Some of the women on the MyWallSt team share their experiences about investing and opinions on why there are so few female investors.
MyWallSt is celebrating Women’s History Month by discussing female investors, CEOs, and highlighting how women can take control of their financial future through investing!
The MyWallSt team loves discussing all things investing. So, when we began the Women in Investing campaign earlier this month, we soon realized that we have plenty of experienced female investors within MyWallSt that can share their own experiences in taking the plunge.
Meet some of the team
Kate Duffy (Senior Graphic Designer)
Kate’s favorite stock is Disney (NYSE: DIS). She has watched Disney constantly change their products to keep up with the modern world and that, she believes, makes them a solid choice for investing in over and over.
Sammy Odenhoven (Head of Development)
Sammy’s first stock was ING Bank (AMS: INGA), given to her by her grandparents. Sammy believes that the financial industry can and will go through major changes in the coming years, driven by IT, a prospect that excites her!
Zoë Farrell (Business Manager)
Zoë’s first stock was Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA). She believes in their innovative business model and revolutionary technology solutions. Zoë admires Tesla’s mission “to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy” and she believes that the company will continue to grow and develop exciting designs in years to come.
Megan Mullen (Data Analyst)
Megan’s first stock was Nike (NYSE: NKE). Growing up playing tennis in Nike apparel, she has always loved the brand and believes it is a bedrock stock that she will continue to invest in for a long time.
When did you start investing? Was it before or after you started working at MyWallSt?
I started investing last August, so a year after joining MyWallSt.
I did a tiny bit of investing before I joined MyWallSt. I got a few shares from my grandparents when I was 18, and I bought a Tesla share after reading a cool blog about Musk. That’s about the extent of it.
I started investing at 24. I have always had a keen interest in investing but didn’t begin my investing journey until I started working for MyWallSt.
I started investing after I began working at MyWallSt. Before joining MyWallSt, investing just wasn’t something I focused on or was aware I needed.
Why did you start investing? Did you do much research into the topic?
I started because seeing the returns of MyWallSt’s Stock of the Month and Horizon gave me the confidence to know that it is possible to make real money. It’s imperative that I understand how something works before I design for it, so I research when I need to create collateral for different products/campaigns.
I started investing because my grandparents did it. I didn’t do it very seriously though because I saw how much time they spent on it (reading financial newspapers, etc.) which made me think I don’t have the interest and patience for all of that. I can’t really say I ever did research on the topic myself.
I wanted to take more control over my financial future. I knew that time was on my side and that I had the opportunity to make money.
I started investing after learning about how easy and accessible it was for me through working at MyWallSt. I thought I had to at least have a savings account and my finances in order before investing, but our golden rule of investing what you can, when you can, has served me well and takes away the stigma of needing a large lump sum to invest. I didn’t really research that much into the topic besides reading our Learn App and taking in every piece of advice Emmet or Rory gave. I started by investing in companies I was passionate about and used daily, for example, Nike, that I knew I wanted to own a piece of.
How has MyWallSt made investing more accessible for you?
Having access to all of our content. On every level, our content has helped me learn how to invest smarter.
It condenses a lot of the knowledge that you need to start, and important market trends and market news that you need to know about to stay up to date. It does a lot of the work for you. And to be honest: my faith in our team is so high that I happily follow the advice MyWallSt gives.
MyWallSt has taught me so much about investing and provided me with plenty of information around markets and the latest trends. The range of material available on MyWallSt and through The Stock Club Podcast has saved me so much time on research and makes investing so much more convenient and accessible.
MyWallSt puts all the advice, stock picks, and brokerage capabilities in one place and it is the only resource I need to invest.
Why do you think only 20% of investors are women still?
I’m not sure. I don’t think there are a lot of women who are interested in math, and before I started investing, I thought it was all about the math/researching things that were complicated.
For me, it’s down to two things:
1. The fear of losing money (especially the more I put in)
2. I’m not the only one that my finances affect
Having joint finances makes it harder to jump into something when money is involved because both parties have to agree. It was difficult for me to convince my husband that this is worth doing in the beginning. The fear came from not knowing what we were doing and the very real potential to lose all the money we put in.
