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What’s Your Money Personality? (Umm …)

What’s Your Money Personality? (Umm …)

The internet loves many things. Among them: taking quizzes and patronizing women when it comes to money. (OK, also pictures of cats. But I’m with the internet on that one.)

This has led to a plethora of ridiculous “What’s your money personality?” quizzes. I took one just for grins and apparently, I’m “a financially conservative saver who would rather hide away your funds than get that gel manicure.” (Are those my only choices?)

So we made you a different kind of money quiz. One that won’t spit out whether you’re a “Carrie” or a “Miranda.”

You walk into a bank and say, “One savings account, please.” What’s the average interest rate they’d offer you?

  1. 0.09%
  2. After accounting for inflation, you actually lose money
  3. Oof

Answer: All of the above

The national average interest rate on a savings account is 0.09%, which is pretty close to rounding to 0%. Oh, and btw, inflation is about 2%. Here’s a fancy infographic that shows some pretty compelling math behind why you should start investing literally right now.

Meanwhile, what’s been the average annual return from the stock market over the past 91 years?

  1. Not much. All the market’s ups and downs more or less even out, don’t they?
  2. A bit more than a savings account, right?
  3. 9.5%

Answer: C

The stock market has returned an average of 9.5% annually over the past 91 years. Keeping your money in cash can cost you big-time.

That’s quite a difference. So … potentially … how much money could I make to retire with over the course of my career by investing my money instead of saving it?

  1. Exactly 9.5% more than saving it (because see above)
  2. Nobody can say
  3. Hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions

Answer: C

Yup. And this is not idle speculation. We did the math using a Monte Carlo simulation — a forward-looking, computer-based calculation in which we run investment portfolios and savings rates through hundreds of different economic scenarios to determine a range of possible outcomes. Not investing can cost you hundreds of thousands — and for some people, millions — of dollars over your careers.*

Holy kamoley. That’s a lot of money. That’s …

  1. Leave-my-dead-end job money
  2. Travel-the-world money
  3. Be-the-badass-I-was-born-to-be money

Answer: All of the above

You know it.

Yes, but aren’t women … you know … deficient vs the guys when it comes to

  1. Math?
  2. Our need for financial education?
  3. Investing returns?

Answer: None of the above

Hell, no. Girls’ math grades are as good as the boys’ are (though teachers give worse grades when they know they’re grading girls, arrrgh). As for financial education — there are only a few things you need to know to start investing. (Here they are.) And guess what: Women investors actually outperform men.

OK, interesting. But before I get started, don’t I need to pay off my student loans before I invest?

  1. Yes. All debt is the devil. Obviously.
  2. Only certain student loans
  3. No way — student loans are “good debt,” so I can just pay the minimums and not worry about it

Answer: B

Good question. Not all debt is bad debt (here’s why). So the answer depends on the interest rate on those loans. If it’s high, you want to pay it off. But if the interest rate is low enough, it’s often better to invest instead (at least, it has been historically).

Here’s what you need to know about that whole “pay off debt or invest” decision.

The worst financial advice we’ve heard lately is:

  1. You can wait to invest later, when you have more money
  2. Bitcoin anyone?
  3. Want to retire a millionaire? Just give up your daily latte!

Answer: All of the above

That’s why the best time to invest is … yesterday. (Want to know more about that? I thought you’d never ask.) As for Bitcoin, that’s not investing, it’s gambling. And about that latte … read on.

In order for my latte habit to translate into $1 million when I retire, the actual number of lattes I would have to be drinking a day is:

  1. No freaking clue
  2. It doesn’t matter, since I’ll never let you pry my latte out of my cold under-caffeinated hand
  3. You’re kidding with this whole latte thing, right? What are you, monsters??

Answer: Yeah, we’re kidding

It’s not about the latte. And, in fact, “give up the latte” is bad advice. For one thing, nobody tells cis men to skip lattes (and I don’t know about you, but there are always people of all gender identities in my coffee lines). That’s important — because our culture tells women to skip, scrimp, and save while telling men how to build wealth. And for another thing: Nobody drinks that much coffee.

Who said, “We will not solve the feminization of power until we solve the masculinity of wealth”?

  1. Mitch McConnell
  2. The Wall Street Journal OpEd page
  3. Gloria Steinem

Answer: C

But I quote it a lot.

Read more here.


Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.