Why Women Could Transform Investing and Financial Planning!
I have spent the last decade in investment management, and spent it on all levels from the brokerage world to where the average “Joe/Jane” wants to invest and all the way through financial planning for the wealthy.
One common and unfortunate trend is how women are constantly overlooked in the financial planning arena. All sides are to blame in this space. For so long, women have shown little interest in and men have automatically taken the responsibility for household investment planning which in turn has caused the financial services industries to tailor their marketing accordingly.
However, fear not ladies — this is quickly changing. As women are greatly expanding their own careers and recent studies pointed to a notable shift after the 2008 financial crisis, women are now taking a greater role in investing for the future and going as far as taking the lead in arenas such as retirement planning. A growing number of married women are actively taking the initiative in doing so.
Personally, I have always believed that women in the past may not have had much of an interest in investing and saving due to the complex financial jargon the industry throws at individuals that could be discouraging. This is leading to new and broader efforts to make the investment planning more creative to engage more interest.
Source: Fidelity Investments Money FIT Women Study, February 2015.
A recent iShares study conducted by an independent research company, Illuminas conducted in 2016 shows that compared to the same study taken three years prior, women have shown that their confidence has risen sharply in taking on investing responsibilities: 48% compared to 33% in 2013.
The iShares study also pointed out that women are now enjoying the process of making investment decisions increasing by 50% from 2013 to 2016. Several institutes and universities are now offering seminars and financial literacy programs that educate the masses about financial planning, and the majority of attendees are women.
With the gender pay gap still prominent, women have seen the consequences of not being educated about financial planning from the older age groups. Women on average tend to outlive men on about five to seven years longer, and therefore that money is stretched out longer and financial distress occurs due to a death of a spouse or divorce tends to affect women much stronger.
As a response to this realization, women are re-defining the investing landscape and really setting their mark on the industry. Financial literacy programs are being created not just to educate themselves about the importance of investing and saving, but to educate the masses.
Creative, fun approaches and programs are being created to tackle investing and financial planning are being taken on to engage the population — something the industry could have used a long time ago and with a whopping 70% of Americans having less than a $1,000 saved (Americans!), this presents a clear opportunity to build and transform financial education for good.