It’s not often that research is focused specifically on females when it comes to money. So when it does, I tend to take notice. As the mother of a 4 year-old girl, I’m always interested to know what research, and science, can tell us about money and women.

85% of girls prefer to learn about money from their moms.

I’ve heard many stats about how women need to save longer for their retirement than their male counterparts – typically because they live longer and often step out of the workforce when having babies. But what I didn’t know was that 85% of girls prefer to learn about money from their moms. How cool is that? It was one of the reasons that inspired Dina Shoman to launch a Kickstarter campaign that later translated into a business focused exclusively on empowering young women to become financially literate. What does it mean for you? That you’ve got a critical role to play in teaching your daughter how to earn, manage and grow her money. And no, this isn’t one you should be handing over to dad to do.

Female millionaires cite perseverance as critical

When US-based female millionaires* were asked what factors were critical to their financial success, they listed their ability to persevere as most important, following by education and training and a strong desire to be self sufficient.

Parents played a crucial role too

And although 5% of these women came from homes with a disruptive family life, the remainder said they came from nurturing parental environments that fostered success. Parents typically did that by focusing on these 4 areas:

  • Taught them to have empathy for others
  • Encouraged them to take initiative and not follow the crowd
  • Gave them responsibility early in life, including earning their own pocket money
  • They were supportive, rather than threatening, punishing or being cold and indifferent

What she drives

And if you’d like to know what this typical American millionaire woman looks like and does, here is an overview as sketched by Thomas J. Stanley in his book Millionaire Women Next Door

  • 49 years old, wife and mother
  • Wake at 6am, retire at 10:30pm and works 49 hours a week
  • Exercise three times a week
  • Earn 70% of the household income which is US$241,000 (median) and $414,000 (average) 98% are homeowners, one in three have no mortgage, only 4% owe more than $500,000 Have a household net worth of $2.9m (median) and $4.8m (average)
  • 60% are college graduates – 50% paid their own tuition and 50% paid for their grandchildren’s tuition
  • More than their male counterparts they track expenses, research investing, hold stocks longer, use services of investment advisors including fee based planners
  • Donate 7% of income (3.5x average) to noble causes
  • Are frugal and more frugal then men (median spent less than $400 on a suit, $139 shoes)
  • Seven in ten took on a leadership role before becoming a teenager. Their main drive to become successful was to be independent and once there many don’t want to reveal being rich

*Hayley Parry is the co-founder of The Money School, an independent financial education company proudly associated with the Truth About Money. .