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Women and Investing – An interview with the founders of “finance, baby!”

Lena Sonnen

Finance baby founders

Investing money and building a financial portfolio used to be understood as a very male-dominiating topic. Yet, more and more women are finally breaking through traditional barriers and educating themselves on investing to save their money more sustainably. We are extremely proud to see this movement, as we at Konvi are also 2 female founders who started to tackle this whole topic in our early 20s. In order to shed more light on how young women can educate themselves and remove the burdens of investing, we talked to Tessa and Denise, the founders of “finance, baby!”, a German channel for women that offers education and encourages women to take their finances into their own hands. A huge thank you to Tessa and Denise and please check out their website for more info.

1) What motivated you to create a channel for women and what is your goal with “finance, baby!“?

Our mission with “finance, baby!” is to encourage women to take their financial future into their own hands. Our vision is a society in which women and men have the same (financial) opportunities. We started “finance, baby!” out of a problem of our own. We both had our own negative experiences and problems with money in our childhood and youth. Last year at the beginning of the COVID crisis, when suddenly short-time work and lay-offs became topics, we realised that we had no money at all on the side that could help us out in an emergency. We also had no idea about investing, for example. And we didn't find any offers that could help us to really understand finances and to have fun and stay motivated at the same time. We have now talked to over 300 women about this and every one of them has the same problem: existential fears and no idea how to solve them. That's why we said we'd take matters into our own hands and create an offer that we ourselves would like.

2) Are there differences in investment preferences and risk appetite between men and women? What gender-typical investment strategies can be identified?

There are indeed gender-specific differences when it comes to investing. Men tend to be more willing to take risks, while women are usually more risk-averse. However, this also brings an advantage, because on average, women achieve a higher return as a result. In addition, women also want women-sponsored or sustainable investments in their portfolio, while men tend to focus on trends and technical investments. However, all this only represents the average and is of course very individual from person to person.

3) What do you think is the reason why many women still shy away from financial topics and personal finance?

For social reasons, we still grew up with the traditional role models of the man who goes to work and the woman who stays at home, does the housework and looks after the children. And these role models are still anchored in many people's minds today. For example, men are also considered more mathematically gifted than women at school. So all the time we are told that men are more likely to deal with the subject. That is one reason why women have no or very few starting points. In addition, finances are very often extremely complicated, boring and incomprehensible. And if you don't know anything about something, you don't want to work your way through thousands of figures and complex graphics.

4) What is one message you would like to share with all investors?

Our motto is: start before you're ready! No matter in which area and also with the topic of investment, you will most likely not feel completely ready. You always think to yourself that you could have informed yourself a little bit more. Or that you are not quite ready for the step. But this point will never come. Therefore, first of all, of course, inform yourself properly and in detail, but then just start! After all, we learn along the way. :)

5) Of course, we are also interested in knowing which asset classes you personally have already had experience with and which ones you still want to look at in the future?

We started investing in ETFs in a very classical way and got familiar with them. As soon as we had a good feeling about it, we also bought our first individual shares. Now we also inform ourselves about cryptocurrencies, for example Bitcoin and Ethereum. As soon as we are sufficiently informed, that will be the next step.

6) What does being financially independent mean to you? And what is the best way for a woman to become financially independent?

Financial independence is super individual and means something different to everyone. For one person it's having her own home with a garden and a car. For another, it might just mean not being dependent on another person. For us, it simply means being able to do what our purpose is without money preventing us from doing so. So to start a business to help other women without money stopping us. The best way to become financially independent is to get an overview of your finances, always have a buffer (i.e. an amount of money you can survive 3-6 months with) and then invest your money so that it always increases.

7) What do you want to pass on to young women who are more risk-averse and have therefore avoided investing so far?

We ourselves are rather risk-averse and invest anyway. So that shouldn't be a hurdle at all. ETFs, for example, are a very good option if you don't want to take a high risk. There are ETFs, for example, that are composed of the 30 largest industrialised countries from all over the world. So the risk of losing your money is very low.

8) At Konvi, we are constantly trying to educate first-time investors about economic topics, and also to show them the alternatives to the stock market. Also from your posts one can see your passion for it, but especially for women; what do you hope for the future for women and investing?

Of course, we hope to motivate as many women as possible to deal with the topic of finance and to tackle their financial future in order to be able to live their lives the way they imagine it. Without money holding them back from their dreams and goals.

Please find the original interview in German here.

Disclaimer: no investment/financial advice.

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