When people think of investing, they often think of men in expensive suits looking at dazzling screens and shouting jargon with passion. But the reality is quite the opposite. Most investors are ordinary people who want to put their money to work. And whilst most of them are men, increasingly, you’ll also find women who aspire to boost their financial future. Here’s what it’s like to be a female investor.
Michelle Pearce-Burke, COO
“Investing has always been a passion of mine. I bought my first shares when I was 11 years old. It was a small stake in a biotech company, but sadly it didn’t perform as well as I wished. Since then, I’ve learnt that it’s a good idea to spread your money across investments and regions. I’ve also learnt that ‘if it’s too good to be true’, then it probably is. It’s often assumed that investing can make you rich overnight, but this is rarely the case. As an investor, it’s important to approach investing with a long-term view. It won’t make you rich overnight but, remaining focused on your goals and sticking with your investments for a number of years, could help you build up wealth in the long run.
Many people, especially women, think you need lots of money to invest, but again this is a common misconception. With robo-investing platforms, you can invest as little as you want. For instance, instead of putting in big lump sums, I like to invest small amounts on a monthly basis – I have a Direct Debit set up with Wealthify to do just this. This approach is known as drip feeding and it can help even out the bumps in investing.
I wish more women would invest. Not only is it a great way to give your money a chance to grow, it also feels amazing to be an investor. Since I’ve been investing, I feel in control, and I’m satisfied to see that my money is working (nearly) as hard as I am!”
Sally Allan, Chief Marketing Officer
“My earliest experience of investing must have been when I was about ten, and my older brother was selling 5- and 10-year investment plans as a side gig. He wasn’t the greatest salesman and my mum felt sorry for him, so she started one and paid into it monthly. But at the end of the term, it had actually done really well and paid for a family holiday. By then she had the bug for seeing her money accumulate, so she started doing TESSAs, then PEPs and ISAs. She’s a pensioner now and she’s still sharp as a pin when it comes to her finances.
In retrospect, she was a great role model for me and my sisters. She always had little wish lists, written on scraps of envelopes, of things she wanted to do, like decorate our bedrooms, or kit us all out in new uniforms and shoes for back to school. She was brilliant at budgeting and made not very much money go a long way. I’ve definitely got her to thank for being financially confident and knowing when to splurge and when to save.
I wish I’d understood investing risk a bit better when I was in my twenties as I’d have probably invested more or taken more risk. Back then the last thing I wanted to do was learn about investing, but something like Wealthify would’ve been great. For me it’s a no-brainer – I don’t have to do anything, and I’m not confronted with jargon, complex processes or additional fees every time I want to do something. I can keep an eye on my Plans on the app and withdraw if I need to, which thankfully I haven’t, and I’m really pleased with how my Plans are performing. My mum is very proud of me.”
Sarah Sandercott, Head of Customer Services
“Before joining Wealthify, my experience of investing was limited, and all I had was a small Cash ISA. Working for Wealthify has truly changed the way I manage my savings and think of my financial future. I now have a Stocks and Shares ISA and when I first set it up, I couldn’t believe how easy it was. All you need to do is choose how much you’d like to invest and the risk level that suits you, and the hard work is done for you by a team of experts. Who knew investing could be that effortless? I’m a definite convert! I love keeping track of my Plan via the app and I feel like I’ve learnt a lot about investing and markets in general.
I used to think that investing was just for the rich, but with services, like Wealthify, it’s possible to invest small amounts and still have access to a wide range of stocks and shares. But more importantly, Wealthify lets me invest ethically and it feels good to know you’re contributing to something worthwhile.”
Farah Wilson, Head of Legal
“Despite having been in the financial services industry for about 10 years, it was only a few years ago that I started engaging more with investing (aside from via employer share schemes). I took my workplace pension out of the default fund, and decided to invest through my General Investment Account, ISA, Junior ISAs as well as in specific shares from time to time. So many of the previous obstacles have been lifted thanks to apps like Wealthify- investing can and should be for anyone, no matter how much money you have, without unnecessary jargon being a barrier. It takes a shift in perception, now I look around and see that investing is not something outside the everyday, it’s made up of things that massively impact our ordinary lives: companies expanding or going bust and impacting people’s livelihoods, companies researching and developing new creations (from the small but iconic Cadbury’s crème egg, to technology we would struggle to live without especially when communicating with loved ones in a pandemic, to the Covid vaccines now giving us hope of returning to something like life as we once knew it).
Many of us are juggling so much day to day, so why should our money be left to sit in an account with low interest rates when it could be multitasking to the max like we are? Take ISAs for example, there are tax incentives to invest rather than to simply save, and with compounding the earlier in your life you start investing the better. Also, the Covid situation has shown how important it is to have some money set aside - you never know when your income may be taken away from you through unexpected external factors, if you’re able to do so, investing via regular Direct Debit can help set that money aside with little effort on your part.
While things are so much improved in many areas, there is still a marked gender investment gap which is to a large extent avoidable. Women often know the full range of family/household expenditure - the bills, shopping, kid’s activities, family days out etc. And since we have awareness of what goes out as well as what comes in, we need to be more confident and take control over our finances – and this can involve investing. If you don’t know what to invest in, now is your time as thankfully there are now experts who will choose the appropriate investments for you without charging extortionate fees or requiring you to invest thousands.
