Young women invest more than their male peers

Young women invest more than their male peers

Young women are more likely to invest greater sums than men, with the under 25s most keen on stocks and shares Isas.

Research from The Share Centre showed although fewer women actively invest, those that do tend to invest more than men.

The average amount invested by female millennials, those aged 18 to 36, has risen 40 per cent in the past year, according to The Share Centre, whereas men of the same age are investing 2 per cent less than last year.

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The firm's findings are supported by figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request to HMRC that reveals women invested an average of £9,853 in stocks and shares Isas in 2014/15, some £293 more than men over the same period.

HMRC's figures revealed the gender difference was most notable among the under 25s, with women investing an average of £8,314, more than 20 per cent more than their male counterparts.

Despite this, The Share Centre concludes a proportion of women investors are put off by the risks involved, as well as a lack of cash available to invest, partly due to the gender pay gap.

Lack of exposure to the stock market and managing the household finances also emerged as reasons for not investing.

Richard Stone, chief executive of The Share Centre, said: "The increase in forums aimed at women, and young women in particular, has clearly had an impact in improving levels of engagement and more needs to be done to engage investors across all ages and genders, cutting through the artificial barriers created by jargon and complexity which have become entrenched over many decades."

Concerns that young people, and women in particular, are excluded from investing has prompted industry experts to set up forums and other initiatives, such as workshops, to empower young people and encourage them to learn how investing can help enable them to be financially independent.

Emma Flaherty, founder of MoneyGirl, which recently ran a workshop for women under 35, said: "There is a clear appetite and willingness from young women to engage and take control of their finances and futures, but all our interactions with this audience has shone a spotlight on a key issue, which this research reiterates; financial services is not speaking their language.

"Jargon and assumption of base knowledge – such as knowing what an 'Isa' means – is alienating and disengaging.

"They don’t want pink brochures. They want clear language, a safe place to ask questions, and to be able to see what this will actually mean for them in real life."

Gem Durham, an IFA at Obsidian, said: "There is definitely a great need for more financial education, at school age and beyond, and as an industry we need to encourage more women to become advisers, as this will only encourage women to seek advice and invest.

"It is an uphill struggle trying to get young people to invest in general, as they are putting all their efforts into getting on the housing ladder and, I think, don't consider investing until this is achieved and they are in their 30s or 40s."