According to a recent Cornell University study, baby boomers are in line to inherit $10 trillion over the next few years. And, women will be receiving the lion’s share of that money.
“Women already control 60 percent of the nation’s personal wealth – they outnumber men and they are traditionally the shoppers,” says financial expert Scott T. Schultz, author of Scott Schultz’s Guide to Closed-End Funds.
“It’s sad that, despite the fact that nearly a third make more money than their husbands and they’re starting businesses at twice the rate men are, 38 percent of women ages 30 to 55 worry they’ll eventually live in poverty because they can’t adequately save for retirement,” Schultz says, citing the Cornell study.
Schultz goes on to say that: “Many (women) will inherit money and property from their parents and/or their husbands, and many will live another 30 to 40 years. They’ll need to invest their money to ensure they have enough to avoid that impoverished retirement they fear, but they – and the nation – have lost confidence in the stock market; April 2011 saw the lowest number of investors since 1999.”
In his new book, Schultz point to closed-end funds to help reach this key demographic. Even though he’s a proponent of closed-end funds, Schultz lists multiple reasons why they haven’t been embraced like other investments:
• Brokers can’t generate a lot of commissions from them. Brokers move open-ended funds quickly because they earn a commission with each transaction. It’s easy money for them, Schultz says. Closed-end funds require a longer term investment strategy, so brokers who want to get rich quick won’t use them.
• They require more effort from the broker, who has to work to find the “sales.” One advantage of closed-end funds is that they can sometimes be purchased at a discount, so the investor starts off ahead of open-end investors who are paying full price for stocks, Schultz says. Even if the fund never gets back up to its full value, any increase at all is a gain. But the broker has to be willing to work to find the good investments with good discounts. And then he or she has to be willing to sit on them.
• Closed-end funds are boring! For a lot of brokers, it’s just plain fun to trade stocks in products and initiatives with an exciting ring to them, whether it’s Facebook or a treasure-hunting ship. These brokers are constantly trading stocks – and generating transaction feeds, lawyer fees and underwriting fees every time – because that’s what they like to do. Closed-end funds require thoughtful, sometimes tedious research before buying, and then the patience of a saint as both the broker and the investor wait for the bid price to increase.