Women are not very well represented in technology, startups and even in investing. While women may be great in budgeting and saving, there isn’t really much written about women who excel in a game where mostly men are the best players – trading.
Women prefer shopping over the male-dominated stock market for several reasons. Perhaps on top of the list is that the stock market could become daunting for those who have little knowledge of how it works. From what we read and see on television, it seems like a tedious thing to do wherein you have to stay up late just to keep tabs on the stock prices and seeing them fluctuate is another story.
But couldn’t we just love both shopping and trading at the same time? Well, I guess it would help if someone tells us that stock market trading is like shopping. Since shopping makes women happy, wouldn’t it be fun if the same principle applies with trading?
Charmel Delos Santos has written a book entitled, “High Heeled Traders: Understand Trading with Shopping, Fashion and Shoes,” [link not an affiliate link] which gives women a step-by-step guide to trading while balancing duties as a mother and a trader.
Earlier this week, I had a chance to catch up and interview Ms. Delos Santos and she shared her inspiring thoughts on how women could balance parenting with trading – in high heels! It’s like facing the pressures of trading and the challenges of being a mom at the same time – all with grace. When I first learned about Ms. Delos Santos’ book through her post on the Philippine Stock Market Discussion group, she immediately became part of those most inspiring women in personal finance in my book.
She’s a mom, she’s a trader but most importantly, she’s an inspiring woman not only to those who are also investing in the Philippine Stock Market but also to younger generations. Get to know more the woman behind High Heeled Traders.
1. What inspired you to start the blog?
A comedy of errors. That’s what my trading life was like. I made so many wacky mistakes in trading and so I thought I’d share the lessons to my friends who were asking me to teach them how to trade – in a humorous way.
I really jumped in and blogged when some of my friends from the mother’s group saw me checking my phone to have a look at share prices, and seeing how it lets me play and be with my children and enjoy the income (for special treats and shoes!), many of them expressed their desire to learn how to trade as well.
I first thought about how hard it was for me to learn to trade, given the current resources out there, I even asked my trading coach to write a book on trading for women, but he said he doesn’t know how to teach women! I tried to be more imaginative and started the blog, to help my friends understand the business and start trading, without the dramas I had gone through!
2. For those who are not familiar with your blog; how would you describe it and what makes it different?
Is there a blog on stocktrading that talks about shopping, fashion and shoes at the same time?My blog is for women who wants to step up in their financial life, while using what they already know about everyday life. I make it fun, and easy to learn the hard /complicated subject by using a story telling style and humor to share what I learned. It’s primarily for investing in stocks /stock trading, but I also tackle the related financial markets like Oil and FOREX which affects everybody anyway.
3. As a mom and a trader, what is a typical day in your life like?
First I wake up early (4am on most days), but stay in bed for an hour or so. I spend that time to pray the rosary, thank God , thinking happy thoughts, dream, think about something I can do for my children, my business, my life. Is there a point to this you ask? It keeps me motivated, gives me the “wow! I can do this!” feeling I’d need for the day.
Then it’s get up and go! I like to do some of my “beauty and wellness routine” – like drinking lots of water and cleansing, some exercise, then I rev up the computer and see what’s going on in the news and markets and check up on my trading positions. If anything needs to be done, I scribble it in my notebook for action at the appropriate time. I take care of other business or paperwork, then it’s breakfast rush! Get the kids to school or their activities. If I am working that day, I’m off to work, if not, I decide whatever I want to do – go to the playground, do some shopping, or the library, pick up the kids from school, cook dinner and oh, I almost forgot about the chores!
I have a schedule for the week that revolves around being a mom and having a fulfilling and enjoyable life. I do “pampering days”, “community service days”, “rest and recreation days”, “worship days”… which are all part of my “trading life”. I make it a point that I do all these to help me improve the quality of my life and that of my children, so I am not stressed and I basically help me deliver “peak performance”.
Trading study takes up some 1 hour of the week (more when starting to help you learn what you need to learn and establish the business) — when it’s operational, I allot 10 minutes to prepare myself in the morning, then throughout the day, 3-4 1minute checkup how the market is doing.
In my book “High Heeled Traders” I share how to “trade up your lifestyle” – pursue what makes you happy, get trading and still have a life!
4. What is the most helpful tip you can give those women who are afraid to invest in the Philippine Stock Market?
First to get rid of the fear. Really, fear has no place in the business of trading and will only make things worse.I strongly suggest to get learning about the stockmarket and business of trading. learn. When you have learned what trading is all about, you’d see the Philippine Stock Market – any market, as nothing more but a sea of opportunities.
