Although we’re seeing an increasing number of women entering the investment world, it very much remains dominated by men.
There are still many barriers that are stopping women from investing, and this could have a serious impact on their financial future as they could be missing out on potential growth when it comes to their money. If we want to see more women investors, it’s crucial to debunk the myths surrounding investing and explain how it really works.
So, let's go ahead and do that.
Investing isn’t that complicated
A common misconception a lot of women (and men too!) have about investing is that you need to be a financial expert to get started. And naturally, with such beliefs, many women choose to remain outside the investment arena as they believe they don’t have enough knowledge to get started.
According to figures from Finder.com, only 32% of women have invested their money (as of 2023), but 52% of men have.
And the reason why many women aren't investing could be due to a lack of confidence. In fact, according to a survey we conducted back in 2018, 77% of women said they didn't feel confident investing their money.
And from additional research we carried out on barriers to investing in March 2023, we found that women still have a lack of confidence when it comes to starting. In fact, 73% said they didn't feel confident enough to invest, compared to 58% of men.
We’re not going to lie, investing can feel a bit obscure – blame the overuse of jargon in the industry! However, thanks to robo-investing platforms, like Wealthify, there’s no need to know all the complicated terms and intimidating theories to become an investor.
In fact, you don’t really need much knowledge at all to get started as our team of experts will take care of everything. Armed with their diplomas and years of experience, our Investment Team will do the investing on your behalf, from picking the right mix of investments to managing your Plan on an ongoing basis. Obviously, if you want to learn about it, it’s never too late to start.
We’ve got a number of investing guides and blogs (like this one!) that could help you gain some valuable knowledge about stock markets and the investment process.
You don’t need to be rich to start investing
Despite some improvements in the gender pay gap in recent years, women still earn less than men on average. The latest numbers show that the full-time male employees in the UK earn about 14.9% more than women – this is what we call the gender pay gap2. And unsurprisingly, with less money coming in, some women tend to overlook investing, thinking they can’t possibly afford it.
But here, the misconception is that you need to be loaded to invest. Again, with the emergence of online investment platforms, you don’t actually need thousands to open an investment plan. With Wealthify, for instance, you can start investing with just £1 or as much as you like, and if you want to open a personal pension to boost your retirement savings, you can begin with just £50!
In case you're unaware, a personal pension is a type of pension that you personally set up and contribute to. It can give you more flexibility over how you invest and can be used to complement any existing workplace pensions you may have.
There are ways to manage your investment risk
Generally speaking, women tend to think of money as belonging to the household, even if they’ve earned it. This means that they can be quite reluctant to risk their hard-earned money and as a result, they prefer to save rather than invest.
For example, in the 2019/20 tax year, around 5.3 million Cash ISAs were held by women, compared to 4.12 million by men. Additionally, there were only 1.16 million women who invested through Stocks and Shares ISAs, while 4.12 million were held by men.2
There’s no denying it, investing involves an element of risk. Unlike saving where you’re guaranteed to get back your money plus a bit of interest, there’s a risk you could lose money with investing. But fear aside, this risk is manageable and there are ways to mitigate it.
One thing you could do is diversify your plan. By this we mean buying lots of different investment types (shares, bonds, and property) and investing in various markets across the globe, that way poorly performing investments could be balanced out by others doing well, and the likelihood of losing everything could decrease.
Another way to mitigate risk is to think for the long-term. Many studies show that the longer you hold onto your investments, the better chance you have to make a gain. Take people who invested in the FTSE 100 from 1984. As of 2022, everybody who stuck with their investments for any 10-year period have had an 88% chance of making a positive return – not bad!3 However, do keep in mind that past results are not an indicator of future performance.
You don’t have to do it all by yourself
Whatever your gender, life can be very busy - between work, household chores, hobbies and much needed downtime, it’s not always easy to find the opportunity to sort out your finances.
But you know what? You don’t have to do it on your own! With digital investment platforms, like Wealthify, everything is done for you.
Okay, well you still get to choose how much to invest and the risk level you’re comfortable with, but you don’t have to worry too much about the hard bit as the investing will be done for you, meaning you have more time to do what you enjoy.
4: Data from Bloomberg
Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future results.
The tax treatment depends on your individual circumstances and may be 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.
Wealthify does not offer financial advice. Please seek financial advice if you're unsure about investing.