How to close the gender investing confidence gap

Good morning, Broadsheet readers! Pinterest’s $22 million gender discrimination settlement draws criticism, women aren’t leading coronavirus briefings in the U.K., and a survey finds that affluent women of color are more confident investors than their white peers. Have a thoughtful Thursday.

– Investing in yourself. While we’ve done extensive coverage of the gender pay gap and the gender wealth gap, we haven’t spent quite as much time on the investing gap. Women invest less than men do, and tend to report feeling less certain about their investing prowess (though studies suggest that when women do put their money in the markets, they tend to outperform male investors. Color me shocked.)  

Given that context, I was fascinated by this new survey from JPMorgan, which Emma reported on this morning. It found that affluent Black and Latina women are more likely to say they feel confident when it comes to investing their wealth than white women do; the 1,375 women surveyed, about 43% of them women of color, all had at least $150,000 in investable asset levels. Emma writes:

“Seventy-five percent of the women of color surveyed said they felt confident about their financial goals in the year ahead, compared to only 50% of white women. Seventy-eight percent at least in part developed their financial know-how through their own research, like online educational resources or TV shows; only 47% of white women did the same.”

And that financial know-how comes despite a financial services sector that—according to 21% of respondents—has failed Latina and Black female investors. (Kelli Keough, head of digital and client solutions for JPMorgan Wealth Management, tells Emma that the bank is working to improve on this front by identifying the specific needs of these investors. One example: Black and Latina women tend to more interested than other investors in how their wealth can support their families, so advisers must look beyond the usual retirement-focused strategies.)

So, if the pros haven’t historically been much help, how and why are these women feeling so secure when it comes to the tricky business of investing? The JPM survey doesn’t conclusively answer those questions, but it does provide some hints: 84% of the affluent Black and Latina women surveyed had savings or investment accounts established for them as children, compared to 78% of wealthy white women. Sixty-one percent of the women of color said conversations about the importance of investing were part of their upbringing; 55% of white women said the same.

Given the staggering racial wealth gap in America, it’s not surprising that some families of color are making it a priority to teach their children—including their little girls—the critical importance of managing their money. That’s a simple and practical lesson that everyone should embrace, and which could help the next generation women in a major way. And for those of us who missed out on the early lessons, why not follow in the footsteps of these savvy Black and Latina investors and commit to owning our own continuing financial educations?

Kristen Bellstrom

Today’s Broadsheet was curated by Emma Hinchliffe

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