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Investing: it's not just for the boys

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All the women I know are super-capable; they run homes alongside working while having interesting hobbies and social lives. But how many of them know the first thing about investing? Hardly any, I’d bet. Apparently one in eight women don’t like making decisions about pensions and 90% say financial services companies are geared to help men says Saga Investment Services.

I’m surprised it wasn’t more than 90%. While there may be top female fund managers they are few and far between. And I’m sure there are plenty of fabulous female independent financial advisers (IFAs). But have a look at the IFA trade press and it’s full of men in suits.

Yet it’s worth steeling yourself and ignoring all the testosterone. The same report says that more than half of women aren’t prepared to take any risk with their money at all. That’s not necessarily a good idea. While you should have a chunk of cash in your rainy day savings account (the advice is usually enough to cover six months’ salary) you’re losing money on that, thanks to low interest rates. If you invest then if you’re lucky you should make money – even in the current environment.

I don’t have loads of money but I do invest: mainly in my Self Invested Personal Pension (Sipp). Sometimes I lose money. Sometimes I make it. In general, it’s the latter: I only put small amounts in and do it regularly so I smooth out market fluctuations. And I avoid single shares: far too risky for me. I’m not put off by the overwhelmingly male investment industry – but then I did spend many years as a City reporter so I guess I’m used it. So why let the men keep it to themselves? Best to do your homework first, though: and what better advice than to check out Jane’s investment Quick Guides?

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Monday, 22 April 2019