Women and Investing

I agree! The combative tone, aggressive visuals, the zero sum premise of “big wins and big losses” just don’t appeal to a lot of people, including myself.

In our mind, investing should be thought and talked about very differently.


Hi all,

Probably a little late to the party - apologies! As a woman working in Fintech and a keen investor, I’m constantly shocked by these figures. I carried out a bit of research recently to establish why fewer females invest and a lot of it pointed at how financial companies, and the media, communicate investing to women. Women are told about discounts and sales, and men are told about the next best app to help them manage their investments. I was really annoyed writing it - as you can imagine! But on the plus side, I found some great companies that are starting to tackle this. Like Ellevest in the US - a Robo Advisor set up for women. It’s so interesting to see the difference between using that and Scalable, for instance. Maybe something to note if you’re considering rolling out a product geared toward women. :grin:


Welcome to the community! Great to have more opinions on the topic.

When you are saying “geared towards women”, could I ask to elaborate further? I am quite interested to understand the underlying difference for an investment product being represented differently to women than men and very curious to know what would that contrast be.


Indeed. :tired_face:

Is it the #makemoneyequal research or something else?

Feel free to post it if it’s free to share! :+1:


Cheers, glad to be apart of it.

Absolutely @Vlad. It’s just a different approach really. If you have at look at Ellevest you’ll notice that the language and tone are slightly different to just say, HL. A lot of research has proven that women are less concerned about “winning the market” and therefore are more inclined to respond to less aggressive marketing - hence their business model. Although I think Robo advisors have a really good happy medium and seem to target both male and female investors successfully (just listening to what friends have to say). What do you think?

No @Viktor but I took some inspiration from #makemoneyequal (as you’ll see). It’s more of a blog post than anything but please feel free to read here - would love to hear what you think.


Really like this idea of Ellevest:

which is not quite relevant for Freetrade as it does not advise on your portfolio, but would be nice to have some sort of algorithm in place that could determine your possible taste for risk and offer securities to consider getting into (mainly Vanguard funds).

But I guess it is not to expect soon, as it will require plenty of work. But let’s be fair, the logo itself is already a good start! :freetrade::freetrade::freetrade:



We’re all very early, awaiting app launch, soon they say :slightly_smiling_face:

Hope they are successful as that will be the biggest catalyst for change in the industry. Companies like to copy.


Welome @AislingB :grinning: - I thought it was just me here on this thread!

Ellevest looks interesting and I know at least two friends who would respond positively to what they would see on that front page and would click through to read some of the other links.

I too hope they are successful in encouraging more woment to invest.


Some 45 per cent of female respondents said they find the way in which investment is communicated by the industry is complicated, and 18 per cent felt its incomprehensible and intimidating respectively.

Maybe that’s part of it for some people (i.e. men and women alike), but I feel this finding is patronising.

I still think this is the major reason when you zoom out:

FWIW, I think we have quite a few female users on this forum now.


Generational differences have a big part to play. My father is the main earner and my mrs father is the main earner (stay at home mums and all that). As a result my wife has always seen it as a male who looks after money, but it is changing slowly.

If we had invested in every company that my wife was interested in/used we would have received a staggering return. She has a great instinct at picking the next big thing. Shame it took me so long to realise!

She is looking forward to freetrade so she can start investing small amounts in what she knows, whithout the big fees which can wipe out returns. Once comfortable she can up the amounts.

Whether she spends the earnings on shoes and handbags is another debate.


Eventually, you’ll just leave that complicated investing stuff to her because she got the skills :wink:


A friend sent me an article from yesterday’s Guardian (20/07/18), in which they interviewed Stacey Cunningham, the newly(ish) appointed female president of the NYSE. It made me think how visibility could influence participation. Bit of a leap here, but given how important the NYSE brand is to trading, investing, markets and business generally, does anyone think figureheads like Stacey have a role to play expanding female participation in the retail investment space? Is it even relevant?

CNBC interviewed her from the exchange’s trading floor back in May this year shortly after her appointment. She serves up some interesting insights into the some of the challenges the business is facing, as well as briefly touching on female inclusion in her industry. It would be epic to have her input in this discussion…

Link to Guardian article below.


