The barriers to women investing

Fidelity's state of the nation report looks at steps women are taking to build wealth and the opportunity they have to make their money work harder. It looks at:

Closing the gender pay gap

Financial inequality is one of the greatest challenges we face. On current trends, it will take more than 200 years to close the gender pay gap. This is unacceptable. We have to act now to remove the barriers that stop women from having their money working for them through investment and so unlock female financial power.

Falling prey to inflation

Today, the majority of women don’t invest in the stock market. Instead of putting more into a pension or utilising the tax-efficiency of stocks and shares ISAs, women favour the perceived caution of cash. But this caution comes at a cost: by leaving their hard-earned money languishing in cash, their savings fall prey to inflation and lose value in real terms.

Men make 45% more investment trades than women

Behavioural finance has found women perform well when they do invest. Work carried out at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business found that men traded 45% more than women. Women, in contrast, tend to be ‘buy and hold’ investors.

They have long-term goals and are happy to stick to these goals, whether it’s saving for a child’s education or putting something away for retirement. This wiring is just right for investing in the stock market, because those who remain invested can benefit from the long-term uptrend in stock markets.

But barriers exist that stop women from investing. A lack of time, confidence, access to the right information, industry jargon and not knowing where to start are just some of the obstacles that stop many women from thinking that investment is ‘for them’. Until these hindrances are removed, or at the very least addressed, we cannot unlock women’s financial power.

Click here to read Fidelity's women and investing report in full