Anything is possible.

I had an inspiring day at the HR Society conference yesterday.  The theme was ‘Anything is Possible’.

“Anything is possible, but only thinking and believing makes it so.”


“Anything is possible when you have the right formula.”

“Anything is possible when nothing is certain.”

We listened to Anika Conolly’s (a.k.a Miss Cayman) inspiring story.  How she moved from poverty to represent her country.  And it was because she believed.  We all get to decide how our story goes.  There is always a way.

We listened to Grace Byers’s story of how she learned to accept, and love, her uniqueness.  We heard why we must treasure ourselves.  Only when we accept our worth can we bring change to others.

“Only when our cup is full, can it overflow into others”.

I had a wonderful time meeting women at my booth and talking specifically about the issues that impact women and their money.  I had a quiz, five questions to stimulate discussion, which it certainly did.

The questions were:

  • What is the biggest mistake women make that prevents them from living a financially independent life?
  • Give two reasons why women tend to generate better returns than men when managing their investments?
  • What percentage of women will be solely responsible for managing their finances at some point during their lives?
  • When a woman loses her spouse to death or divorce, what are her three biggest financial concerns?
  • Name three reasons why women retire with significantly less money than men.

There was one thing that came up over and over, which bothered me.  Many women told me, mostly in response to the last question, that women shop too much (which wasn’t one of the three reasons).  Urgh.

I find this so disheartening, and I am not sure I can really explain why.  Maybe it is because it harps back to the old stereotype of ‘men make the money and women spend the money’.  Maybe because women have actually been shown to be better and more diligent savers than men.  Maybe it’s because the thought that women could be holding themselves back financially simply because they like shoes and handbags so much, is just thoroughly depressing to me.

As the attendees of the conference yesterday learnt, there is very great power in our words.  Particularly the words we tell ourselves.  If you tell yourself you are a shopper, and therefore not a saver, then it will certainly manifest itself in your bank account.  So if you were tempted to think that one of the three reasons why women retire with significantly less money than men is because of a shopping addiction, try this.  Try telling yourself, every day, that you are a saver, not a spender.  Keep saying it, and keep believing it.  Because only by believing it will it be possible.

And by the way, the answer to the last question, is any of the following:

  1. We earn less
  2. We take time out of the workforce
  3. We invest in less ‘risky’ assets and therefore generate a lower return on our money
  4. We tend to invest in everyone else’s future and wait too long to invest in our own.