Today, gender stereotypes are quickly losing power, enabling savvy female figures to participate in numerous areas that were once considered male-oriented.
Investment is no different: 67% of women are now investing their savings outside of retirement accounts and emergency funds in the stock market, representing a 50% increase from 2018.
Here is why the gender gap in investing is narrowing.
1. A wide range of career opportunities
You can’t simply work to achieve your full potential if you have to worry about getting through the month. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs stresses that a person can only move on to addressing their higher-level needs like education or skill development when their basic needs are adequately fulfilled.
This is exactly what women can do right now. Career opportunities and millions of jobs opening are empowering women to be financially stable and independent. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are now 109,000 more women working than men in the U.S.
Women are now more likely to earn more than what covers their essential expenses. As a result of this financial sufficiency, women can use their time to invest their money and build wealth.
2. Solo lifestyle
“Go to college, find a job, get married, and have kids” is no longer the formula of happily ever after. The General Social Survey indicates that more than half of young American Millennials between 18 and 34 years old do not have a romantic relationship. So, what does being single have to do with investment?
Not starting a family at an early age can help women focus on their careers and multiply wealth. But it doesn’t end there. Single women may make some decisions more easily, such as where to live. Unlike people with children, they do not have to live in big houses near good schools, which can be costly.
The solo lifestyle allows women to choose how to use their money—the equity will be theirs to benefit from solely. This also inspires them to invest in themselves and their futures more.
3. Knowledge is accessible to everyone
There’s something that keeps many females away from investing—not having enough confidence. Even if women outperform their male counterparts in investment, they are generally not that self-assured in investing and are less likely to ask for financial advice. In fact, 77% of women believe that they’d be more confident if they had a financial advisor to help them invest.
In today’s age of information, accessing investment education and opportunities is not a challenge. For anyone wanting to learn the ropes about investing in stocks or gold, eToro provides beginner guide videos. BrikkApp puts a lot of emphasis on education for those who are interested in real estate crowdfunding investing. Reddit’s WallStreetBets community hosts 11.1 million members having daily conversations about the stock market.
The Internet makes all of the investment processes digestible and helps women make the best decisions for their financial future.
4. Understanding the importance of investing
Better education opportunities and the internet open the door to a world where women can start questioning whether to keep their savings in cash or use them wisely to better their finances. Women are now more aware of the possibilities that investing offers. Building wealth, supporting themselves and their family, and reaching future goals are well-known benefits of investing, but there’s more. Depending on where you live, it can also help to protect the value of savings.
In countries like Turkey, keeping money in a bank account or under the mattress is not a brilliant idea because of the negative interest rates. Moreover, the Turkish currency, the lira, has weakened, and so has the value of savings. There’s no wonder why seven in 10 women wish they had started investing their extra savings earlier.
5. Fintech solutions
Fintech unlocks new ideas and solutions, making it easier for women to have an account to send or receive money worldwide, regulate their expenses, and have more control over their money. It’s a significant development since 1.1 billion women are unbanked.
Besides offering financial services, fintech activity is also expanding into the savings and investments segment. As consumers seek convenient means to earn better returns locally and gain access to offshore investments, fintechs are helping democratise their options by offering flexible products with attractive interest rates.
Thanks to fintech solutions, the ability to invest isn’t exclusive to first-world countries. In Nigeria, fintechs such as RiseVest, Chaka, and Bamboo, are offering users an opportunity to invest in international stock markets from their local currency account through their app. This will inherently get more women involved.
6. The barriers have broken down
“People need a lot of money before they can invest” is nothing but a modern myth. Another benefit that the internet provides is that you can invest with as little as tens of dollars.
As the access to smaller investments, for example, via crowdfunding, grows, women can start with small amounts and slowly move up to more significant investments. This makes the environment more inclusive overall and brings opportunities to women from all economic segments.
There’s no doubt that the gender gap in investing still exists. However, the reasons hindering women’s participation in investment are vanishing, and the gender gap is closing because of 21st-century activism and technological development. It’s a brave new world for female investors.
Jana Vecerkova is the Co-Founder and CPO of Brikkapp, a Europe-based company that connects investors with property investment platforms from all across the world.