That’s cute. If I had a penguin, I’ll name it peanut.
I’m going to be slightly controversial here.
I have a lot of close female friends, but to my knowledge none of them actively invest in stocks. I guess women are just in general slightly more conservative and risk averse than men? We started a poker society when I was at university it was all guys, game theory classes, all guys, had an elective module where we could choose either Marketing or European Economics and the girls overwhelming chose marketing. I am not sure why this is but these are just my observations. Shetrade might be a hard sell, because i’m not entirely sure this audience is actively engaged in this subject in huge numbers, but yes, an untapped market nonetheless. Female forumites we are delighted to have you here however
You’re not being controversial at all, @James101 - I’m the only one among my friends who invests and I think they see what I’m doing as taking great risk and akin to gambling.
I grew up seeing my mum taking an active part with my dad sorting out their investments so for me, investing wasn’t something to be afraid of, or only something that men did - everyone did it.
@Andrewpclark mentioned Mumsnet and I think he could have a point there - if a normal mum talks about how she’s investing longterm for the future using Freetrade, others may be tempted to look into it and think ‘if she can do it, so can I’.
I’m trying to get my wife onboard (although being a yank she cannot use freetrade currently). Every time she sees money leave the account (now to freetrade) it sparks a slightly heated demand as to why that money did not go into the 0.25% savings account. I think it’s a mix of fear of the next financial crash, lack of understanding of the jargon (thus causing more fear) and belief that investing is complex. While investing can be complex, it certainly does not need to be and absolutely is not with freetrade. I think I need to introduce her to Bob…
You need to move that account!
Don’t I know it… The introductory rate was 1.5% but no more. I will be switching banks later this year, never to return.
It’s an important topic.
Every woman I’ve spoken to I’ve just told them statistically they’ll perform better so to give it a try.
I think the tide is turning which is a good thing.
It’s absolutely related to the image investing currently has. As has already been said, it’s seen as very alpha/masculine and I think a lot of people think that it has to be highstakes (à la Wolf of Wall Street).
Encouraging people (in general) to invest small amounts regularly, rather than piling all of their current savings into some stocks, would lower the stakes for the individual whilst also hopefully letting them learn more as they go (this is a big advantage of Freetrade, I personally didn’t delve into investing earlier because the cost in fees would have made it quite an expensive learning curve).
Another side to it is that money invested isn’t seen as accessible in case of emergencies, so women in particular are less likely to risk it (probably because women statistically have less money to begin with) and just put their money into cash savings with terrible interest rates.
I think if more was done to educate people on lower risk approaches to investing, and educate on the fact that current interest rates are so low that they don’t even beat inflation, then investing would be seen as a more attractive and viable alternative to cash savings and we’d see more diverse range of people getting involved.
As it happens, I’ve had another browser tab left open for ages now with the following Guardian article:
Seems to do a good job of saying a lot of what has been said here, and I’ve been sharing it with as many people as I can (which is one reason why I’ve still got it open; the other is because I want to go back and check out the books mentioned when they’re available).
The last paragraph is a nice nutshell argument to use for the risk averse:
And if you need convincing, consider this: if you had invested £1 in the FTSE 250 10 years ago, it would now have grown to £2.53, once inflation is taken into account, according to figures from investment firm Hargreaves Lansdown. Meanwhile, had you put £1 into an instant access account, it would be worth 87p after inflation.
PersonTrade - Although person trade does sound very likely to be illegal and an unfavourable name - nor should we joke about the slave trade that still goes on in today’s world!
But seriously, I don’t think ‘most women’ have interest in the stock market. My partner sees it as boring and not ‘fun’ - dare i say ‘a waste of money’.
Also looking into the future (with my crystal ball, naturally), it’s heavily tech based, and generally leans towards a guys’ lines of interest (Computing).
The stock market operates similar to a game, and more guys play games than girls.
The title caught my eye!
Those interested in investing in companies that focus on gender equality, please consider voting for this ETF to be added to Ft’s stock and ETF universe:
Quite a lot of generalisations here. There’s no innate reason why women would see the stock market as boring, would not be interested in computing and don’t play games (not to mention the ratios, re: gaming at least, are improving).
The idea that investing is just aligned with “guys interests” is why a lot of women won’t get into it. They’ll think it’s not for them.
I was being very general, but i was talking generally - To try to avoid falling into the sexism, stereotype pit etc which i probably semi-failed at!
- Also agree with all your points Lorna! (In hindsight, the word boring was not best used)
I was just stating my reasons as to why I think more men invest vs women - not that i agree with the how’s and why’s at all!
