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It’s after work, Thursday night, the scene is down-town Paris. In an underground red-bricked jazz bar, the live jam session band in flow, my friend and I sit perched on stools. I ask my female, mid-30s friend whether she has ever thought about investing. I remain still whilst her body language becomes quickly shielded, her shoulders retreat back, both her hands raise up outwards and forwards waving, her face contorts. Nervously she says: ‘no, no, that’s not my world!’ My friend, originally Lebanese, grew up in Montreal and LA, now living in Paris, has lived in half the world, so I wonder, in what world shouldn’t she fit in? Being the kind of person who would say ‘it’s an investment’ to friends buying an expensive pair of shoes which could be paired with many outfits, I wonder if her reaction to financial investing is typical, or if she (and I) are the anomaly? In the least, we’re not alone. A friend in London says she feels like she wouldn’t know where to start with investments, that it’s for bankers in pressed suits in the city. Another woman I know said she goes to her father and grandfather for financial advice. I ask other female friends, acquaintances, passers-by and am met with various versions of that which in essence boils down to: investing, I am not confident enough, I don’t know where to start, I don’t belong there. Equally, that’s not the whole story. Women do invest. Another female friend from Taiwan, explained to me how in Taiwanese culture it is usual to invest, for men and women alike, people are brought up with a strong emphasis to be financially self-reliant. Women, now with more of a disposable income are investing more than ever.
Women and Birdee We are noticing a significant increase: the number of women using Birdee has multiplied by 4, the number of females investing has risen by 160%, ...
So, is the debate even about gender? Certainly, some men are nervous around financial investments as well. Investment has much to with our relationship with future projections and ability to be ok with uncertainty. For those of us who are investing in our futures otherwise: taking care and thereby investing in our education, our careers, in our health, in important and nurturing relationships, why shouldn’t we invest financially? Where are we getting stuck? Encouragingly, the good news is, when we the naturally cautious do take that first step into this “new” world of investment: we tend to be very good at it. We read up and get thoroughly informed, we listen to advice, we tend to begin by investing small and on a long-term basis. Which is a great way to start. What are the benefits of investing anyway? Think of it as a smarter way to save. Meaning the money needed for retirement, holidays, your loved ones, buying a house and so on could be maximised upon. At Birdee we make it easier for those beginning this journey, as we step towards you, we match the investment portfolio (basically what, how much and when you want to invest in) to your personality type, we support you setting your objectives, you can invest small and with time develop regular practices. You can choose the area you would like to invest in too, for example, at Birdee: 1/5 women invest in ecologically minded themes. And so, I insist, that the financial world could be more welcoming to those of us, regardless of gender, who do not feel we belong there. And perhaps for the rest of us, be brave and invest in ourselves as we say at Birdee for whatever comes next….