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Four Reasons Women Don’t Invest

Four Reasons Women Don’t Invest

Why are women not taking care of their financial futures in the same vein as men? Victoria Harris investigates.

18 July 2023

How many women can honestly say they chat about the stock market with their friends when out for dinner? I assume very few. Not to stereotype, but the conversations with my girlfriends usually revolve around work, relationships, family, travel … but definitely not investing.

Less than 25 per cent of women invest in the stock market. Crazy. What’s worse, when we do actually invest we are better at it than men. Now, that’s even more crazy.

So what's holding us back? Why are we not taking care of our financial futures in the same vein as men? Why are so many women ignoring the opportunity of building wealth?

1. We lack knowledge, confidence: Investing in the stock market requires the right knowledge and because we have been left out of those investing conversations for generations we lack that knowledge. Plus, the world of finance is full of overwhelming terms and unnecessary jargon, which can be intimidating. This is all intentional so a normal person needs a financial adviser to invest.

Education is key in all aspects of life, especially when it comes to money (cue The Curve)

2. We are more risk-averse than men: Women tend to have a lower financial risk tolerance than men. This means we are more likely to keep money in the bank, rather than invest it. Money in the bank is a safe option and you know what to expect. It is all connected to men being overconfident. Somehow, they think they know everything and will make the right choice. They don’t see much risk.

Being better investors than men should encourage women to start investing. Instead, we are scared to lose our hard-earned money. Too much caution makes us miss out.

3. We have less money: Unfortunately, it is still true that women earn less than men. In 2022, NZ women earned 9.1 per cent less than men. But this is only half the truth because women take much more time off work for family reasons than men. This creates a huge gap in wealth over a lifetime and causes many women to retire with up to 40 per cent less at retirement than men.

4. Women have less time: This is because they are usually the major drivers for the household duties and childcare. It sounds old-fashioned, but it’s still the reality for most women worldwide. The data shows 92 per cent of women with children take care of their offspring daily, compared with only 68 per cent of men.

And don’t forget about the invisible mental load. Women manage everything at home. Without them, life would fall apart. They have to remember what to buy, birthdays, arranging play dates, vaccines, doctor appointments … after an exhausting day there is no energy left to think about the stock market. For women, the well-being of all family members comes first.

Investing in the stock market generates wealth. If women don’t invest their savings this will have amazing flow-on effects for generations to come. The stock market has delivered an average return of 9 per cent. Let’s make use of it; this is our century. If we want freedom and independence we need to invest and grow our wealth.

Informed Investor's content comes from sources that Informed Investor magazine considers accurate, but we do not guarantee its accuracy. Charts in Informed Investor are visually indicative, not exact. The content of Informed Investor is intended as general information only, and you use it at your own risk.