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Investment awareness has increased significantly in recent years. Women are slightly more cautious investors than men

INVESTINGInvestment awareness has increased significantly in recent years. Women are slightly more cautious investors than men

The pandemic, war, and inflation, vivid events of recent years, have prompted Poles to take more keen interest in maintaining the value of their money. As a result, they are actively saving and investing more, using deposits, active and passive investment funds, investing in stocks, bonds, or gold. As Dorota Sierakowska, financier, investor, and founder of Girls Money Club, points out, women invest less riskily than men, incurring fewer losses, although this also reduces their chances of impressive profits.

“In principle, women tend to start investing from very safe investments, those aimed at securing capital, placing a financial cushion or simply creating a long-term portfolio based on a wide range of investments from all over the world, both in stocks and bonds and sometimes adding gold,” Dorota Sierakowska tells Newseria Biznes information agency . “On the other hand, men generally have a higher propensity for risk, and this is often associated with men having the most spectacular results, but they also have the most spectacular ‘losses’.”

Last year, iKsync and the University of Economics in Krakow conducted the “Polish Investor 2023” study, supplemented with “Polish Women and Their Investments”. The study shows that regular investing is primarily a male domain (almost 50% of the respondents compared to just over 30% of women), but more women plan to start investing (nearly every fourth woman compared to 15% of men). Women are also much more critical of their financial knowledge than men. 45% of them believe they have little or none at all. Fewer than one in five agree with the statement that they are very well or professionally oriented in the world of finance. Men are twice as confident in their abilities. Overall, however, regardless of gender, the financial knowledge of Poles has significantly increased in recent years.

“The way women and men invest has changed significantly over the past few years. Firstly, we care much more about financial education because life has somewhat forced us to. We have periods of unrest, crashes, crises related to wars, conflicts, the pandemic. These factors in recent years have led us to take a greater interest in what really affects our money,” the financier notes. “Of course, the cherry on the cake was high inflation, which made us realise, more than ever before, that our money can actually significantly lose its value if we do nothing, if we do not invest it.”

The second element that favours investing is easier access than a few years ago to instruments exposed to the global market, which are good tools for long-term investing. This allows women, often highly busy, to invest quickly, easily and without investing much time. Examples are investment funds, either actively or passively managed (index or ETFs). This allows the creation of a portfolio diversified in terms of geography and type of assets.

Women invest in safe instruments more willingly than men. More than half declare investing money in treasury bonds. Retail bonds, which can be purchased in state-owned banks or online, have either fixed or variable interest rates, based on inflation or the NBP reference rate. Women dominate in the segment of currency deposits and, to a lesser extent, gold deposits, as well as real estate and precious metals. Riskier assets, such as shares, cryptocurrencies or non-precious metals, are a male domain. Both sexes invest almost equally in investment fund units or start-ups.

“Investors often choose instruments that are best suited to them. For example, investments in ETFs have become insanely popular, even fashionable, in recent years because it is an instrument suitable for a very wide range of people”, notes Dorota Sierakowska. “Investments in ETF funds are good for both women and men, for both younger and more experienced individuals, for both individual and institutional investors, because funds also invest in other ETF funds. So, we are dealing with a very versatile instrument. You can choose an ETF based only on global shares, or on shares and bonds, or gold. Most importantly, you can wrap these ETFs in pension products, because we can also invest in ETFs through IKE or IKZE.”

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