Rosie French, Senior Marketing Communications Manager
“I’ve always been pretty impulsive when it comes to money management, and spent many years working purely to enjoy the dopamine hit of spending the money that I earnt almost immediately after pay day!
It was only towards the end of my 20s that I began to learn the art of saving to meet life goals – first a wedding to fund, then a baby, and then a first foot on the property ladder. However, at the time I simply wasn’t aware that there was the option available to make my money work harder through investing in a way that was simple, accessible and affordable. Looking back, I dread to think how much potential was lost through large sums sat in my high-street bank account, earning next to nothing owing to low interest rates.
Joining Wealthify a couple of years ago, I discovered that thanks to ‘robo’ investing, my spare money can do more, and I now get a real kick from watching the performance of my Wealthify Plans. Being new to investing, I started small – setting up a £50 monthly direct debit into an Ethical Stocks & Shares ISA. After seeing how that was growing with zero effort on my behalf, I soon opened a Junior ISA for my daughter, and also transferred an old workplace pension into a Wealthify Personal Pension. Seeing my money grow has really encouraged me to squirrel more of it away, and through gaining confidence, I have increased my £50 direct debit up to £200 a month into my ISA, and I plan to increase this further in the future. I also love knowing that my ethical investments are helping to make a difference in the world, and can sleep easy knowing that I’m not sacrificing my own values in order to grow my money.”
Kelly Curtis, Customer Communications Manager
“I used to take part in a share scheme with my previous employer and I invested regularly into the company each month. But apart from this, I had no idea about investing, how it worked, or what I should actually be invested in. Since working at Wealthify, I’ve gained a greater understanding of the investing world. The blogs have particularly helped me build up my knowledge, and I now understand things like diversification, compounding, and passive investing.
I have opened two Junior Stocks and Shares ISAs to give my boys a head-start in life. I’ve decided to invest in their future whilst they’re still young because I want to teach them about the advantages of long-term investing. I believe we live in a world where everything is instant! You can listen to music, stream a film, and have same day delivery. As a result, my children might think that you don’t have to wait very long to get what you want! Hopefully, by investing for my children, I can show them that patience tends to pay off.
I’m currently paying into a Stocks and Shares ISA for a trip to Lapland – I just hope I get enough money in my Plan to get there before my boys ‘don’t believe’ anymore! I know that as soon as I have enough money, I’ll feel really proud that I was able to use my investments to do something that I’ve been wanting to do since I was a child.”
Rhiannon Maggs, Business Manager
“I’ve been investing for about five years now, putting what I can afford away. It’s often little and not as much as I’d like it to be, but it’s been working! Last year, I managed to buy a house with my savings - yay! Sometimes, all you need to do is invest small sums regularly and let time work its magic.
Like many people, I used to think investing was too risky, but there are ways to mitigate risk. For example, you can spread out your money across many investment types and markets and if you commit long-term, you should be able to ride out market bumps. Personally, I’m more of a cautious investor, but with that said my investments have always outperformed any saving account offers with the high street banks.
Also, investing is super easy! With robo-investing platforms, you don’t need any knowledge to get started. You choose how much you want to invest and select the risk level that’s right for you. You can then check how your investments are doing on your phone. Investing feels great, but more importantly, it gives me control over my future.”
Aleksandra Kraj, Digital Marketing Executive
“I’m quite new to investing, in fact, I’ve just started my journey and I’m currently investing to build up my savings for a rainy day or a spontaneous trip abroad. I invest small amounts on a monthly basis, but I hope I’ll be able to increase my deposits when I have more disposable income.
Before becoming an investor, I had many misconceptions about investing and markets. I believed that you had to invest a lot of money upfront and that I would have to do extensive research to pick up investments. But Wealthify proved me wrong. You can invest as little as you want and you don’t need much knowledge to put your money in stock markets – the experts are here to do the hard work!
I haven’t been investing for a long time, but it makes me feel confident and I like the idea that there’s a team of experts who are putting my money to work. Also, I feel like I’m staying true to my values since I’m investing ethically.”
Victoria Rook, Compliance Executive
“When I first started working in the finance industry nearly 15 years ago, I knew very little about investing, but colleagues kindly shared their insight and one of the most important things I feel I learnt was the power of compounding on investments. I was told that Albert Einstein had reportedly called compounding ‘the Eighth Wonder of the World’, so I remember thinking it must be something worth paying attention to! It’s the snowballing effect of your returns potentially making more returns - so if you start investing early, even if it’s just a small amount, and keep making small top ups when you can, then the effects over the long-term can really help your investment to build.
I’m putting this into practice for my son and started a Junior Stocks and Shares ISA for him as soon as he was born. Yes, the investment hasn't always grown and, given the year we’ve had, this hasn’t come as a surprise to me, but I always remind myself that this is an investment for the long-term and, the longer it’s invested, the more chance it has to take advantage of those years where returns may be better. I’ll be so proud if me saving for his future now helps him when it comes to buying his first car or putting a deposit down on a house in years to come (even thinking about it makes me well up a bit!).
I’d also encourage anyone considering investing to make sure that they do their research and understand what fees they are paying for their investments. Even small differences in cost can make a big difference in the long term, so it makes sense to do your research early on!”
The tax treatment depends on your individual circumstances and maybe subject to change in the future.
Please remember the value of your investments can go down as well as up, and you could get back less than invested.