The longer I worked for MyWallSt, the more I realized it really is THE place to get stock picks. I’m not just saying that because I work here — the returns speak for themselves! After being at MyWallSt for a year, we decided I would save a small part of my paycheck and invest it every month. After 3 months, we had a return that would have paid for a year subscription to MyWallSt. This was a huge wake-up call for us because we didn’t think that was going to happen that soon. We decided to put a bit more into the account for the next 2 months, and we now have returns that would have paid for a subscription to Horizon, which blows our minds!
I feel much more comfortable investing now because my fear of losing money has calmed down due to the buy-and-hold philosophy, and my husband is on board.
I think one of the major roadblocks that stop people from taking on investing is that they believe that they need a lot of skills and financial knowledge to do so successfully.
I think women are way quicker to say “I can’t do that” than men are. Isn’t there a saying about the difference between men and women applying for jobs: women will apply when they feel 80% qualified for a job, men will apply when they feel 25% qualified?
Men are more bold and brave and will just start with something and assume they know enough rather quickly. Women are more conservative, hesitant, and insecure, making something that’s already a roadblock, an even bigger one.
- The gender pay gap; women typically have less disposable income for investing than men.
- Women are usually more conservative with their money and potentially risk-aware.
It’s a male-dominated sector so fewer female voices are speaking out and providing insight and education on the topic so it’s a knock-on effect to the next generation.
I think that a lot of marketing around investing is heavily targeted towards men, making it seem unappealing or intimidating to women.
Is there anything you think MyWallSt could do to make investing more accessible for women?
Honestly, this is a hard one. I think it really depends on the role money plays in their life.
For example, moms might feel guilty for putting money into an investment instead of something short-term for their children; someone in a relationship may not have a partner willing to risk it. Maybe they are young and single, don’t make a lot, and therefore feel like they can’t invest. Maybe math wasn’t a strong subject, so trying to understand the stock market and picking solid companies is a bigger bite than they want to chew.
I think if women understood that they could follow people who know what they are doing (just like what I’m doing), they would be making money. They would start to have financial freedom, whatever that means to them.
First, I think we need to do some research on women and their relationship with money. Second, we need to figure out what women would want extra money for.
More female-led campaigns, school partnerships to provide knowledge, and financial inspiration to females at a younger age group, and more female guest speakers on the podcast.
Love what we are doing, maybe just like I said above, making investing seem appealing and easy to do for women, get rid of the stigma that it is all men and suits only.
Why do you think it’s important to invest? Have you encouraged other women in your life to take the plunge?
I think it’s important because it can give you financial freedom in the long-term.
I have encouraged other women. My mom signed up for Horizon and is enjoying it! I have shared other MyWallSt products with other women in my life, as well as my experience investing, hoping to inspire at least one of them.
Absolutely. I recommend it to all my friends and family (and my friends are mostly female), I’ve gotten a lot of people to use MyWallSt.
I think it’s important to invest, or I think it’s important to start mainly. I can understand that people might be hesitant (“isn’t leaving your money in the bank way less risky?”), but if you start small, you’ll see how it works and see the benefits. It can be a gradual process. I wonder if that’s also a difference between men and women. Men like risks more than women do.
I think our product is really good at showing how easy it can be once you start. If you’ve started and you still don’t like it, then by all means close your account. But at least give it a try.
Future-focused financial independence. I have spoken to many of my friends and network around investing and as a result have encouraged them to start their investment journey.
I think it is important to point out that, while the generally accepted method of investing/savings is to just put aside money in a bank account while it depreciates with inflation over time, you have such an easy advantage of making so much more by investing it instead. Getting that point across would be huge.
How women can start investing
If you want to begin investing but don’t know where to start, our free Learn App might just be what you are looking for. Or, if you’re ready to take the plunge, why not download MyWallSt now for a seven-day free trial?!
The above article is part seven of MyWallSt’s Women In Investing series. Check out the other titles in the series so far.
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MyWallSt operates a full disclosure policy. MyWallSt staff currently holds long positions in companies mentioned above. Read our full disclosure policy here.