An analysis of user statistics for several of the top robo-advisors and DIY investing platforms reveal that, currently, men are more likely to invest than women. Many of the top investment platforms in the UK have a higher percentage of male customers.
Hargreaves Lansdown, the largest online investment platform in the UK, has a female user share of 37%, a proportion that has actually declined over the last 10 years. In 2020, the male user base grew by 19%, with the female user base growing just 17%.
In some cases, the disparity can be much higher. Freetrade reported that, in 2019, just 6% of their total user base was made up of women; this number increased to 19% in 2020.
The disparity exists not only in popularity, but strategy too
interactive investor have a female user share of 30%, and say that, while women don’t invest as much as men, they seek high returns from their portfolios in other ways.
For example, a higher percentage of their female customer base held their portfolios in trust funds compared to men. And, from May to October 2021, women came away with an average return of 7.3%, 0.4% higher than the average return of men.
Holly Mackay from Boring Money says that the more conservative nature of female investors helped them be more effective over the long term. “Women tend to buy and hold more. Excessive trading can really damage returns in the long run – and women do not try to time the market as much as men.”
A survey conducted by AJ Bell also found that 71% of women would settle for lower-risk investment strategies even if it led to lower returns, compared to 57% of men. This is a strategy that can work well when twinned with spending time in the market.