How two female friends, 25, are taking on the stock market and aim to banish the belief that investing is 'too confusing and mostly a man's game'
Two Australian friends are attempting to break down the belief that investing in the stock market is 'too confusing and mostly a man's game'.
Sophie Dicker and Maddy Guest, both 25 and from Melbourne, have put a portion of their income into the Australian stock market and global exchange traded funds (ETFs) to start building their long-term portfolios.
'Talking about money and investing was uncommon among our friends. We found this frustrating because our own experience has shown us that investing is empowering and exciting,' the duo told Daily Mail Australia.
In March, the pair started a podcast titled 'You're In Good Company' to share their stock market experiences and give others the confidence to invest.
'We wanted to create a resource that is simple and accessible to boost wealth equality,' they said.
Sophie works in the financial services industry while Maddy has always been a 'good saver', but neither thought about their relationship with money in detail until last year.
After researching further, the podcasters found 'stark evidence' that a gender investment gap exits in Australia.
'Only 18 per cent of all active online investors in Australia are women (according to Morningstar), and considering we still have to worry about things like the pay gap, then we should put a greater focus toward growing our wealth through other avenues,' they said.
When asked why they think men have a tendency to invest more than women, the pair said it's likely because finance remains to be a 'male dominated industry' and investing is often portrayed to seem 'confusing'.
'The world of finance can seem like a whole new language and this creates a vicious cycle that perpetuates wealth inequality,' they said.
'So if we have generations where women are under-represented in the finance industry, then it's only natural that a lot of us are going to feel less than comfortable having conversations about money.'
While many believe strict budgeting and leaving money in a savings account is the best path to financial freedom, the duo have realised this isn't the case.
With this new knowledge, Sophie and Maddy hope to encourage other women and young people to strategically invest their money.
'Investing is a mechanism we can use that will help us achieve financial independence,' they said.
'Unfortunately, keeping your money in the bank account isn't doing you any favours when you consider the interest rate you are making on your savings versus the inflation rate in the economy.
'So although it is important to have some cash in a savings account for the curve balls that life throws at you, when looking long term, you need to think about how you can make your money grow so that in the future you feel comfortable and secure.'
TIPS TO KNOW BEFORE INVESTING
1. Start with a small amount - slowly get familiar with how to use your trading platform and become comfortable with market movements
2. Do your research - this doesn't need to be huge amounts or overly time consuming!
3. Join or start a group with friends where you dedicate a morning coffee or an evening wine to chat about investing - make it as normal as a book club
4. Read a book about investing - there are so many good ones out there and reading through it will really help you understand the why
5. Listen to podcasts and You're in Good Company
Sophie started investing three years ago and with support from her partner she invested in Afterpay along with different ETFs.
'I really only invest in companies that I can see will have impact in the future,' she said.
Maddy started investing 18 months ago and said 80 per cent of her portfolio consists of ETFs and blue-chip companies with the goal of providing stable, long-term returns.
'The remaining 20 per cent I have invested in smaller, lesser known companies that I have researched and have a high conviction for. I find reading about businesses and investing to be really interesting,' she said.
The pair agreed that the 'best way' to start investing is to do your own research by listening to podcasts, reading books and setting money goals.
'Starting with an ETF can be a great introduction, as they are often considered less risky investments as you are diversifying across multiple companies or multiple markets,' they said.
'Then you can move into purchasing companies if or when you feel comfortable.'
INVESTING PLATFORMS IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND FOR BEGINNERS
Spaceship Voyager is an Australian financial services company offering investment and superannuation products, specifically designed to engage younger people
The platform is fee-free for balances less than $5,000 and will cost 0.10 per cent per year over that
In only three years, 100,000 Australians have begun investing with Spaceship
Raiz is another platform that allows Australian customers to micro-invest the remaining round up of everyday purchases in exchange traded funds
'If you put your money into an index fund, then you're spreading your investments across lots of different companies from the very start, which is something most experts recommend,' Frances said
'Don't feel bad about starting with only a little bit of money - it lets you get a feel for what you're doing, and you're less likely to panic when the market inevitably goes down.'