Invest Confidently in 6 Easy Steps

Women don't have to be intimidated by investing. Here's how they can build a nest egg without leaving their comfort zone.

Worried about preserving their assets, women tend to invest more conservatively than men -- often too conservatively to amass the amount of money they'll need to see them through a long lifetime. And they often express less confidence than men in their ability to invest. In one study, for example, more than 60% of the women interviewed said they didn't know how a mutual fund worked, versus 41% of men.

But the idea of buying stocks is less intimidating if you realize it's not an all-or-nothing proposition. You don't have to pull all of your money out of bank accounts and put it into high-risk foreign stocks. In fact, by taking the following small steps, you can build a tidy nest egg without leaving your comfort zone.

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Janet Bodnar

Janet Bodnar is editor-at-large of Kiplinger's Personal Finance, a position she assumed after retiring as editor of the magazine after eight years at the helm. She is a nationally recognized expert on the subjects of women and money, children's and family finances, and financial literacy. She is the author of two books, Money Smart Women and Raising Money Smart Kids. As editor-at-large, she writes two popular columns for Kiplinger, "Money Smart Women" and "Living in Retirement." Bodnar is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and is a member of its Board of Trustees. She received her master's degree from Columbia University, where she was also a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Business and Economics Journalism.