Do women take an interest in financial news?
I’m well aware of how few women read any financial news publications, let alone this one. After nearly 20 years kicking around financial markets, female companions are scant.
I was a speaker at our Doomers Ball event in May this year. The first thing I noticed was that at least 20% of the 200-strong audience was female. A stark contrast to the five women who attended the first Doomers Ball in 2013.
Today, I want to reach as many women as possible with this article.
So here’s what I’m asking of you:
Forward this article to any of your female colleagues or friends. Post it on social media too. If you use Twitter, tag me using @shaearussell.
Why? So that they start thinking of new ways to protect their wealth for years to come.
There are not many women who dabble in stocks. After reading hundreds of emails from fellow female investors, I found that risk and understanding the markets were two of the major deterrents. Many would see a financial adviser looking for information. Only to walk away because the information wasn’t helpful. More often than not, they simply don’t have enough time to manage their wealth.
Lack of time is understandable. Energy depletion even more so. But if we don’t show each other how to start investing, we will miss out on incredible wealth-changing opportunities over our lifetime.
And bitcoin is one of them.
Cryptocurrencies have come of age
The cryptocurrency space began as a novelty for tech geeks and nerds working in dark rooms. A currency with no obvious use in the real world. It was a commodity to trade with likeminded computer-savvy friends.
Yet in the past two years, cryptocurrencies have come of age. And the possibility of being a challenger to the current fiat monetary system is very real.
Of course, bitcoin’s price explosion this year has put all cryptocurrencies front and centre of this conversation.
To prove my point, I conducted an unofficial survey at our office to find out how many women owned cryptos. The answers didn’t surprise me:
‘Uh, yeah no.’
‘Ha, I’m gonna be a broke student next year. I’m holding onto my money for things like rent and food.’
‘My girlfriend does. Although she has nothing to do with it. I set it up for her and oversee it. She has no real interest in any investments.’
There was only one ‘Of course!’.
Then there was the response from one of the much younger women who recently joined us, and her answer caught my eye: ‘I’m in the process of setting up an account. I won’t put much in, but bitcoins certainly seem much more interesting than stocks.’
Speaking with women over the years has shown me that they lean towards being more risk-averse.
Insane price swings, like you see with bitcoin, arguably make the currency appear riskier. Furthermore, with bitcoin trading US$16,473 (AU$21,496), many people — not just women — simply assume they can’t afford it.
This is where education matters. Because you don’t have to throw your life savings into bitcoin. You can buy one or two bucks’ worth of the stuff. It’s not like the minimum $500 of shares most Aussie brokers have as a minimum trade size.
My first experience with bitcoin is a good example here.
I was a latecomer to buying bitcoin, preferring gold instead. Yet after reading Sam Volkering’s Secret Crypto Network newsletter, I followed his advice. That is, I started small. Buying a little bit at a time as I became familiar with the process. Then slowly increasing the amount as I got comfortable. My first purchase of bitcoin was around $50. Netting me around 0.0044 of a bitcoin in the process.
Cryptocurrencies know no gender
Cryptocurrencies aren’t exempt from the standard marketing tricks you see elsewhere. In this case, wrapping a product up in pink and jacking up the price 50%.
If you can believe it, there is a crypto called Woman Coin.
While I know very little about this particular cryptocurrency, the idea is to target female investors.
A quick scroll through their Twitter feed shows you sexualised imagery — perhaps as a way to make the cryptocurrency appealing to women.
The problem is that it has the opposite effect. Rather than rushing out to put my hard-earned fiat dollars into the crypto, it makes me want to put down the muffin and head to the gym.
Feminising a cryptocurrency isn’t the way to reach the female audience. Education is.
Of course, there’s nothing stopping women buying into cryptos, but more can be done to encourage this practice.
The problem is, few people are taking an active role in showing them how it’s done.
Yet it’s not complicated. Or at least, it doesn’t need to be.
So, rather than sitting back and complaining about the lack of female investors in this space, you can start by sharing this with every female family member, colleague or friend you know.
Editor, Markets & Money