start your own or find out all sorts of other financial-type information.

Hostess for the evening, Merrill Lynch Private Client Group Assistant VP and Senior Financial Consultant Patricia Williams introduced our next speaker, a representative from She outlined other positive benefits of investing, especially investing early. Patricia graced us with her knowledge and explained the benefits of asset allocation. She also answered some questions about today's market.

With informative seminars like this one, SWAN answers many needs for single women in New York. The organization will surely grow to be a thriving national network, fulfilling the needs of the thriving network of single women in our nation.