12 Stocks Every Woman Should Consider Adding To Her Portfolio
GOBankingRates wants to empower women to take control of their finances. According to the latest stats, women hold $72 billion in private wealth — but fewer women than men consider themselves to be in “good” or “excellent” financial shape. Women are less likely to be investing and are more likely to have debt, and women are still being paid less than men overall. Our “Financially Savvy Female” column will explore the reasons behind these inequities and provide solutions to change them. We believe financial equality begins with financial literacy, so we’re providing tools and tips for women, by women to take control of their money and help them live a richer life.
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In today’s column, we’re chatting with financial advisors and investment experts to get their best tips on where women should be investing their money. Although everyone’s goals and risk levels are different, you may want to consider adding these stocks to your portfolio.
Choose From the ‘Dividend Aristocrats’
“Many of my female clients value consistency and reliability, so I often build a portfolio using stocks from the list of ‘Dividend Aristocrats,'” said Laurie Itkin, financial advisor and portfolio manager at Coastwise Capital. “These are stocks that have not only consistently paid dividends for at least 25 years, but have raised them each year. Back in 2007 and 2008 when the stock market crashed, these companies still paid dividends each quarter. When stock prices go down in a market crash or correction, if you are collecting quarterly dividends, you are getting paid to wait until share prices rebound.”
Companies on this list include household names like Proctor & Gamble, Coca-Cola and IBM.
“The companies currently generate annual yields of 2.4%, 3.1%, and 4.9%, respectively,” Itkin said. “While not sexy-sounding, these are the types of companies that allow you to sleep at night. If you have a moderate to long time horizon, you can use the dividends to purchase new shares each quarter or pull the money out of the account as income. You’ll earn more income than a high-yield savings account or short-duration bond fund.”
Best Buy (BBY)
If you’re looking to invest in a women-led, environmentally conscious business, Best Buy may be a good choice for your portfolio.
“This company is led by a woman CEO, Corie Barry, and has been reporting their environmental, social and governance progress for over 15 years,” said Monica Jalife, principal, private client group at Pinnacle Associates. “It has set ambitious goals to reduce their water use, emissions, waste and those of their customers. It also operates the largest e-waste recycling program and has recycled over 2 billion pounds of electronics and appliances since 2009.”
“This software and cloud computing giant has not only made great progress on gender equality, but it has also been carbon neutral since 2012, and commits to being carbon negative and water positive by 2030,” Jalife said. “It is also working with and contributing additional funding to funds and organizations working on carbon reduction, water management and circular economy innovations.”
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“The artificial intelligence cloud computing and semiconductor company has been integrating sound social and environmental principles and practices throughout our enterprise for years,” Jalife said. “Twenty-six of the top 30 supercomputers are powered by NVDA GPUs. Advances in this technology mean reduced energy consumption. Since 2015, the company has engaged a third-party firm to analyze pay practices for gender, race and ethnicity along 75 dimensions, and no disparities have been found. They also have achieved pay parity over the past several years and plan to continue doing so.”
Invest in Women-Led Companies
In addition to Best Buy, there are a few other major companies with women at the helm that could be worth investing in.
“When it comes to investing in the stock market, it’s important to understand what a company does, its fundamentals, leadership and vision, at the very least,” said Irene Berner, CFP and founder of Berner Financial Solutions, an LPL Financial-affiliated firm. “I like the following companies because they have women in top leadership positions, as well as strong fundamentals: Citigroup, Clorox, Oracle and UPS all have women in the CEO and director positions. Cisco has six women and Gap has five women out of 10 key executive positions.”
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Opt for an ETF
If you don’t feel comfortable picking individual stocks, an ETF is a great alternative.
“ETFs give us the opportunity to invest in baskets of stocks, which provides a lower degree of risk than individual stocks,” Berner said.
Berner recommends the following ETFs: SPDR SSGA Gender Diversity Index ETF (SHE), Impact Shares YWCA Women’s Empwrmt ETF (WOMN) and Barclays Women in Leadership ETN ETF (WIL).
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