Diamond RingHere’s a question for you. If you had a choice—a $25,000 diamond ring or $25,000 in stock—what would you pick?

An Oxygen network survey asked women that very question. And you know what? The whopping majority (almost 80%) went for the stock. On the surface, that sounds like great news. But here’s what I’d like to know. How many of those women, if given a $25,000 check, would actually call their broker and buy the stock? Would you? Sadly, my guess is no.

Every piece of research I’ve read says the same thing: women today know full well they need to protect themselves financially, but they still aren’t doing it. The recognition is there, but the resistance is stronger. For example, in a 2004 Prudential Financial survey, 53% of the women said they expected to save and invest more that year. But in 2006, that same poll found only 11% had actually invested in stocks or mutual funds for the first time; only 14% opened a retirement account.

As I see it, when it comes to money, the more things change, the more they stay the same. There is still a frightening level of financial passivity and ignorance among even the most successful women.

The deeper question I have is: What can be done to motivate more women to take control of their money? Is financial inertia something you’ve seen, or struggled with personally? What has worked (or not worked) for you?

Feel free to leave your comments on this blog. If you want to read the same article I read about this survey: http://savannahnow.com//node/344335