The Widening Gender Investment Gap: British women invest just 59p for every £1 invested by men

New research released today has revealed that for every £1 invested by men in the UK, the average woman is investing just 59p – as the gender investment gap shows no sign of closing.

Top entrepreneur, public speaker and former star of The Apprentice, Jackie Fast is today calling for British women to adopt a more fearless approach to managing their monthly income, in order to redress the balance between male and female investment.

After becoming widely recognised as one of the most ‘ballsy’ women in business, Fast commissioned the new report to understand why so many women are falling behind men. The findings show that women spend, on average, £98 of their monthly disposable income on investment opportunities, including stocks and shares ISAs, crowd-funding, Bitcoin and EIS opportunities – drastically less than the amount invested by men, who spend an average of £166.

This means, assuming the average investment sees 5% annual growth, men stand to earn a staggering £74,596 over 20 years – compared to women at just £43,950.

Fast was struck by the fact that two fifths (46%) of British women said they don’t have enough cash to invest, despite the study revealing that most women spend an average of £211 a month on everyday treats like takeaway coffees, meals out, beauty treatments and clothes. Furthermore, over a quarter (28%) said they were baffled by the different types of investment – compared to just 15% of men; and one in 10 (13%) said they would rather spend their spare cash on clothes, holidays and going out.

Women were also twice as likely than men to say they would be embarrassed to ask for help understanding investments, and over a third (31%) cited the fact that investments are ‘too risky’ as a major deterrent.

Speaking about the research, Fast said: “I do a lot of motivational speaking engagements and I’m constantly meeting ambitious, aspirational and intelligent women who are keen to further their careers, their business ventures and their overall success  – but what I’m constantly amazed by is how many of these women tell me they have a complete lack of confidence when it comes to investing their money. 

“I decided to partner with research agency Mortar to find out exactly why women aren’t as fearless as men, because unless we can truly understand the barriers, we can’t start to change this pattern of behaviour. 

“Ultimately, women need to alter the way they view investment and start factoring it into their total monthly outgoings as standard practice. Only once they have invested should they then consider spending the rest of their money on other treats like clothes and beauty treatments. At the end of the day, it really is a case of who dares wins – so being more ballsy and rebelling against the norm when it comes to spending your income can be a great thing, providing you do your homework.”

Jackie Fast’s top five tips for upping your investment game

Research – Investment doesn’t have to be hugely complicated. You can get to grips with the basics by spending just a few hours researching – a small price to pay when you think about the amount you potentially stand to earn. Plus, there’s countless resources out there to help you do it – many of which are free. Check out The Money Advice Service as an example of where to get started.
Try the 60:20:20 investment strategy – One in 10 women blame their lack of investment on not knowing how much they should spend on investment schemes each month. In my opinion, women should have an ‘investment pot’ that is at least 10% of their gross salary. Then try my 60:20:20 strategy – putting at least 60% of the pot towards low-risk opportunities like stocks and shares ISA through a tracked fund, 20% into a medium risk stocks and shares ISA of their choice and 20% into high risk, high return schemes, like crowd-funding or Enterprise Investment Schemes (EIS).
Don’t just stick to what you know – Investment does not have to revolve around the traditional routes like stocks and shares. You’ll be surprised how many ways there are to get started if you do your homework. I recently became a board member of The Money Platform – a peer-to-peer lending service where individuals can borrow and loan money in a safe way. Lenders can get a great return on their money and you don’t have to have huge amounts of spare cash to get started.
You shouldn’t save what you haven’t spent, you should spend what you haven’t saved – If you wait until the end of the month before looking at what cash you have left to put into investments, having spent hundreds of pounds on clothes, beauty treatments, nights out, the chances are you won’t have very much to work with! Invest first as a priority and view investment as a standard outgoing – and then you can spend what you have leftover on life’s little luxuries.   
Empower yourself – investing isn’t for everyone and there’s no denying there’s always a risk involved. However, by learning about your options and evaluating what cash you can realistically afford to spend, you’re empowering yourself to make educated decisions. Even if you decide not to take the plunge just yet, at least you’ve based it on real research.

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