Becoming a female self-made millionaire is no easy feat. It not only requires patience, discipline, great ideas and persistence — but women also face additional challenges when it comes to building wealth.
There are several factors that contribute to making the road to riches more difficult for women, one of them being the gender pay gap. Overall, women working full-time earn 83 cents for every $1 that men working full-time earn, and the gap is wider for women of color, a TIAA study found.
Yet, there are several moves women can take to help them become millionaires — and several self-made millionaires shared which ones contributed to their success with GOBankingRates.
America’s Hottest Real Estate Market: Why Everyone Is Buying Homes in This California City
Real Estate as a Cornerstone To an Investment Strategy
Brenda Christensen — CEO at Stellar Public Relations and a female self-made millionaire — said she found that real estate has been a cornerstone of her investment strategy.
She shared a few actionable tips which have worked for her. For starters, she said to invest in value add properties.
“Focus on properties that you can improve or renovate. This approach allows you to increase the property’s value and sell it for a profit. The process of buying, upgrading, and selling can be very rewarding and profitable,” she said.
Then, she also strongly recommended that you understand the market and conduct thorough research to understand the real estate market trends, especially in areas where you plan to invest.
For instance, she said to look for properties in neighborhoods poised for future growth.
Christensen also suggested looking at tax benefits — one of the key advantages of real estate investing. She said you can take advantage of capital gains tax exemptions when you sell a property at a profit, especially if it’s your primary residence for a certain period.
“By focusing on improving properties and staying informed about the market, you can make smart investment decisions that not only build wealth but also maximize the tax benefits available in real estate,” she said.
As for her own journey, Christensen invested in luxury real estate in the SoCal area, primarily beach properties.
“For example, I purchased a large home near the ocean just north of Malibu at a bargain rate — $440,000 — and did some light renovation,” she said. “I sold it two years later for nearly double the price — $775,000 — and just under the capital gains tax.” She said she then took the proceeds and purchased another home in the Malibu foothills for another below-market rate ($400,000) and flipped it a year later for $750,000.
Control Your Retirement
Taylor Bradford — a seven-figure entrepreneur, owner of Sugar Creek Event Rentals and Boss Girl Creative — said that for her, it all started as a way to have some control over her retirement. More particularly, a path that was not stock market-dependent.
“We chose to start investing in income-producing property as soon as we could. Not only do you have someone else paying the mortgage, but you stand to have a little mailbox money each month as well,” she said. “Once the mortgage is paid — I highly recommend 10-15 year mortgages on your income-producing properties — that monthly income becomes yours, minus taxes and insurance. You can create a solid little nest egg for yourself as an entrepreneur.”
The way she went about it is by buying a duplex when was 23 years old, then moved into one side — with a tenant residing in the other side.
“We lived rent-free and only had to pay our utilities,” she said, adding that she highly recommends starting in the town you live in.
“It’s helpful to know your town — that gives you an advantage of knowing the market, knowing the schools, and knowing where people shop. I also highly recommend purchasing an investment property you would actually live in yourself. If it’s not good enough for you, don’t buy it,” she said.
Use Your Gains To Launch a Business
Jaime Raskulinecz — founder and CEO of Next Generation Services, Next Generation Trust Company, Rainbow Property Management and a self-made millionaire — also said that her wealth building journey began with real estate investments.
“Then, becoming a business owner was key to building my wealth,” she explained. “As that progressed, I began making non-publicly traded investments with my retirement plan, such as private equity along with having a wealth manager to manage all my traditional investments at a brokerage firm.”
Her journey started when she bought her first property — a two-family house — and the rent helped pay for the mortgage.
“I later bought another two-family house as well as two rental condos on Cape Cod,” she said, adding that these — combined with her savings — allowed her to buy her current primary residence while renting out the other properties.
Then, she started a property management company in 1994. In 2004, she started a third-party administration company specializing in self-directed IRAs. Finally, in 2017, she started a trust company to act as custodian for all the retirement account assets.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: I’m a Female Self-Made Millionaire: 3 Best Investments For Women To Build Wealth Fast