The Covid-19 recession brings into stark contrast the truth that during an economic downturn, those most effected are at the bottom of the financial pile, which, regrettably, often includes women. Whilst much has been written about financial freedom and empowerment, Katharine Wooller finds it very odd that next to none of the dialogue around finance is tailored to a group that makes up exactly half the population. That which is out there, tends to be rather patronising: the colour pink features heavily, as does pictures of pre-school children, which she is not sure that it is appealing to a very wide audience.
Luckily, there is a dynamic movement of “Women Who Crypto”, with a free virtual meet up, which is believed to be the world’s largest online group of women with an interest in wealth creation and crypto. Our attendees come from many countries, backgrounds, ages, and relationship statuses. There are those, like me, who work full time in crypto, and those who have a passing interest as a ‘side hustle’. The sessions are every few months, in the evening, and the invite is clear: a glass of wine is encouraged, if you are partial to that sort of thing.
Frankly, the investment and crypto industries are missing a trick. A poll of our members showed that that a primary factor that limited their interaction with crypto was lack of knowledge, with 43% saying this was a barrier to entry. Despite this, 97% of them saw crypto as a feature of their long-term wealth planning. This is a huge potential market. Interestingly, a lot of the major exchanges found a strong uptick in female users over the year, with Cointelegraph reporting numbers growing between 22% and 160% over 2020. Hopefully, the erroneously held belief that crypto is male-dominated, and just for ‘super-hip millennials bros’, will soon be put firmly to bed.
There are some really interesting data about female investing. Let us start with the battle of the sexes – the girls come out on top. Warwick Business School conducted a study of 2,800 UK men and women tracking their investing performance over three years. Not only did the women outperform the FTSE 100 over the time period, they also achieved better returns than their male counterparts, beating men by 1.8%. When you add some compounding over, say, 10 years, the difference in performance will be eyewatering. One of my favourite quotes, seems relevant: Charlotte Winton, who was a feminist trailblazer in her own right as the first woman mayor of a major city in Canada claimed: “whatever women do they must do twice as well as men to be thought half as good”. Conveniently, she goes on to say: “luckily, this is not difficult’.
The way that women invest is also fascinating. Other academic findings have suggested that women have a more long-term investment perspective than men, and that female investors investors tend to be less likely to make risky financial decisions than men. The global BlackRock Investor Pulse survey shows that 72 per cent of women rejected investments in “riskier” categories, as opposed to 59 per cent of men. I can’t help but think some of this is coloured by the fact that often women are left “holding the baby” after death or divorce.
Psychologists suggest that women seem to favour a more rounded style of decision-making. Overall women broadly consult sources of information, and are more community-focused in sourcing this information. For this reason, we bring together a broad range of female experience on our sessions; we hear from women who are single, married, divorced, had kids, or have chosen not to. They all have their own reasons for investing, whether it’s for financial security, a marriage insurance policy, or for their childrens’ futures. We rarely have professional speakers, rather we prefer “normal ladies” to talk about their personal crypto experience, be it the good, the bad, or the very ugly.
Our ‘Women Who Crypto’ sessions primarily focus on wealth creation and preservation. Interestingly, we have found that these topics touch almost every area of life, and thus we end up talking about a massive range of subjects, including parenting, education, career planning, and even dating.
I would highly encourage any woman with a passing interest in wealth or crypto to attend for great content. It’s a phenomenal community and as I said earlier, there’s often wine involved! You can find us on facebook under “Women Who Crypto”. Looking forward to seeing you online in 2021!