In finance, more and more women are getting started

In finance, more and more women are getting started

Blocking a sum of money so that it pays off later, the principle does not seem like rocket science. However, while women own 40% of the world’s wealth according to a study by Credit Suisse, they invest little in the economy. “In Europe, only 15% do so, compared to 50 to 70% of men depending on the country,” figures Paloma Castro Martinez, creator of the Ryse service, a label which distinguishes financial establishments whose approach is favorable to female investors*. But now the lines are moving: because the windfall of female savings represents a challenge for the financial sector. And because pioneers demonstrate that there is a lever to influence the progress of business.

“My first placement dates back to when I was 18,” Margaux remembers. When I passed the baccalaureate, the banks offered 100 or 200 euros to those who obtained a very good grade so that they could open an account. I opened several and, on the advice of my father, I placed 1,000 euros in a Livret A.” Today, this 32-year-old from Brest who attended a business school has made investing her job. A logistics real estate asset manager, she joined a finance sector where women represent around 10% of the workforce, “even if the profession has been becoming more feminized for four or five years”.

Margaux thus belongs to the circle of investment professionals, whom she distinguishes from “real investors”, creators of start-ups or business angels which commit part of their own funds to innovative companies. In his eyes, there is a fundamental difference between investing his money or that of others: “Personally, I take risks with amounts that I can lose. When it comes to other people’s money, it’s belt and suspenders. I started my career in wealth management and was criticized for pushing clients too much towards very secure funds. »

*Quoted in “When women take charge of cash”, ChallengesDecember 30, 2022.

Prudence is a mother of security

Champions of household management (70% of them are responsible for budgetary and financial aspects), women appear to have a marked aversion to risk. “In fact, they are above all very aware of the risks,” notes Valérie Lion, well known to readers of the Pilgrim , now editor-in-chief of ViveS Media. “As a result, they do not only consider the immediate profitability of an investment and invest for the longer term. Which turns out to be an advantage, since in this matter, time allows risk to be controlled. » Moreover, feminine behaviors and strategies are proving profitable, according to scattered studies conducted since 2001, especially in Anglo-Saxon countries (North America, United Kingdom). Because women invest for the longer term: the average holding period for a fund is 10.7 years for a woman, 8.3% for a man, according to the English investment platform Boring Money for private use. Because they also carry out fewer transactions: 9 per year on average compared to 13 by men, according to a survey by the Warwick Business School in 2018. However, each transaction is accompanied by fees. Result: over three years, women’s performance was around 1.8% higher.

The retirement horizon

But investing money requires having the means. However, when preparing for retirement, 29% of French women are unable to save (compared to 21% of men), according to the “Women and Money” survey, carried out by Ifop for ViveS in partnership with Financière de l’Échiquier and Boursorama. Those who can still have to cross the barrier of financial jargon and venture into the maquis of listed shares, life insurance in euro funds (which guarantee the capital) or in units of account (risky), funds and Sicav, employee savings (PEE) and retirement (PER, Perp, Perco)… Many are throwing in the towel. Thus, according to the Savings and Investment Barometer of the Financial Markets Authority carried out at the end of 2022, “the rate of ownership of investment products is lower among women: 22% of those who were questioned have declared having them within their household, compared to 36% of the men questioned2”.

“These subjects are not that complicated to understand if they are explained to you well,” says Emma, ​​57 years old. Six years ago, following his divorce, he had to take the plunge. Staying in the house she bought with her ex-husband (from whom she bought her shares) quickly became beyond her means. As a part-time National Education employee, after having worked in other professions, the retirement horizon looked bleak. “The pension I will receive will not exceed 600 euros per month,” she explains. The house constituted my capital. Selling it, buying a smaller one and investing the difference was the only way to finance my autonomy over time. » She then discovered that “investing involves taking into account the way you live, the way you spend your money, your personal decisions, your goal of passing it on to your children… The broker I used helped me to project myself at ten, twenty, thirty years old, when I was looking more at five years old.” Where Emma had considered buying a studio to rent out, she ultimately opted for stone-paper (collective real estate investments), which was more profitable, and made various investments to ultimately pay herself a retirement supplement.

Investing is not speculating

“You have to know how to listen to yourself,” says Margaux, who analyzes the funds in which she invests her bonuses in great detail. “When a placement doesn’t inspire me, I don’t go there. Out of conviction, I do not invest in a unit of account only listed on oil or in a start-up linked to arms. »

In the eyes of many women, putting your money to work must be meaningful and serve “positive impact” projects. Even if it means leaving feathers there. “A few years ago, a friend told me about a company that was being created to manufacture repairable household appliances,” says Éva (first name has been changed) . The project was launched by serious people in Toulouse and the approach seemed very interesting to me. Unfortunately, Covid happened and the business collapsed. » Éva lost 1,500 euros, but has no regrets: “I could start again for a project of this nature,” she smiles. At 63, this recently retired woman combines the verb “to invest” with the pronominal form “to invest”: “I am involved in the Human Rights League, I am part of a cycling association, I do some coaching with the members of my old company…” she lists. In the company created with a friend at the turn of 1990, the two founders had invested 25,000 francs each. In 2021, Éva, left alone at the helm, handed over the company to those of the fourteen employees who were willing to… invest in turn. In doing so, she realized added value. To the question “Investment, what does that make you think of?” » Éva replies: “Time, energy, hope, convictions… Ah yes! and money too. »

Think with ViveS Media

Created within the Bayard group (publisher of Pilgrim ) for two years, ViveS Media has been dedicated to women and the economy. To better invest, it offers:

Precautionary principles

  • Favor precautionary savings. We only invest money we don’t need. Above all, building up precautionary savings is essential to protect yourself from hard blows and unforeseen events. Setting aside two to three months’ wages in a booklet is recommended.
  • Ask for advice. Consulting a wealth management advisor is free the first time. Cross-referencing two or three professional opinions provides a useful first approach.
  • Diversify your investments. This is a good way to reduce the risk of your investments. Age determines the strategy to adopt.
  • Invest regularly and as early as possible. Setting up automatic transfers smooths the risk over time. The sooner the better to benefit from the snowball effect of cumulative interest (interest received in the first year in turn generates interest in the next, and so on).

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