The idea of beginning the journey of amassing wealth can seem overwhelming! Let’s keep it one hundred. The mere thought of it is cumbersome. I’m not sure if it’s because we’ve all at some point or another watched women in our families barely keep their heads above water. 

In the hustle of living hand to mouth there was no time or financial bandwidth for them to even dream about maybe understanding how to create wealth, let alone talk to us, (their children) about it.

There’s no denying the problematic impact patriarchy has on not just implementing but sustaining systems that ensure that they continue to reap the benefits of keeping us out and continuing to rule the wealth conversation and sector. 

South African women of colour have the double whammy of having to contend with gender exclusions and a thing called Black Tax. Just kidding! But really though, thanks to the insane institution called Aparthied, Black women have the stacks overwhelmingly stacked up against them — this really should be considered the real Black Tax. 

Side note: The other Black Tax is actually a channel for abundant blessings on many levels, but that’s a conversation for another day. Back to the matter at hand, wealth building.

According to the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), women, who by the way, make up almost 50% of the world’s population, only control 32% of the world’s wealth. Thirty-two-percent of the world! Thankfully more and more women are emancipating  themselves from oppressive patriarchal structures of wealth exclusion, and are transferring their household  financial management skills to either start their own business or lead a large corporation.

Where’s The Disconnect? 

“We know that black women don’t have a problem with making money, we’re resourceful, we just don’t have the long-term know-how on wealth creation, particularly.” — Olwethu Leshabane 

Financial Expert and Author of “Think Like a Breadwinner: A Wealth-Building Manifesto for Women Who Want to Earn More (and Worry Less)”, Jennifer Barrett says that over and above the fact that women are conditioned to not consider themselves breadwinners. 

“I feel like that really keeps us from making the kinds of choices with our money that truly serve and support us, like it keeps us back from our earning, and our wealth building potential in ways that we don’t even realize,” she continued.  

Men are raised to be breadwinners and are therefore considered experts in all things finances. This has created a huge disconnect because the financial jargon is intimidatingly technical and does not meet us at our basepoint or speak to how women have been conditioned to think about money.  

In September of this year, former Chief Executive for the Wealth division at Standard Bank, Peggy-Sue Khumalo sat down with Olwethu for a very candid conversation about what she’s learned from her personal wealth amassing journey and the systems that were set up to exclude women, especially women who look like her. 

“Look, I think all of us come from a very low base, right? We hustle and we hustle so well. I mean, we’re good at that! However, in my years of banking I’ve learnt a lot about investments and what some of these investment products are capable of doing!” added Peggy-Sue Khumalo

So Where Do We Start? 

How do we not get caught up in the get rich pyramid schemes that have plagued our mothers and plunged our families into unspeakable debt, causing those of us in our 30’s  to be wealth building averse?   

Thankfully, we have access to reputable resources in the form of books, the internet, and platforms like “Art of Superwoman”, and podcasts like  “The Sit Down” with host Olwe2Lesh. 

“Women are very risk averse. When you hear somebody (typically a man) saying, “ you should put a million rands into this investment”, you start thinking to yourself, oh my gosh! What happens when the next day it will all be gone because that’s the nature of markets? Over time, I’ve been very blessed, in that I’ve had, black professionals that I’ve deliberately and intentionally sought out to be my advisors, and stockbrokers of sorts. And they help me figure out what I want to do with my savings.” – Peggy-Sue Khumalo 

Here Are 3 Simple Steps to Get You Started. 

  1. Make Money: It’s not enough for us to just have a monthly income, because our parents were doing that. We need to ask ourselves is that income enough to sustain your lifestyle and still save? If your monthly income barely covers your living costs you need to creatively think of enjoyable ways to make extra income. 
  1. Save that Chankura: If you make enough money to comfortably cover your needs, then you should definitely be saving. 

“It’s important that we are not only saving and also investing. I think this is where we all need to really educate ourselves. We really need to engender and encourage our community to save because then you can then invest, and from those investments, you can then start creating wealth.” Khumalo said. 

For creative and effective savings ideas, see our five part “National Savings Month Series”: 

Here’s The Topic That You’ve Been Avoiding: Saving! (Pt 1) 

What’s Your Excuse For Not Saving? (Pt 2) 

Windfalls & How Not To Blow Them (Pt 3) 

Four Money Saving Lessons From Frugal Living (Pt 4) 

Saving Money Through Stokvels (Pt.5)

  1. Invest Your Money Wisely. What does that even mean? Most women are taught that opening up a savings account with your bank and stashing away your hard earned rands is a wise investment move. I’m here to tell you that, that is just another systemic ploy to help the wealthy increase their wealth. When building a healthy portfolio, you will need to do the thing that Peggy-Sue spoke about, take a risk! How does one determine a worthwhile risk?

The CFA Institute advises investors to build an investment policy statement. Your statement will reveal your return and risk objectives by measuring all of the elements that impact your  financial life, including household income, taxes, cash flow, and other factors. 

Okay, I’m going to continue reading “Think Like a Breadwinner” . We will continue this important conversation around wealth soon.