Morrissey says jargon puts women off investing

Morrissey says jargon puts women off investing

Women invest less than men because they lack confidence and are blinded by jargon, Helena Morrissey has stated.

The founder of the 30 per cent Club - a campaign to get more female representation on company boards - and head of personal investing for Legal & General, said: "The reality is we do not always seem to be confident about our finances".

Speaking at a panel debate, Smart Investing for Women, organised by IP Global and Australia-United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce, Ms Morrissey told the audience that women tend to feel patronised and 'sold to' when it came to seeking information about investing. 

She said: "The truth is, we do not want to be patronised or sold to, and with all the jargon in the investment industry, it means women may not invest so much."

Ms Morrissey outlined to the audience at the Sofitel St James's, London, the various terms such as unit trust, fixed interest and equity, and encouraged them to seek advice.

Also speaking at the panel session was Lynsey Sykes-Davies, director and senior wealth adviser for AAG Wealth Management.

She commented: "Women should seek advice, but you need to seek good advice. What does 'good' look like? Well it is someone who does not talk in jargon or talk at you. 

"It's someone - preferably chartered or in the process of being chartered - who will listen to you, set appropriate goals for you, keep in regular contact and help you make balanced decisions to meet your goals."

One young member of the audience asked whether there was a minimum amount of money one needed to have before they started to make investment decisions.

Fellow panellist Tina Blazquez-Lopez, counsel at Pillsbury Law and a long-time investor herself, assured the delegate there was no minimum.

She said: "It doesn't matter if you can only start with £10, or £20, but the important thing is to be consistent and get into the savings habit early. 

"It is also important, when you are building up your savings, to be diversified and to consider what your goals are, what you are saving for.

"An employers' contributory pension scheme can quickly accumulate a lot and it is always worth taking up this opportunity."

But while three panellists talked of ways to save, the fourth - Frances Sieber, family lawyer for City firm Spring Law, said: "These have told you how to accumulate wealth.

"I am here to tell you how to lose large amounts of your wealth, quickly".

She outlined how marriage, divorce and children can all erode savings within a short space of time, and encouraged the audience to "protect your wealth, and get a good financial planner to help you do this".