By Lisa Walls-Hester on Wednesday 8 March 2017
A recent investor study from SyndicateRoom identifies diversity trends for 2017 and it finds women are not as risk averse as people think and it says online investment platforms reduce inequality in male–female participation in equity markets by 20 per cent.
The research, which surveyed more than 1,000 retail investors, revealed that almost half (45 per cent) of UK investors use a digital platform to invest; a strong nod to technology shaking up traditional channels’ of investment.
The findings demonstrated that online platforms are helping to diversify the range of UK individuals who are accessing the equity markets. In 2017, men are 17 per cent more likely to access the equity markets than women – but for those using online investment platforms, that male to female divide is reduced by a fifth, highlighting the role of these platforms in breaking down barriers to investing.
This evidence contradicts many other studies which find that women tend to be more risk averse and are more likely to hold their savings in cash, rather than invest it.
SyndicateRoom also measured levels of satisfaction among investors and found that 8 per cent of investors were dissatisfied with their current brokers, as the pressure of high management fees paired with dwindling interest rates continues to mount.
Among female investors, this level of dissatisfaction rose to 11 per cent, more than twice that of males. We would suggest this is more than likely down to the unconscious gender bias that pervades this particular profession and which makes female investors more likely to seek out alternative platforms through which to invest their money. Those platforms that have a diverse and representative team are more likely to attract a diverse customer/client base.
Sherry Coutu, CBE, commented: “With an impressive 42 per cent of female investors participating in online investing, the potential of online platforms to further financial inclusion by bridging the gender divide is unparalleled. I’ve long been a strong advocate of generating a more open and diverse playing field to support a greater number of both female investors and entrepreneurs and am thrilled that new online investment platforms are helping to get more women interested in both investing in and raising finance for British businesses.”
Gonçalo de Vasconcelos, CEO and Co-founder of SyndicateRoom, comments: “It’s positive to see the shift away from traditional channels and towards online platforms, and we’re especially thrilled to see the significant impact digital platforms are having on increasing market access for female investors. Fairness and openness sit at the heart of SyndicateRoom’s ethos and the role that technology is playing in facilitating encouraging more female investors is an important part of the story.”