It’s time to get into the nitty gritty of a topic that is rapidly being altered…the gender stereotype that less women invest, with key clarification here on LESS, not none! We are seeing more women enter the investment landscape for multiple reasons, so fear not ladies, you can buck that trend too.
On a positive note, a study from 2021 by Fidelity International found that 67% of women were investing outside of their retirement accounts, compared to 44% in 2018. But why is this rate not higher?
Ultimately blame can start going towards the sector itself…the financial sector was made by men for men.
Companies are therefore not as effective in communicating with women. Some also say the products are more focused towards males, but this sparks arguments as do women really want products different from what a man wants? Investment products can be used for all, it is more down to how it is marketed and communicated, to encourage the types of buyer.
Unfortunately, we still have the practicality of women earning less and having a lower disposable income. This can be due to many factors for example, the type of jobs women take up being from a lower pay background i.e. childcare, receptionist, hospitality. But also, from the fact more women take part time jobs to work around responsibilities of being a mother. Then we touch on the gender pay gap, whereby women earn just 84% of what a male would earn (Pew Research Center Analysis, 2020). With this in mind, less women would be inclined to invest as the money they earn has to go towards daily life and more likely than not savings for the future.
Women have been found to be more careful around investment, seeking greater knowledge before making rash decisions, investing with purpose and having to acquire confidence first. When we look at features of male counterparts, they tend to be much rasher with the decision to invest. This being in mind, no wonder less women want to invest – they want to understand it first and ensure they are making a right decision. Research has found that women prefer to build financial plans over their family goals or personal goals, hence take these goals in mind when investing, rather than just thinking about portfolio performance
How to buck the trend?
It really is as easy as one two three…all of you women out there reading this article, take a stand and start investing! The more the merrier.
First things first do your research – thankfully now there are even female focused information and resource centres, such as SheMoney, which works to increase a female’s confidence around investing. So, get yourself on there!
Then consider the various investment options for you. Some suggestions of what works best to begin are:
– Mutual funds
– Stocks and shares
– Investment bonds
– Ready made portfolios
Speak to others too – what do they do? Do they have any tips or favourite tools?
Maybe you can set yourself a goal…to invest 5% each month. Start there and see how it goes. The benefits may be quick or may be slow. It’s the risk you take, but in some ways, think of the returns! They are much greater than saving alone.
Keep some money aside from your disposable income and put it towards an investment. If you are prone to saving, this does not need to stop you. Keep saving and then put that saving towards an investment i.e. a property. Investing in property is such a rewarding investment!
So…are you going to be a bucker of the trend? Are you ready to start your investment journey and see what comes from it?