Thursday, April 15, 1999
Rosie the Riveter On Wall Street
Almost a year ago, with a small group of my friends (called The Notorious Ones) we decided to open a site on the Web just for women -- a place to discuss anything, a cyber-home we hoped would enrich each life it touched. Amazingly, almost 2,000 women have knocked at our door, and we have searched for ways to improve our collective lots.
One of our solutions was to became Foolish, we formed an investment club and urged each and every one of our "Bad Girls" to do the same.
For the most part, our members are not living adjacent to the country club, the golf course, or in homes with manicured lawns. Bad Girls come from all walks of life, economic circumstances, and education levels, and they range from Catholic school teachers to telephone sex operators (though our member who is so employed insists she is actually a "telephonic actress"). Like our heroine Rosie, we work hard for our livings, and for most who are members of the investment groups that have formed, that twenty bucks they send in each month represents a stretch on an already well-stretched budget. We have learned not to give up what we want most -- a secure future -- for what we may want now. It's an excellent Foolish lesson.
A real Bad Girls makes her daily pilgrimage to The Fool, reads the books, and listens to Suze Orman. In between work, children and household chores, we scour the Web looking for investments that are best for us. Everybody likes SaraLee, right? We bought some. Analyzing where we spend our own money, we naturally gravitated to Walmart. There are places we can't afford to shop, but we take great joy in owning a small piece of Sotheby's and now have our eye on Tiffany's. We have discovered that watching a stock double is equally as much fun as winning at bingo, and over the time between now and retirement can equate to many, many bingos. In less than a year, our little leader group has a better than twenty percent return on our money, and we hope to improve as we become more knowledgeable, and of course, more Foolish.
Wall Street isn't just for men, and it isn't just for the rich. It's for all the Rosies of this world, who may not have an IRA or a 401(k) plan, who often earn less than $10 an hour at jobs across this land, but who have the courage to join with their friends and look to the future realizing it's theirs to improve, as long as they do so Foolishly. The saying is true, Bad Girls can go anywhere they want, including Wall Street.
Rosie the Riveter would be so proud, like she said, "We can do it!" Fool on!
[For more on women and investing, check out this week's Dueling Fools on Gender-Specific Investing.]
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