Women make or influence as much as 85 percent of consumer decisions and 91 percent of home-purchasing decisions, but only represent 25 percent of investors. In other words, nine out of 10 property purchases are decided by women. Slap the word “investment” in front of the word “property,” and suddenly women only make up 2.5 out of 10 of the individuals inputting funds, much to their long-term financial detriment.
When I started a monthly women’s investing group in Denver this past year, people had feelings about that. Men felt discriminated against by a female investing group, and women wanted to be taken seriously because a lot of women-focused products simply have pink packaging and a higher price point (ahem, bic pens). Got it. I don’t I like the color pink either, but when I read the 25 percent stat, I realized business as usual wasn’t working for women.
How Many Men Invest
Here’s a common pattern for male investors I know:
- A male relative of this theoretical individual invests/thinks said guy should also invest.
- Said guy does minimal online research until he finds an investing club.
- Said guy attends a local investor meeting.
- Said guy reads Rich Dad Poor Dad and/or thinks about reading Rich Dad Poor Dad.
He feels ready and comfortable, reaches out to me and we email, at which point his wife and a lender are involved, and they move forward or stop.
My Investing Journey
And here’s how my investment journey went:
- No one talked to me about investing, nor did I see myself as an investor.
- My parents bought the first place I lived in.
- Shortly after, I got married and my husband convinced me and my parents that we should buy the place from them, and we did.
- My husband started attending investment meetings. Within six months, he wanted to use a HELOC to buy an investment property.
- I was uncomfortable with the concept of a HELOC, but my husband is smart, so I agreed to move forward.
- I attended my first and last investment meeting. My husband continued to go to investment meetings.
- I read the following books: Rich Dad Poor Dad, The Millionaire Real Estate Investor, Long-Distance Real Estate Investing.
- We have now purchased our fifth investment.
I mention the two journeys because it’s important to think about how the different genders consume information. My husband (and men in general) tend to be more comfortable with higher risk (or at least, they take different risks than women). They can attend a meeting, meet a few other men who look like them/have a similar life path, and decide it’s something they want to do.
For me personally, my husband introduced me to the concept. I was immediately turned off by investing meetings: too much bravado and not enough sharing. Reading was clearly a better way for me to consume information, but that 25 percent stat bothered (and still bothers) me.
How Do We Change?
So how is an investing group for females different? It’s much, much smaller and quieter. There is a speaker each month who gives an overview of their expertise and then answers questions. Sorry, dudes, but people also take turns speaking. And how is a women’s investment group similar to a standard investment group? We share resources: 1031 exchange professionals, lenders, agents, books, financial tools, etc.
Rather than ignore or belittle that the genders consume information differently, it makes sense to address how to change how we approach women in investing and make them more comfortable in the space.
Women: What has your experience in the investing space been? How would you like to see this landscape change?
Leave a comment below!