SOCIOLOGISTS have long said women control the wealth around the world simply because they outlive men. With double-income couples and single-person households as the norm, women have to learn about managing their financial present and future. Women tend to ''over-educate'' themselves, spending time reading and researching, rather than doing. As managers of personal and business finances, as well as mothers, wives and/or breadwinners, wait no longer to unlock your money power. Options include: Work for your income. There will come a time when, regardless of how committed you are to your job, the world will not let you work at it. Your retirement may not always be your choice. Make your money work. Understanding the difference between earning a living and making money will offer you options rather than the choice of last resort. Charity. Whether it is from your knight in shining armour or the Salvation Army, ''charity'' rarely brings happiness and financial dignity. The secret to accumulating wealth is to keep a part of everything you earn. If you work outside the home, the ''normal'' earning period begins at 25. Assuming retirement at 65, you may, after 40 working years, have earned more than $8 million with an average monthly salary of $20,000. Whether you receive an allowance or a pay cheque, pledge a part of this income each time it is received. There are only three things you can do with a dollar: spend, loan or own it. If you decide to spend your dollars, have a good time! Leaving your money in an interest bearing account is the same as ''loaning'' it to financial institutions. When you leave your money in a Hongkong dollar savings account you are, in fact, loaning your money to that bank. In return, they are paying you 1.5 per cent for the use of your money. However, had you recently drawn on your overdraft last month at the Hongkong Bank they would have charged you more than eight per cent or five points over the market rate of interest. Following the rule of 72 (take 72 and divide by the rate of return) the bank would double its money in less than nine years at the rate they charged you. However, it would take you more than 55 years to double your money at the rate they paid you. The third option you have with the dollar is to ''own''. You may own your business, shares of publicly traded companies, real estate, commodities, energy, precious metals, jewellery or gems, fine arts to name a few. The ''best'' place to invest your money is wherever you maximise your return - such as owning your own business, which offers personal fulfillment and monetary rewards. However, if you elect to invest your money elsewhere, the acid test to understanding your investment is the ability to describe how the money is made and how you are rewarded, and when. An alternative is to subscribe to dollar cost averaging; the infallible way to invest. This method requires investing the same amount of money in the same security at the same interval over a period of time. Rather than attempting to time the highs and lows of stock market prices, invest at regular intervals. This technique has proven to be the most cost efficient way of developing an investment programme. IF YOU have a personal finance query, or need advice with your investment strategy, write to Sunday Money, Sunday Morning Post, PO Box 47, Hongkong. Please supply name, address and contact telephone numbers.