For International Women’s Day 2023, we wanted to reflect upon the work we have done with THE GLOSS Magazine team and the impact of setting up THE GLOSS x Goodbody Investment Club and Fantasy Trading Competition. We spoke to Michelle O’Keefe, Head of Wealth Advisory, Laura DeVoy, Senior Director, Wealth Management and Sarah Moriarty, Head of Corporate Affairs about the idea behind the Investment Club, what results they have seen and the reaction to THE GLOSS x Goodbody collaboration.
Sarah Moriarty: It is estimated that 45% of wealth in Europe will be held by women by 2030, yet against that backdrop we all have examples of women in our lives including our mothers, sisters, friends who have faced unexpected issues, whether that be death and divorce and have not been equipped with the financial knowledge to deal with these events. Something we need to address! These were the key reasons we set up the Investment Club with THE GLOSS magazine. Could we help women gain confidence by developing an investment education programme? And maybe even recruit a few more women into our industry along the way?
Michelle O’Keefe: Women as a group are often overlooked by financial advisors. Working with THE GLOSS and having a platform to make sure that women have a route to education, knowledge, and expertise to give them the confidence to take ownership of their financial and investment decisions has been phenomenal.
Laura DeVoy: To see the numbers growing is hugely encouraging and being present at THE GLOSS Gala event last November with so many beautiful, engaging and highly astute females made me feel part of a real community with a shared purpose. Coming from working in a male-dominated industry, it really felt like we had arrived, and I am so privileged to be a part of this.
Growing Female Investment Confidence
Sarah Moriarty: There is a perception that women are low risk investors, but I don’t think that is true. Data shows that a greater proportion of women vs men sit in the lower end of confidence scale when it comes to investing. Less confidence leads to reluctance, so women are unlikely to invest money which ultimately costs them. However, having lower confidence is a positive as an investor because you are more likely to research your trades before you invest, diversify, and make less trades overall. There is lots of data to show that women make very good investors, we just need greater participation from them.
Michelle O’Keefe: There has been significant interest with over 1,200 women signed up to the Investment Club. Women are taking part with growing confidence in the 16-week Fantasy Trading Competition Experiencing trading your own portfolio without any impact on your own personal finances is a great way to experience the highs and lows of investing and provides an opportunity to build confidence in financial decision making. We have also experienced a growth in our own female customer base and Goodbody is adapting to the needs of its female clients and their requirements, including having many female advisors. If we can impart to women the importance of engaging as early as possible in the financial planning process and taking the necessary steps to help secure their financial future, we will have made good progress.
Laura DeVoy: I have seen a greater realisation by females that this is something they need to take control of, be responsible for and gradually understand that our innate characteristics lend to being good investors. The good thing is that if confidence is not there yet, there are always people to help on the journey. It’s just a matter of asking. Women tend to put everyone else first and I hope that this initiative helps them prioritise themselves, and to make their assets, no matter how big or small, really work for them.
Sarah Moriarty: We are building a great community of women who wish to financially educate themselves. The partnership has also been a great learning opportunity for me as THE GLOSS are so creative in their thinking, always innovating, and are experts on engagement.
Michelle O’Keefe: Women are very keen to engage and to learn how to structure their pensions, investment portfolios and most importantly plan for their own and their family’s future. It has also shown us that women want to grow and understand their own investment journey.
Laura DeVoy: Some of the traders that were with us the first time around are present again this year and you can see how much they have learnt and how they have become more disciplined around cutting losses etc. I was stopped in Grafton Street last year by a young mother with a baby in her arms and asked if I was the girl from “THE GLOSS.” She told me that the online series had really opened her eyes. I really could not have summed up so eloquently what this initiative means. They are the moments when you feel your career and skillset makes a difference in a very positive way.