Oprah, Bill Gates, your doctor, etc – they are paid a lot of money, but they have to learn what works in their field and be good at it. So, my top tip, I suggest that you don’t just invest your money. Invest in yourself, get the education and experience to be able to do the business well. That’s where I am to help out with the book and my blog, as I talk about both concepts and real –life application.
5. What valuable lessons from trading have helped you to become a better mom?
I need to develop patience, and self-mastery. Self-mastery is “doing what needs to be done, and not doing what doesn’t need to be done”. You’ve got to make it work –by doing the right thing all the time, (sometimes, it’s not doing anything – better than doing the wrong thing! ) This is what makes someone successful, it is no different in trading, and certainly, in being a better mom!
6. In your blog, you mentioned that Women are Natural Traders. How do you think women could balance being a mom and a trader at the same time?
Women are natural traders because we are born to shop! Trading is simply buying and selling, and in our world, this is called shopping. Okay, I admit, shopping is more on the buying part, but really, there’s a lot of ideas and skills at work when shopping that applies to trading as well. I cite the example of:
1) Going to sales – comparing prices and knowing what to pay for value. The least money for best results. That’s always helpful to keep in mind when investing and trading.
2)Following trends, I even mention Market Fashions in my blog and book. If you look around closely, fashion trends reflect what’s going on in the world, including financial markets. (Yes I do have quite an imagination)
3) Sticking to Classics – really there are just things that never go out of style, they work and, they’re going to be here forever. This my friends, is what Warren Buffett believes in and he’s the richest investor in the world. And I’m sure many women readily knows when they’ve got to shop.
Now the balancing roles of being mom and trader, I believe that being a trader actually complements being a mom. Moms shop a lot, or use many services like banks, media companies, makers of consumer goods, real estate etc. So all moms got to realize as a “trader” is also buy the shares of these companies, and make it fit with their lifestyle. In short, I say, “trading is a way to make money from people making money from you”.
Right?! Why should they have all the fun!
7. How do you stay motivated in this unpredictable market?
There are 2 things to answer here. First, you don’t need to “predict” or explain the market. That’s not what trading is about. There are big movements or trends in the market – yes.
However, in the business of trading, you just need to know the market condition and apply the strategy that fits it. Have a strategy for when the markets go up, down, or sideways. If you don’t have a set of strategies, you are ill-equipped to trade the markets. This is like saying you’dwear stilettos everywhere, you can not!
You’ve got to have the right shoes for the situation. “I’m exercising, I’m wearing sport shoes”. Now there’s a non-advice!
Now about “motivation”, girl, I just do what makes me happy. I do my trading because it helps me to be happy. It lets me do what I love, which is being a mom. So yes, that’s what keeps me going.
8. What are your favorite trading and investing resources (books, blogs, etc)?
I highly recommend Van Tharp Institute for wholistic trading education (it’s not just the concepts, but more about the peak performance, business planning etc. this is advanced trading used by professionals.) I love all of Dr. Van Tharp’s books especially “Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom” and “Safe Strategies for Financial Freedom”. I also love reading about Warren Buffett and the blog of Dr. Ken Long of Tortoise Capital / Kansas Reflections. Usually trading exchanges are also good sources of trading education, like the Australian Stock Exchange, New York Stock Exchange.
I also like the websites Bloomberg.com, Reuters.com, Forbes.com, CNN etc.
And not to forget, the book that I wrote so you would know right away the ideas that actually work, with humor and real life stories, written especially for women!
9. Could you give us an overview of your book, The High Heeled Traders and where could we buy copies of it?
In talking with women, they say they are interested to trade but do not know how to start. They find current references too complicated and boring. The book uses girlie analogies that help women relate and show what they already know can help them to trade profitably.
My early readers said that finding how to integrate trading to their own lifestyle is an important plus – a feature not available in any other book. I thought it was important when writing the book to give people even more than what they are asking for. That’s why I didn’t stop with just the obvious angle. I really tried to cover all the bases.
With the book, women will now be able to:
• Understand how behaviour is a big part of trading and the ideas that actually work.
• Know what is the key to success in trading.
• Know how to earn trading income and still have a life.
• Know how to profit whether markets go up, down, or sideways.
• Save money and avoid frustration from years of trial and error with the detailed steps and information provided to trade effectively.
• She believes her how-to guide for trading will benefit women everywhere. The book raises funds for United Nations Women’s gravity-defying empowerment projects worldwide.
10. Do you have any upcoming seminars and events where your readers could learn more from you?
I am preparing for live events , online webinars and videos. I suggest for everyone to register at my site so I can update them. I give out free eBooks and exclusive information products to all who have registered.
Parts of the proceeds of the book will go to women empowerment projects of the United Nations. You may contact Ms. Charmel Delos Santos through email@example.com, Twitter, Facebook and of course her website.