Why more can be done to empower women to invest

Industry insider says there is still a myth among women that personal finance is complex and anxiety-inducing

Why more can be done to empower women to invest

The industry is still a “little bit shy” in empowering women to take control of their finances.

That’s the view of Sabrina Della Fazia, division manager at BMO InvestorLine as Canada’s financial industry today recognises International Women’s Day.

Della Fazia pointed to BMO’s digital platforms as moving in the right direction with about one-third female and two-thirds male clients but said women often believe that investing is a highly emotional process and, therefore, have a fear and anxiety that it is too complex.

However, she told WP: “In my experience, working for BMO for 31 years and for its digital platforms for six, the women who start doing it themselves get that confidence to start doing it either in a self-directed manner or on our platform with advice, a robo advisor.”

Della Fazia believes there is an onus on professionals like her and her colleagues to get out into the public and give women that confidence – not just by telling them that but by showing them how, especially in the digital age.

She said: “It's a case of showing them how they can feel confident and in control of what they are doing. And I think we are a little bit shy still to go out there and tell women, ‘be bold, take a leap of faith because at the end of the day you are definitely going to be the one that wins here’.”

A transformation is happening, however, with more marketing and advertising less gender specific but there remain myths around women and personal finance – primarily that it’s the man’s job.

In contrast to this, however, Della Fazia said that once women get online and do it themselves, they realise that it’s more intuitive than they thought and that it saves them a lot of time.

“Whether they are a stay-at-home mom, or have two children and go to work, they realise it doesn’t take as much time as they thought it would and it makes it easier to fit into their schedule. It gives them control and increases their level of knowledge of investments.”