Imagine you’re at a pool party with a bunch of kids. At one point a group of young boys are asked to line up on the side of the pool and all jump in together. Here’s what you’ll see: they line up and then it’s every boy for himself as each attempts to outdo each other. Then it’s the girls’ turn. What do they do? They all politely line up, hold hands, and all jump in the pool on the count of three together.
A girlfriend of mine shared this analogy with me a while back, and I think it’s insightful as to the difference between men and women.
One trait that I find in women is that most will carefully and fully consider those around them when making changes or big decisions in their lives – much more so than men.
This is why women often ask me how they should approach the topic of investing with their partner. Women, in general, tend to include those around them in their decisions while men tend to have a more competitive, go-it-alone attitude.
Four ways to invest with your partner
From my vantage point, there are four ways to approach the topic of investing with your partner. You can:
- Invest as a team – This would be my ideal. As the saying goes, two heads are better than one. Investing involves an array of talents—from searching out the deal to negotiating the terms to handling the fine print.Often, couples that work as a team uncover their investment strategy; and second, because they are both learning as they go, they find they now have a lot to talk about. They make decisions together, study and learn together, and spend a great deal more time together. In the majority of cases this is great for the relationship as well as the investing success.
- Invest with your partner’s support – This is the next best thing. If you have the support of your partner, then you’re not fighting an uphill battle. He is on your side, and, I assume, wants you to win. I’ve actually spoken to many investors who start here. The husband said, “You go ahead. I support you but will not be actively involved.”What often happens is once you begin the process, and especially once he sees the money coming in, then it’s hard to ignore. Instead of being a passive bystander, his interest level perks up, and he becomes more and more involved.
- 3. Invest without your partner’s support – This is not an easy position. You’re not only stepping out into a whole new world, but you’re doing it without the support of the number one person in your life. So I won’t pretend and say it’s a piece of cake; it’s not. Yet, over time, once you have some success and viable results, your partner may turnaround and become your greatest supporter. It’s women in this situation, and there are many of them, that more than ever depend upon the support from other people around them, ideally other investors.This where a women’s investing group could prove invaluable, as can existing investment clubs and organizations. If you are in this situation, surround yourself with people with similar goals and ambitions as you have.
- Don’t invest at all – I hate to even include this as an option but in reality this is what many women opt to do when they feel like they don’t have the support of their partner. As one woman told me, “If my husband wasn’t behind it, then I fear it would be too hard on our marriage.”If you’re considering giving up on your investing dreams because you don’t have your partner’s support, I would heavily encourage you not to do so. There are other ways to move forward than to simply throw up your hands and give up. Will it be hard? Yes. Will it be worth it? Yes.
Unfortunately, there is no quick fix or easy answer for getting a disinterested spouse or partner on board. However, the good news is that women are doing it all over the world, and you can too!