I know a number of men and women who invest. I agree that it was perhaps a male dominated field traditionally, but most things were. It is difficult for anyone, no matter their gender, to understand the markets without education. I have followed this forum for a while and regularly read posts I struggle to understand!
FT is an excellent platform for all to use and it breaks down a number of barriers with its easy access and layout. Investing can be fun and the experience should be interesting and enjoyable, as well as lucrative. FT enables this journey for everyone no matter their gender.
So from a personal female perspective; - we are risk averse and look long term as, talking very generally here, we tend to run the home which takes alot of mental & physical time. Thus we don’t have the time to devote hours to investing as we are holding a job outside the home and also being household PA, nanny, gardner, personal shopper, tailor, chauffeur, domestic goddess, chef, chief bottle washer, housekeeper, elderly parent carer etc, etc, etc also know as Mum. Luckily my Dad introduced me to the Stock Market and I am successful after many years! See https://www.wbs.ac.uk/news/are-women-better-investors-than-men/ for why.
… autopilot … just saying
I’m thinking it might become my #1 investing tool from freetrade - stop me worrying and making snap decisions, just sit back and let it ride.
(Yeah right, still checks share prices every 2 minutes)
Just a suggestion, but video or written testimonials that resonate with a subset of your target audience may help when it comes to marketing or target advertising later down the line.
Just seen this example from Plum:
I wonder it’s not so much that women are better investors than men and more that the women who do invest have better educations than some of the men and were perhaps raised in middle to upper class households where investing was/is talked about. It would be interesting to have a more detailed profile of these successful female investors in regard to what is their educational level, class and ethnic background as I believe this might reveal a great deal.
As more men invest it is possible that investing pulls in a broader range of men in regards to their level of education, socio-economic backgrounds and ethnic groups. It would be interesting to know the profiles of men who invest and then compare the percentages.
Certainly gender (or hormones) may play a role in investing too. Men tend to enjoy the thrill of gambling and certainly tend to relish more risk than women so investing could be an exciting outlet for a man.
Testosterone tends to drive men to take more risk so being less successful at investing may have less to do with the old grey matter and more to do with being a victim of your hormones. Yes, and women may be risk averse for a whole spectrum of reasons beyond hormones. It’s already been pointed out that women often earn less than men, and women, especially if they are mothers or caring for elderly relatives, tend to have less time and energy to devote to getting their heads around stocks, TA, fundamental analysis and all that it entails. Women will also be more fearful about losing money if it’s more difficult for them to make up their losses because of lower salaries or more hurdles in finding work that fits around their home responsibilities.
Those men who are the main breadwinners may also feel more pressure to find ways of earning more income. But if investing becomes exciting it will most likely become dangerous too. I believe it was Warren Buffet who said that if you find investing exciting then you’re not doing it right; that investing should be boring. So, if women find investing boring they will either steer clear of it all together or they will devote as little time to it as possible. And, of course, if they have educated themselves enough they may have made hands-off “boring investing” a part of their actual strategy. So, by not fiddling too much with their portfolios and making less riskier trades women will succeed and beat men in the sphere of investing.
Of course, there are women who enjoy risk too, as there are women who enjoy computers and technology. But, education is clearly a problem if a woman thinks stocks is just about that. It’s a fine line to tread as if you make the overtures to women too “pink” then they may feel you’re getting a little condescending. The bottom line is about seeing how hard you can make your money work for you at a time when interest rates are lousy and may even drop further (there’s IMF talk about banks in various countries embracing minus-3 per cent interest rates after the next financial crisis, which experts say could hit anytime soon.)
Certainly, it’s a good idea for women (and men) to learn more about money, various assets and investing. It’s a pity schools don’t educate better but of course you could say that there’s an agenda with keeping the majority of people ignorant and retaining a ruling financial elite.
Freetrade might want to think about how it can reach out more to women and other groups in society who are not so well represented in the financial sphere and suffer because they don’t know how to start making their money work harder.
In the video I only cite the data sourced from multiple studies, listed below.
They mention a studies ranging from 2500 investors to a fidelity study of 8 million accounts that showed a better performance from women vs. male counterparts - so more empirical based evidence. Then giving their reasons/theories why.
There’s also a survey in there somewhere that says 91% of respondents think men are better, but why the evidence suggests otherwise.
One woman mentioned was Geraldine Weiss, who wrote a segment in a business newsletter and made stock recommendations and her recommendations performed at 11.2% average annual return beating the market - she had a very strict investment criteria. it’s in the Forbes article for anyone interested.
Me personally, I just find what I’ve learned in these articles really interesting and I just focus on where I can apply the tips to my investment journey.