Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Finance & Investment

Finance industry fails to attract female investors

Women savers alienated by ads for ‘older rich men.’

The finance industry is failing to attract cash from female investors who feel “alienated” by jargon-filled marketing campaigns designed to appeal to wealthy older men, given my experiences in that industry can’t say I’m surprised.

Advertisements used by the investment industry are confusing women rather than inspiring confidence, a new study has claimed, citing this as one reason women are more likely to hold their savings in cash rather than invest them in funds.  Read Girls Just Want to Have Fund$ for more on this.

“In a workshop we held, women were literally shrieking at the investment and financial services advertisements we showed them,” said Deborah Mattinson, founding director of Britain Thinks, the consultancy that conducted the research for the Financial Times. She added they were described as “alienating, overly complicated and riddled with jargon”. The least successful ads assumed a level of knowledge that women did not have, including the “profit hunter” campaign by Artemis Fund Managers, which women thought was aimed only at “older men” who had a “substantial amount to invest”. If women were featured in adverts at all, they tended to be “yummy mummies with idealised lives” which women felt “did not reflect their reality”, Ms Mattinson added. Previous studies have found only 10 per cent of British women have a stocks and shares Isa, compared to 17 per cent of men, meaning they are missing out on long-term growth potential. Women were more likely to describe themselves as “less knowledgable about investing” than men, and rely on their male partners to come up with investment ideas, according to a survey of 2,000 male and female investors conducted on behalf of the FT by Britain Thinks. Personal Finance Why do most women fear the stock market? Why women lack the confidence to invest — and what to do about it Senior women in the asset management industry believe a substantial marketing makeover is needed to help address this, with new methods — such as videos and online tools — as well as a broader message. “Asset managers are extremely good at talking to each other, but extremely bad at talking to anyone else,” said Diana Mackay, chief executive of MackayWilliams, the research house. Recognising that many women tended to sit on cash as they were “terrified at the thought of investment”, she urged fund managers to “start talking in a language the end investor can understand” adding that this would benefit both sexes. Sue Noffke, a senior fund manager at Schroders, said she believed it was a lack of confidence, rather than competence, that was holding women back. The investment trust she manages is using videos to broaden its appeal. “There really is a market opportunity for financial services firms,” Ms Noffke said. “Women are a large part of the market. Financial services firms are not doing what is required to access that market opportunity.”

Source: Financial Times