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Introducing savvy mother, Carina Parry, who is investing to ‘future-proof’ and improve family finances just like yours.
In a world where women have fought hard for their financial independence, the unpleasant truth is that there are still far too few women investors.
A quick look at the data suggests that investing is still seen as something that men primarily do. For example, just 10% of women have a stocks and shares ISA, compared to 17% of men, according to a report by data firm Kantar.
Given the imbalance, Mouthy Money sought out three female investors to find out their motivations for investing to improve family finances, and to see if they could offer any advice to the budding female stock pickers out there.
In our first interview of this three-part series, we speak to Carina Parry on why she’s investing for her and her family’s future.
Improve family finances and investments
Women mention their family substantially more when talking about finance, including children, parents and significant others, according to research by Kantar.
Carina Parry is considering investing for her son’s future and has a sharp focus on her family life when it comes to dealing with her finances.
She says: “For me, investing is about the future. When I hear the word ‘investing’, that’s what I’m thinking about, my future. I’ve just had a baby, so now I have a different mentality around it.”
A few years ago, after receiving a bonus from work and speaking to her dad about the money, Carina made her first ever investment. Several years have passed and she has seen that investment grow.
“Whereas before investing to make money had been an abstract idea, I’ve now personally seen positive results from it. This has encouraged me to get more involved and learn more.”
During lockdown Carina managed to save a pot of money that she now intends to invest for her future.
She says: “I’m looking into junior ISAs (JISAs) and Junior stocks and shares ISAs for my son, it seems a bit ridiculous because I’ve not even got my finances sorted yet, but at least I can give him a bit of a head start.”
When it comes to investments, Carina relies on her family for information, specifically from her dad and brother.
She says: “Maybe that’s a female thing, that you don’t discuss your finances as much.
“It’s my dad and my brother who I know have made investments, so I lean on them for information. I have also tried to speak to a couple of my male friends who work in finance, but everyone holds their cards quite close to their chest, they don’t want to give you any recommendations in case it’s unsuccessful and falls on them!”
Her family has been a primary source of information for investments, as well as main contributors to her financial education – an education that was built “from a young age.”
She admits she hasn’t really spoken to her friendship group really seriously about a wider investment: “I’m sure other people do, but it’s not something that comes up regularly. I think money in general is quite a difficult topic sometimes.”
Carina uses Hargreaves Lansdown for her investments, a platform recommended to her by family.
“For someone like me, who isn’t confident when it comes to investing, the platform is a safe pair of hands.
“For the foreseeable future, especially now I’ve had a baby and don’t have that much time, I would look to stick with them. I’ve also been looking at the app Plum, but still haven’t decided on changing.
“Part of the barrier to investing is this idea of how much money is going to make it worthwhile. So, for the for larger sums, Hargreaves Lansdown is a good choice, as I can put my savings into an account within the platform, that seems like a preferred direction for me.
“But in terms of daily, weekly, monthly, if I can make small savings that actually can work harder for me, then something like Plum’s app seems perfect and less scary.”
Investing into pensions
Men in their 60s will on average retire with three times more in savings, compared with women of the same age, a report by consultancy Mercer estimates.
Two in five (40%) of women are also worried about running out of money in retirement, Kantar’s research shows.
This is mostly due to the gender pay gap leaving women with less pension savings in work, and the fact that women have been targeted with messages to save and not invest, according to the research.
Carina has a workplace pension, but she is considering investing into a bigger pension fund.
She says: “It’s very much start of the road at the moment. It’s only recently that I’ve actually started thinking about making my pension work harder for me, and tying these things together on my investment learning curve.”
Starting to invest
When she first invested, Carina was excited by it and felt like it was a positive. She admitted that being guided by her family made the whole process a lot easier.
However, now that she’s thinking about it “afresh,” she feels more hesitant, as there’s a lot more at stake.
She says: “Future proofing for me and my family is what’s driving my intention to start investing now.
“Also, I find it quite frustrating because investing is not rocket science, yet I feel clueless about where to make investments and where to start. It’s a mixture of apprehension and a bit of frustration.
Historically it’s felt a bit like a ‘boys club’, with investors being portrayed in a certain way. As a female and a mum, the stereotyped male investor is unrelatable. However this seems to be changing with more female focussed information being available.
Dana is a former reporter at Mouthy Money, having previously worked for Times Money Mentor and the BBC.