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It’s time for a women’s financial magazine

The planets are aligning:  it’s time for a web magazine to help women de-mystify finances and investing.  

Although women will talk about ANYTHING to their friends, they won’t ever talk about money—their own or their friends'. For openers, just look at the number of talk shows on any network, starting with Oprah and The View.

But money? Women know more about each other’s sex lives than about debt, budgets, and investments.

One fall afternoon in 2010, I was browsing through the magazine section at Chapters-Indigo. The selection of “women’s magazines” was astonishing:  furniture and décor, yoga, pilates, weddings/brides (big!), fashion (bigger!), knitting, jewellery, and beading. There is even a magazine to help women shop: Lou Lou.

The magazine I didn’t find
is the one that helps women
better understand
finance and investing.

Yes, there are personal finance, investing, economics, and professional trader magazines. Here are the problems with those magazines, as I see them:  they assume a certain level of financial knowledge, which women don’t have;  they're full of financial jargon, which women don’t understand;  and frequently, the writing is humourless, and frankly, boring.

Yet the research—done by Canada’s major banks, Statscan and others—all points to the same trends.

Perhaps you’ve seen some of the news?

*      Canadians’ debt-to-income ratio is the WORST among OECD countries.  Canadians owe $1.48 for every $1 that they earn.

*      Women spend 30% of their gross income (before tax) on clothes, shoes, and accessories. —Statscan 2008

*      When asked, “what was the best financial advice you received from your mother,” the top answer was “no advice” (28%). –TD Female Investor Poll 2010 [surveyed women ages 45 to 64]

*      57% of Canadians are having trouble setting aside enough savings.—RBC

*      The number of Canadians aged 18 to 34 who have RRSPs has dropped to 39% - the lowest level in almost a decade - and fully 45% have not started saving for retirement yet.—RBC

*      Life expectancy for Canadian men is now 83 years and 86 years for women. This, coupled with the fact that women marry older men (and 40 per cent of Canadian women will not celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary because of divorce) leads to this bottom line: toward the end of their lives, most women will be making their own financial decisions even though they may not be prepared to do so.

The good news is that a number of women (and men) have caught on that we need help. Some have been at this for quite a while:  David Chilton, author of The Wealthy BarberGlobe and Mail columnist Rob Carrick;  Jon Chevreau, editor of the Wealthy Boomer blog;  and more recently, Gail Vaz-Oxlade, who is reforming “princesses” who spend, spend, spend daddy’s money.

As good as all these resources are, not enough people are paying attention. And it gets worse:  women are NOT engaged and the message is NOT getting through.

Enter FinanceSpa.ca: we will be the aggregator and clearing-house for relevant, timely, and actionable financial and investing information for women, from many sources.

We will create original stories designed to help de-mystify finance and investment.

We are going to take a different approach and get more women taking charge of their financial futures.