TWICE as many women as men are interested in investing in alternative finance products, a survey suggests.
The research of 1,000 people by Blend Network found 29 per cent of women said they were interested in exploring alternative finance options, compared with 15 per cent of men.
The peer-to-peer property lender suggested the main drivers behind this are likely to be that many alternative finance brands have a wider social purpose as part of their ethos, which appeals more to women, particularly younger generations. In addition, many alternative finance businesses have more on trend captivating brands, which again are likely to appeal to a younger cohort of women, it claimed.
Overall, women have a more conservative and risk-averse approach to investment, with only 31 per cent currently or previously holding an investment product compared with 50 per cent of men. The poll found 63 per cent of women have held shares and six per cent peer-to-peer lending investment products, compared with 77 per cent and 11 per cent of men respectively.
When investing, 32 per cent of women listed safety as their number one priority compared to 22 per cent of men, whereas 43 per cent of men listed returns as their number one priority compared to 27 per cent of women.
Blend Network said lack of knowledge, confidence and fear of failure when evaluating their investment options remain major hurdles to women investing. A previous study from market research firm Kantar TNS suggested £14.3bn in investments are held by women whereas £29.3bn are held by men.
The lender is calling for the creation of supportive networks for women, better education and a more supportive wealth sector, the embracing of women’s more risk-averse nature, and a change in the composition of the financial services industry where only 10 per cent of wealth advisers are women.
Roxana Mohammadian-Molina, chief strategy officer at Blend Network, said if investment products were offered in ways that were more sympathetic to women, or more tailored to their perspectives and attitudes, this could help significantly in closing the investment gender gap.
“A greater appreciation of female investors’ needs and their investment priorities and a more supportive wealth management industry would help to drive change, but women can’t and shouldn’t wait for this change to happen but should act now to drive it forward themselves,” she added.