Based on the results of the survey, Visual Capitalist drew one crucial conclusion: when it comes to investing,
women are not one homogenous group. Instead, they found that women can be split broadly into four groups:
- Suddenly single: Women who have been recently separated, divorced or widowed in the past five years
- Married partner/breadwinner: Professional women who represent the primary source of income for the household
- Married contributor: Professional and non-professional women whose primary contributions to the household tend to be non-financial
- Single breadwinner: Professional and non-professional women defined as living alone or as a single-family unit.
And these groups all have different needs and different motivations for investing in the first place. For example, women in group 1 may find themselves sitting on a large lump sum, like a divorce settlement, which they are considering investing to secure their financial future. Those in group 2, are shouldering the main responsibility for sustaining the level of income that her family needs. Women in group 3 may be keen to become more financially independent, while the onus on those in group 4 is to ensure they can provide
for all their family’s financial needs – on their own.
- Educate yourself: When it comes to investing, knowledge is power. While it might seem like keeping your cash in a deposit account is a safe option, the impact of inflation means that you could actually be losing money in real terms. And with interest rates at rock-bottom levels, even putting your money in a savings account could prove less than ideal for growing your capital.
- Think about your goals – for the short and long term: What kind of lifestyle do you want to achieve – or maintain – in the next five years? What about the next ten? And don’t forget that for many people, retirement is just the start of the story when it comes to investment goals. With life expectancy increasing, it makes sense to plan for around 20 years in retirement.
- Choose an investment approach that works for you: How much risk are you comfortable with? If you’re happy with taking on some investment risk, you might choose to manage your money yourself and make your own investment decisions. If you’re more cautious, handing over the reins to an investment manager could make sense, although you’ll face higher fees. Another “halfway house” option is to invest through a robo-advisor, an automated service with lower management fees.
- Identify your values: If you want your investment to create positive social and economic change, it’s worth considering impact investing. Some firms even offer an investment strategy that’s specifically designed to benefit women’s causes over the long term.