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House learning to invest

Empowerment. That’s the goal behind the new Ross House Investment Club.

The Ross House, the dorm for resumers, is creating an investment club. The goal: to empower women 23 and older by teaching them how to secure their financial future.

The mastermind behind the formation of the club is Tina Lee, a resident of the Ross House with a bachelor’s degree in political, legal, and economic analysis (PLEA) who is currently working on her master’s degree in business administration.

“This is one very concrete, practical way that you can ensure that you break out of the cycles of poverty and powerlessness for women,” said Lee.

The idea came into fruition from the 28-year-old’s post as the house financial guru and her awareness of the disheartening statistics that show women are the least likely to financially incest in their future.

According to Lee, the Ross House residents proved to be the perfect candidates for this sort of venture.

“It is more of a concern to women in this household because we are a little bit older, we are starting to think about where our lives are going, how we’re going to become financially secure,” said Lee. “It’s more of a topic of urgency.”

A recent study bv the Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER) suggests this type of work is needed.

According to WISER, women’s earnings average 73 cents for every $1 earned by men. Creating a lifetime loss of $300,000. WISER notes that more than two out of three working women earn less than $30,000 a year, and half of all women are working in traditionally female, relatively low paid jobs without pensions.

“Once I educated myself on how this whole system worked, it became clearer and clearer to me how important it was that I understand how to secure my financial future so that I never will have to depend on a man, a husband, or society to take care of me because I can plan to do that now,” said Lee.

That is the main goal behind the Ross house Investment Club: to encourage women to begin thinking about their future now and dispel the fear associated with investing. “This retirement thing and understanding your finances isn’t something that’s over your head,” said Lee. “It’s something that you can do and learn.”

Stocks, mutual funds, IRA’s, interest rates and the general economy are among the topics to be discussed at every meeting. Members will also gain experience in picking and following a particular stock. Mutual fund and create their own portfolios.

Club member Leah Mullen, a 25-year-old undergraduate, welcomes the formation of the investments club.

“Women get paid less in general so we have to be especially wise about how we spend our money. Our society doesn’t encourage women to save and invest,” Mullen said. “It’s the male thing to do and we haven’t been given any kind of skills and society doesn’t encourage us to learn it. I want to be able to take care of myself.”

Twenty-eight-year-old math major Vanessa Alfaro, is another house member who supports the club. “I think a lot of women are not aware of what’s out there. We are just not educated enough on investing,” said Alfaro. “By having this club, it will educate us all on what’s out there.”

Lee encourages all women to immediately begin asking question, getting informed, paying off credit cards and taking responsibility for their own lives in order to start on the right path towards securing their financial future.

The club meets every other week at nine p.m. Monday nights and is restricted to the Ross House residents.