Many women prefer to keep their money in the account instead of increasing it. Maria Dirschl and Isabell Schwall show that there is another way. They have one goal in common: to be financially free.
At the end of the 1990s, Maria Dirschl was a rarity. In her mid-40s, she dared to buy stocks for the first time – which was still very unusual as a woman at the time. Telecom stocks it should be like for so many. The outcome of this investment is well known: the bubble is bursting, numerous investors are losing a lot of money.
But unlike most, who subsequently turned away from the stock market disappointed, Dirschl stayed tuned and was not deterred by the crisis. “I was already passionate about it back then and thought: You have to sit out fluctuations,” says the 69-year-old from Penzberg in Bavaria.
For Isabell Schwall, the entry is less turbulent. The aftermath of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy was already fading when the then business administration student bought her first shares. She relies on the metro and the real estate rental company Aroundtown – “Companies whose business model I could at least roughly begin with,” recalls the 29-year-old.
Investors are still the exception
Today the investment strategies of the two are much more sophisticated, their knowledge of stocks and capital markets has grown. While pensioner Dirschl relies on stocks for the long term, the 29-year-old Schwall is also looking for a thrill and trades in securities on a daily basis. “I tasted a lot of blood there,” she says.
Both are still an exception. Even more than 30 years after Dirschl’s first share purchase, many women still do not dare to go public. Just every tenth woman is considering an investment as a poll by the polling institute Civey for t-online shows. It is they who should make more of their money.
There are many reasons and excuses for not doing it: part time jobs, Baby breaks, worse pay. Many women become so dependent on their partner – because their own pension would not be enough to live on.
“You have to let the money work for you”
That is exactly what Dirschl and Schwall want to avoid. “It was clear to me early on that I didn’t want to be financially dependent on anyone,” says Dirschl. She has long since achieved this goal: in addition to her pension and the money in her depository, she also owns several properties.
“What I have today, I could not have achieved through my own work. You have to let the money work for you.” She owes that Dirschl managed this to her own drive – and good starting conditions.
Maria Dirschl: “I don’t want to be financially dependent on anyone.” (Source: private)
“My father wasn’t someone who said, ‘Girls don’t need an education, they get married anyway,'” she says. So she studies, becomes a teacher and teaches mathematics. Ultimately, it is also the love of numbers that leads to stocks.
“I had stock market letters sent to me and bought magazines with financial tips. Today you can get all the information on the Internet,” says Dirschl. Instead of using the Facebook group, she informs herself in the share club.
“I feel good when my money increases”
Exchanging ideas is also important to Isabell Schwall. However: “My friends are only slowly starting to invest,” she says. If she exchanges ideas, it is more likely to be with men than with women. She believes: “Many women are happy when the money is supposedly safe in the bank. It is constantly losing value there because of inflation.”
The project manager, who lives in Zurich, prefers to gain her own security from her investments. “I feel good when I know that I am not giving away money, but that it is increasing.” In doing so, she has a clear goal in mind.
Isabell Schwall: “Many women are happy when the money is supposedly safe in the bank.” (Source: private)
“I want to enjoy life, eat and drink well, pay my rent without worries and have great vacations without having to save for years,” says Schwall. One thing is particularly important to her: keeping control of her money.
“I’ve seen enough women who, at the age of 50 or 60, had to change their lives after a divorce because they hadn’t made provisions themselves. That shouldn’t happen to me.”
The best way to get started is with an ETF savings plan
To get started with investing, both Schwall and Dirschl recommend a sample portfolio. “You don’t risk your own money with it and you can practice first,” says Dirschl. Such virtual depots are offered by banks, savings banks and online brokers, there are also stock market games or even trading training courses in which you can playfully approach the topic and try out various investment strategies.
Ultimately, however, it is important to have a strategy and to follow it consistently, says Dirschl. “Anyone who does this today and that tomorrow is doing something wrong every day.”
The easiest way to get started is with a savings plan in a broadly diversified ETF. These are equity funds that track an index such as the international MSCI World and thus spread the risk over many shoulders. An ETF savings plan is now possible for as little as 1 euro per month. The higher the amount and the earlier you start, the stronger it hits Compound interest effect to book.
Schwall would have liked to have learned all of this at school. Instead, you are on your own with your finances. “It felt like a jungle that I had to dig my way through first.” Nevertheless, she is convinced: “Every woman can learn the stock market. You just have to start dealing with it.”
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