Why aren’t there more female traders? The answer might surprise you

Investing is about more than just potential revenue. It’s about independence, freedom, empowerment and taking control of your own future. Investing successfully can be liberating, both emotionally and financially.

Like many modern women, I was told while growing up that I could be anything I wanted to be. I’ve had jobs and my own disposable income since my late teens. However, managing my financial resources beyond balancing immediate needs was not something I was ever encouraged to think about except, perhaps, having a basic “rainy day” savings plan. It’s not that I had no interest in obtaining wealth — who doesn’t? — or in learning the means and methods to do so. I chose to take economics courses electively at university and even seriously dated a Wall Street trader.

But being financially savvy, especially in the realm of international trade markets, was considered a mainly male pursuit.

No one ever said so outright. No one ever told me I couldn’t invest for myself as a woman; my modern, feminist self would have balked at such talk, of course. And yet, the message was one I intrinsically absorbed. The traditional finance industry was not exactly a friendly place for the inquisitive female.

The Internet, however, has emerged in recent years as a great equaliser in many a domain. Information is abundant; online universities make getting a degree time flexible and affordable; online dating sites allow people from completely different social circles to meet and fall in love. And online trading platforms make investing more accessible to everyone — not just men in suits.

Statistics1 tell us that female traders are indeed entering the financial markets in growing numbers online. Outdated perceptions about women and finance are fading and we’re seeing a gradual positive shift towards more equality.  Women have equal access to the tools and trading opportunities that men do.

Yet the majority of women are still hesitant when it comes to building their own investment portfolios. Why is this so?

A different mindset towards money

Indeed, many women have their own careers and financial resources, and most are as interested as men in earning more. Some research2 says women actually make better traders than men — in any case, they seem to fare at least as well as their male counterparts when they enter the investment arena. So capability and interest don’t seem to be barriers.

The answer more often lies in mindset. While money is truly genderless, research has shown that women’s approach to investing, and money management in general, can often be substantially different than men’s.

Looking at the long term

Of course, every individual is unique, but studies show3 that women tend to associate wealth with stability, viewing money as a means to achieving their long-term economic goals. Women are more likely to prefer lower risk and savings over the long run to potential short-term windfall opportunities. If a woman views creating a portfolio as more of a gamble than an investment, she will prefer to avoid the situation which she perceives to be unstable.

Women also tend to dedicate more time and thought to the decision-making process than men when evaluating financial choices. They may prefer to gather information and research investing to a level that would allow them to make informed, confident decisions. However, women’s busy lives and multi-tasking functions may prevent them from actually having the opportunity to do so.

A simpler way

The good news is that there are features on eToro’s platform that can help address these concerns, and enable women who want to build a portfolio to start doing so. In fact, eToro’s vision is opening up the global markets for everyone to trade and invest in a simple and transparent way.

If you are interested in investing but just don’t know where to start, know that many people find eToro extremely user-friendly and very suitable for beginners. It’s easy to open a free account and begin to test the waters with your own virtual portfolio. The virtual portfolio allows you to get comfortable with the platform and with investing without any financial risk.

Regarding risk, ask any trader and they will tell you that diversifying your portfolio is one of the best ways of reducing risk. eToro makes it easy to diversify by offering six different asset classes and hundreds of instruments all in the same platform, in one easy-to-manage account. You can view all of your investments at a glance and easily control your positions right in the portfolio screen, saving you time.

The award-winning social features, however, are what really make the platform unique. eToro is much more than just a place to trade; it’s home to a thriving community of investors, and the ideal place to engage, connect, and share knowledge with one another.

A great way to start exploring the investment world is by copying other traders. eToro’s CopyTrader technology allows you to not only view other investors’ portfolios, gains and risk ratings, but you can also copy their trades in real time. With CopyTrader, you can benefit from the performance of experienced traders, regardless of your own level of experience in trading.

Get started on eToro

Investing isn’t just for the rich, or only for men in suits. Women are discovering that online investing with eToro can be a simple and satisfying experience.

eToro is a multi-asset platform which offers both investing in stocks and cryptoassets, as well as trading CFD assets.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 76% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

This content is intended for information and educational purposes only and should not be considered investment advice or investment recommendation. Past performance is not an indication of future results.

Sources:

  1. https://brokernotes.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/BN-research-report_2018-FINAL.pdf
  2. https://theconversation.com/why-women-make-the-best-stock-traders-74081
  3. https://www.allianzlife.com/-/media/files/allianz/documents/ent_1462_n.pdf?la=en&hash=2955C0DCE4F0BCC290A41345D5C0FBF36D87F976

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