Surveys

Pandemic Has Galvanised Female Investors

Shirin Aguiar, Reporter, London, 24 February 2022

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The pandemic has had a galvanising effect on female investors in the UK many of whom, notwithstanding the reduction in disposable income, have started investing in the last two years.

COVID-19 and the pandemic has galvanised women in the UK into investing, according to a study in which half of female respondents, around 500, started doing so two years ago or sooner. 

Almost 60 per cent of those surveyed said that the pandemic has impacted their investment habits. Although more than a third (36 per cent) said the health crisis reduced the amount of disposable income they have to invest, it has had an energising effect on many other women, according to a European study of more than 9,500 business female investors by social investment network eToro. A thousand women were surveyed in each country, including the UK.

Thirty-one per cent of UK women said they felt more pressure to make something of their financial situation, 30 per cent realised that they needed a savings pot and 28 per cent said it gave them a long-term financial goal for which to aim.

A desire to counter low interest rates (50 per cent) and to supplement income (43 per cent) are the two main reasons for women to start investing 

“Female investors are using investing as a powerful lever to secure their futures, boost income, and/or to build net wealth. It is clear from the research that female investors are carving out their own future, and building for the long-term, something which is to be celebrated,” Dr Hedva Ber, eToro’s global chief operating officer and deputy chief executive, said.

Although an all-year-around consideration, the wealth management concerns of women will come under sharper focus on 8 March, International Womens' Day. While traditionally dominated by men, the sector is slowly changing, and arguably must adapt further particularly as more women become high net worth individuals.

Investing goal and motivation     
Four out of five (78 per cent) of women surveyed are confident of reaching their desired income in retirement if they continue with their current investment strategy, three-fifths (59 per cent) of the 1,000 UK respondents expect to reach their income retirement goal in under 10 years, and 41 per cent believe that it will take them more than a decade, the study found.

 A fifth (19 per cent) said funding retirement was their primary investment goal, while 18 per cent cited “long-term security” as their main aim. For 12 per cent, achieving financial independence in order to retire early is their number one motivation. 

“Women clearly want to improve their finances, and crave more education around investing. We need to respond to the calls for more female role models and ensure they represent the diversity of women who could benefit from knowing more about investing. Financial education is key and while progress is being made there is more work to do. We have a responsibility to make a positive difference to women’s lives now and in the future,” Ber said.

The authors of the report noted that more than half the female investors surveyed cited the need for more female role models in their quest for financial independence.

The most popular investment held by the female investors in the UK is domestic stocks (40 per cent) followed by cryptoassets (32 per cent), domestic bonds (32 per cent), cash (31 per cent), foreign stocks (23 per cent), alternative investments (19 per cent), commodities (13 per cent), foreign bonds (12 per cent) and currencies (11 per cent).

Female investors in the UK plan to invest in cryptoassets (34 per cent), domestic stocks (31 per cent), alternative investments (29 per cent), domestic bonds (26 per cent), foreign stocks (22 per cent), cash (22 per cent), commodities (19 per cent), foreign bonds (15 per cent) and currencies (14 per cent).

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