Money and investing should not be an issue that we as women shy away from but something, we should take control of and master. Roxana Mohammadian-Molina argues that by creating supportive networks more women can smart investors. Her new podcast, The Smart Investress aims to do just that!
According to a recent research, only a quarter of women say they would know how to find suitable investment products if they wanted to invest some of their cash. In contrast, over four in ten men are confident about finding appropriate sources of information around investing. Indeed, with the investment industry being largely dominated by male figures, both in terms of investors and investment advisors, there are scant role models for prospective female investors whose risk profile and priorities are different from their male counterparts.
With the message around female investment having shifted in recent years from why women should invest to where can women start their investment journey, the importance of shared experiences and role models has gained momentum. I concur with the key role of relatable stories and strongly believe that we, as women, should not pursue this journey alone. Instead, we should network to find or create supportive communities in which we feel free to share information, experience and advice. In other words, a community we can trust with money concerns and where we are not afraid to ‘out the elephant’ and ask questions such as ‘what does that mean’? These communities, either online or in person, will provide safe spaces to encourage us to discuss money, from unpicking jargon to making recommendations for the best wealth advisors for us. After all, taboos get overturned through conversation, and conversation facilitated in a ‘safe space’ is a good starting point.
Such communities will also enable us to celebrate success and female role models. How many successful male investors do you know? And how many successful female investors do you know? There certainly are less successful female investors than their male counterparts, yet there certainly are many more than we can all identify. It is important for the media and for our communities to shun a light on these beacons of success, and for us all to celebrate them. Their positive stories will encourage other women to follow in their footsteps and to see what they can achieve by investing. To do this and tackle the ‘Old Boys Club’ perception, it is also important to change the composition of the financial services industry as currently only 15%-20% of wealth advisors are women.
Another key aspect of such communities is that it will enable us to embrace our different, more risk-averse nature and help us understand that our individuality is an asset. Female investment priorities are different, not inferior nor superior to male investment priorities. We must understand that investing does not have to be full of risk to be successful.
With over half of women not ever holding an investment product, there is a long way to go for us as a community to encourage ourselves and each other to invest. The private wealth sector needs to change in order to reap the benefits that increased female investment can bring. But we as women should not wait on the side-lines for this change to happen. We need to be proactive and seek to affect change ourselves. We no longer accept second best in the home or at work and we should not accept second best in private wealth management either.
The new The Smart Investress podcast about all things investing will launch in July. If you are interested in investing, learning more about investments, always wanted to start a portfolio but were never sure where or how to get started and where to find great investment products, tune into The Smart Investress. Every week, I will be joined by successful investors and entrepreneurs. Together we will delve into why we should all be investing part of our income, giving you practical investment tips and showing you how to get started on the investment ladder. But most importantly, you’ll have the chance to ask your own questions. To find out more, go to www.sovereignmagazine.co.uk/podcasts