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Investment: Educating the next generation of investors with Female Invest.

Updated: Jan 13, 2021

"Financial equality means financial freedom."

Anna-Sophie Hartvigsen was the third guest on the Femme Lead Podcast, and she discussed the journey of building Female Invest and the setup for women in investment.

As Anna-Sophie puts it, the current setup for women in investment is that females are generally very interested to learn more about investing, but they do not know where to look for advice. The feedback Anna receives says that the financial industry is not focused on communicating in the same way for both men and women.

Starting Female Invest was a natural progression from an NGO focused on educating women about investment, then deciding to focus on profits and building an organization.

"If you are looking to start a business, the consideration is similar to investing, just do it. You don't have to quit your job and work full time from the beginning. Research shows that companies, where the founders had another job on the side, have more chances to succeed." [based on the interview with Anna-Sophie Hartvigsen, this data has been researched by Female Invest].

This looks different in other industries. The strategy of Female Invest was to create a user base interested in the topic, gather feedback, and then move into the business.

The mission of Female Invest is to close the financial gender gap because women are falling financially behind. In Europe, women retire with 35% less money right now than men; If we look in Denmark alone, that number is larger, 43% [less money]. Most people don't know that women managing their money differently than men are the key drivers behind this because the gender pay gap is 16%, which is also a lot but does not even explain half [of this situation].

When it comes to the milestone, the concept of building a company was fundamental, as well as launching the digital platform and building membership options for the users. Female Invest trained more than 25000 females in offline events, and after launching the digital platform, the company took off, now serving females in more than 30 countries around the globe.

Gender traits in investing: "Women are underrepresented in the stock markets and financial institutions worldwide among private and professional investors.

Despite this, women do perform better when they do get started, and when we measure differences, we see women tend to be risk-averse and hold an investment for a longer time on average."

When it comes to finding out about investing, some differences can be seen in the market. For example, the way investing is communicated to women, from a linguistic perspective is different. Women are taught differently about investing and finances: e.g., the advice is to stop spending money on lattes and avocado toasts. For men, the message does not apply when discussing tech gadgets or expensive items. Similarly, women are advised to save, while men are advised to invest [based on the interview with Anna-Sophie Hartvigsen, this data has been researched by Female Invest].

This article from Forbes discussed the challenges of women in finance, and it goes beyond investing. From a career perspective, only 15% of the financial sector employees are women, although 46% of financial services employees are females.

When it comes to career progression, seeing more role models in key positions across companies in the financial sectors does make a difference. As mentioned in the article citing the Forbes Finance Council members, Kayce Hunt encourages women interested in a finance career to look at the different roles in the industry. Focus on the path that interests you the most: "I love the ability to analyze and model data to predict the outcome."

As for investing, Female Invest offers courses and posts that deep dive into critical concepts you need to start the process.

As Anna-Sophie puts it, the content is easy to engage with by using understandable communication, not on a lower level but entertaining through everyday language and live coaching sessions.

"Money is a pre-requisite for equality and freedom." 

Well said: If you are falling financially behind, you cannot have the same financial freedom as someone economically independent.

Some of the barriers to getting started investing include the lack of role models, stereotypes about women and money, and lack of interest in broadly sharing this topic. However, Female Invest works with banks and financial institutions to communicate with female customers. Generally, the financial industry has been open to collaborating to serve its female audience.

"We are so passionate about the mission of empowering women, and it always works in the back of our heads, no matter where we are. I think it is quite privileged."

"If you want to start investing, just do it. It could potentially be life-changing."

What are your comments on the thoughts shared here?

Check out episode #3 of Femme Lead Podcast here:

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