I believe @Ian said in his tweet on Friday that they were going to the NYSE soon! :scream::exploding_head::airplane:


We are indeed. Currently sat on train to Heathrow…


A very interesting interview and article.

Cunningham is a woman to be greatly admired for her achievement and success in a historically male dominated industry.

She would no doubt be an inspiration to many professional women who are gunning for the top CEO jobs but it’s interesting to note that she’s a little uncomfortable with the focus on her gender, which suggests to me that she’d be a reluctant champion for the female cause.

She has admitted that her gender did not hinder her progress but she has been fortunate as this isn’t the case for many other women in finance or tech industries.

A bit different is this article from Anne Boden, CEO of Starling, who mentions some of the things women are up against and provides some advice:

Do these articles have any relevance with female participation in the retail investment space?

Maybe but probably not - the articles are more about women in the finance/tech industry, rather than enticing them to invest and not just put all their money in low interest-paying cash accounts.


Completely agree. Although Cunningham’s career is impressive and I do think will help encourage more women to see themselves working in that space I don’t think it helps in changing what women do with their money i.e. investing habits. Especially as a lot of the female figureheads do not talk about their own finances openly enough. I think it’s about having open and honest conversations about options and targeting things that women are “interested in”. Claer Barrett from the FT suggested investment apps collaborate with female-centric products like tampons which was extreme but I see her point. I managed to convince my female friends to join Nutmeg by telling them it’s a good way to save for their wedding so maybe that’s what’s needed… a shift in the conversation to match interests and priorities.


An interesting post about Oprah investing in Weight Watchers and women investing in general :slight_smile: Subscribe to read | Financial Times


That’s really interesting, thanks for sharing this! Oprah’s the hook to get you reading but there’s actually lots of good info on women & investing in general..the bits that stood out for me were:

If you earn less, or take a career break to raise a family, your pension contributions will be lower — making a woman’s future retirement pot worth an average 11 per cent less than a man’s, according to our calculations (see the report for how we worked this out).

However, we found women could close this “gender pensions gap” if they dedicated an additional 1 per cent of their salary towards their pension early in their careers. Over more than 39 years, this is an average of just £35 per month.

Obviously it’s not fair that women should have to invest more into their pensions than men but this sounds like good advice.

Understanding women’s attitudes to risk is also key. Our research found that they were less likely to consider their savings as money for their sole use, but for their family’s. Think about money in this way, and it’s likely you will be far less willing to take any risks.

As always, the amount of time that an investor can afford to hold their investment, rather than selling (in case of any dips in the market) will be key here & when you have a family, there’s more times when you will need access to cash. But the flip side of investing being risky, is the greater return (vs savings accounts, cash etc.) that the investor’s family could benefit from..

Our analysis shows that if women had invested their full Isa allowance each tax year for the past four years into a FTSE All Share tracker, it would have generated a total return of more than 25 per cent excluding charges, growing an investment totalling £65,480 into one worth £82,434.

An investment tracking the US stock market or a global index would have yielded even stronger returns.

By contrast, those who left the money in the average cash savings account would have grown their pot by just £290, or a paltry 0.44 per cent.

In my experience, a lot of women shy away from investment because they feel they lack specialist knowledge. As the Sage of Omaha himself put it: “Only invest in businesses you understand.” Your job, your reading habits and even your behaviour as a consumer might mean you know a lot more than you think. But there is no need to spend time researching individual companies and picking stocks if you don’t want to — the technology exists to build a diversified portfolio using funds and ETFs.

There’s a lot of work to do to help make potential first time investors feel confident enough to try investing out. The comment about investing in funds & ETFs as a starting point is great.

Men often fall prey to impatience, as Terrance Odean, a professor at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, found back in the 1990s. His research found that men traded their investments 45 per cent more than women, blaming this on male overconfidence. Women in contrast, tended to be buy and hold investors — and those who are in it for the long term benefit from the upward trend of markets, and will also save investment fees over time.

This aligns really nicely with Freetrade encouraging long term investing, although we don’t need to worry about the investment fees of course :smile:

And the point about the author’s mother being her role model who made her want to get into investing is great too. It’d be good to see more stories of successful women investors being highlighted in the media & elsewhere.


Hello :wave:

I’m new here too making up the female contingent


Welcome! Get stuck in we look forward to a bit of diversification of opinions!