There are countless articles about women and troubled relationships. Whether about women who can’t ditch bad boyfriends or women who fail to invest in the stock market, they make fun reads in your doctor’s waiting room…but they only show one side of the story. Just as Ann Patchett’s This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage is a more positive take, I want to share some uplifting examples of women whose relationship with money is anything but toxic. 

In 10 years of researching women and finance, I have interviewed over 850 accomplished women around the world of diverse backgrounds, ages and professions. My 11th annual research report released on March 8, 2021 – International Women’s Day – is all about sharing positive investing success stories. This article shares a few nuggets of wisdom from these happy investors! 

The secret to becoming a successful investor  

Practice is the secret to success! Just get started. Getting a feel for buying and selling is a tangible way to catch the investing bug and online trading is the best way to practice and build competence. 

Bishat Araya is a Singer in Stockholm, Sweden:  

“Typically artists and musicians are quite scattered about their finances but this corona crisis has taught me the importance of having savings. I realized I need to be disciplined about saving on a monthly basis and investing what I can, big or small. I talked to a friend of a friend and started reading up on the stock market and at the end of March right after that big dip I started investing. I started using an app to get a feel for stock price movements and I have learned something about myself…I love trading! In just a few weeks I made 30% on Volvo and 50% on Bambuser (a Swedish startup working with live video shopping technology) and doubled up on my EPR Properties stocks. My portfolio is up over 60%. I realize it’s not a regular market we’re dealing with and I am trying not to get too cocky (the market is a fickle lover.)”  

You know more than you think you do 

Perfect is the enemy of good. Over the years I’ve encountered some women who feel they don’t know enough to begin. But I have observed that if they just get started? They look back and realize they knew more than they thought they did!  

Elizabeth Holmenlund is a Vice President at Capital Four Management in Copenhagen, Denmark 

“Looking back, I think I always underestimated my own knowledge about finance and my own abilities… Even with the CFA designation and all my years of experience. It’s amazing that I needed to accomplish this much just to finally feel confident that I know more than most people do! If I were to pass along some advice to the next generation of women I would say: trust in what you know.” 

The biggest trend that has influenced women investors 

The rise of educational platforms and social communities. Women love to share!  

Randiesa Spires is a Social Worker in Orlando, US: 

“A few years ago, I started following the Stocks and Stilettos Facebook community and I immediately felt that “this is where I need to be” – I found my community of women who look like me. I felt comfortable. In November of 2018 I started Florida Stock Sisters: an African American online investment club that meets (via Zoom) once a month. Florida Stock Sisters has become that sisterhood we all needed and the eight of us know we count on talking money every Wednesday at 7:30pm.” 

Digital investing has opened up the floodgates, and this is having a major impact on both the makeup and activity of the stock market…making many stories of many happy (female) investors! 

Barbara Stewart, CFA is one of the world’s leading researchers on women and finance, focusing on real life financial behaviours and providing global insights into how smart women think and communicate. Barbara is an advocate for women, for diversity, and for financial education. In addition to her Rich Thinking® research, Barbara uses her proprietary research skills to work as an Executive Interviewer on a project basis for global financial institutions seeking to gain a deeper understanding of their key stakeholders, both women and men. Barbara is a frequent interview guest on TV, radio and print, both financial and general interest. She is a contributor to the CFA Institute’s Enterprising Investor website. For more information about Barbara’s research, please see