When it comes to money, women’s confidence lags behind men’s. Despite having access to an array of investment opportunities that our mums never had, women can sometimes worry themselves into inaction, triggering an anxiety loop of ‘Where do I start? How much should I invest? What should I invest in?’
It’s so overwhelming that some women count themselves out before they start, thinking, ‘investing just isn’t for me’. Yet when it comes to investing the biggest mistake women make has nothing to do with how they invest. Studies show that, in fact, women are often better investors than men. The number one mistake women make is not starting!
Women have the skills, we just need the confidence
Most women feel like they’re good savers, but there’s a big difference between saving and investing.
Savings are brilliant as a safety net when life inevitably throws us curve balls, or short-term goals like that Wanaka winter holiday.
Investing gives us the ability to take control of our financial future and help towards achieving life changing long term goals like putting the kids through university, or that retirement bach in sunny Northland, or quitting a job to follow your passion.
A quick word about risk. Women are considered risk-averse, but we believe they’re actually just risk-aware. Being risk-aware helps women develop smart money habits in day-to-day life, however it can also hinder growing long-term wealth through the share markets. Yes, investing in the share markets has risks, but without some risk there's no opportunity for potential investment return. Keep in mind that even with the short-term ups and downs, historically, the US and NZ share markets have provided good long-term returns.
What’s the real deal with savings accounts?
We’ve hit an era of rock-bottom savings account interest rates and the result is your money won’t grow no matter how much you put away. Why? Inflation. In essence, inflation is the cost of living; the overall increase of prices of day-to-day necessities, like groceries, petrol or rent. From December 2020 to December 2021 the inflation rate has increased by 5.9%, the biggest increase since 1990. With savings accounts interest rates hovering under the 0.5% mark (at the time of updating this blog), the increase in your costs of living each year is likely more than what your money earns in a savings account. Yep, you’re losing money simply by doing what you think is the right thing! Investing is how you can make your money work harder for you.
Women, it's time to take the wheel
Typically, women today are independent, and many earn good money yet we probably also play it too safe with our money. Perhaps it’s time we took a leaf from Warren Buffet’s playbook - arguably the world’s greatest investor - and kickstart our investment learning simply by doing?
The sooner the better, he suggests, saying, “If you are investing in your education and you are learning, you should do that as early as you possibly can, because then it will have time to compound over the longest period”.
The reality is, no amount of knowledge will be the ideal amount of knowledge to start, you just have to start. That’s where the real learning begins, and every investor starts with the same potential.
To take the first step and put your money to work, think of it as an investment in your education. Why not start with an amount you don’t want to lose but won’t break you if you did, and try our 3 quick tips to get started below. It only takes a minute to set up automatic monthly deposits and you’ll get the satisfaction of building your investment portfolio over time.
Our 3 quick tips to get started
So where do you start? There’s no one right way to start or right amount to start with, but here are our 3 quick tips:
1. Hatch Getting Started Course
A great place to start is jumping into our free 10-day Getting Started Course, where in just 10 minutes a day for 10 days you can learn the basics to get you started! We promise this is a jargon free zone with over 21,000 Kiwis completing the course to bust through the confidence barrier and take their first step - and now you can too!
2. Back what you believe
Take a look around you; is your phone Apple or Android? Are you head-to-toe Lululemon, or trekking the neighbourhood wearing Nike shoes? At night, do you curl up on the couch to watch Netflix or Disney? These are already the brands you’ve invested in! Walk around your house and tally up the brands you're using, then dive into a little bit of research.
3. Invest in an ETF or ‘basket of shares’
Want to spread your money across a bunch of companies with one easy investment? An exchange-traded fund (ETF) might be just the ticker. An ETF is a shopping basket of shares and when you buy shares in it, you own a tiny slice of everything in it. No more angst about picking the best company to invest in, you’ll instantly own a bunch of them. ETFs also get you investing in a range of industries or themes like cannabis, clean energy and gender diversity.
There’s no better time than the present
Investing has caught up with how people engage with DIY technology, and digital investing platforms make it more affordable and accessible. If you’re currently booking flights online or using online banking, you’ll be surprised by how straight-forward buying shares can be. All you need to do when you’re ready to invest is open a Hatch account, deposit money into it, and choose some shares to buy. And voila! You could be a shareholder in the causes you believe in and the brands you use every day.
You’re not too busy, it’s not too complicated, and it just might be something you’re good at and enjoy!