That's a good thing: Financial literacy is booming! Banks are offering everything from glossaries to seminars on money information, and schools have also recognized the deficit.
For women, in particular, the web offers a wide range of blogs, webinars and other digital services on retirement planning and other topics. The providers cover a broad spectrum: they come from the consulting industry, and some simply pass on their own experience without being professionals. This seems to be in demand, because it is authentic and not sales-oriented.
Finance empowerment for women
Empowering women to take their investments into their own hands is necessary and good. Studies have long shown that when women invest, their results are often better than those of male investors. But unfortunately, too few do. If we see digital offerings primarily as empowerment, as an exchange of experiences, this can only be beneficial. However, there is a fine line between digital and advisory services, which would then have to comply with government regulations.
Far ahead on the web are stock experiences and ETF investments that are supposedly easy and (felt) only successful. For young women, who have a long time to make mistakes, this is not a problem. There are many examples of how, in the long term, these investments can also forgive mistakes. This is even more true for monthly savings plans that profit from fluctuations.
What about large one-time amounts?
But what about women who want to invest larger amounts from divorce, inheritance, or real estate sales? Or who don't worry about their old-age provision until they are over forty?
This group in particular is often below the investment limits of individual bank offers in terms of volume and therefore often only receives standardized solutions. Especially for this, they need knowledge. However, this often remains rudimentary, even despite advice, because they sign that they know a lot and have understood everything.
ETF tips for a do-it-yourself portfolio fall short when it comes to larger volumes, as losses would really hurt - and who wants that?
At this point, at the latest, a broad range of information is required: strategic aspects of investment, basic knowledge about investment products, their function, risks and opportunities, possible providers and implementation methods - and all this independently and detached from conflicts of interest.
Consulting or do-it-yourself?
Whether informed women then choose to seek advice or build their depot is a matter of taste. My experience shows that more knowledge tends to lead to more desire for advice. This seems contradictory, but it shows that women who have acquired knowledge beforehand are aware of the complexity and therefore want to assess opportunities and risks better. They recognize their limitations or simply want a competent sparring partner. Others divide their investments into a "gambler's portfolio" that they manage themselves and a strategic portfolio with professional advice.
What does financial information cost?
It depends: They range from free of charge (often backed up by a product and/or consulting offer) to several hundred euros per unit. Whether the price is right can be seen in an orientation meeting or on the website:
- What does the offer include, what do I get for my money?
- What expertise does the offering company have?
- Is it "only" about exchange or about "real financial knowledge"?
- Is it an independent offer or rather customer acquisition?
What still seems like the Wild West today - many confusing offers, often non-transparent as to who profits from what, many self-appointed experts - will change in the next few years. Just as the financial advisory industry was regulated, a shakeout is to be expected here as well, either through the market or at some point through government regulation.
But one thing is clear, financial education has a future!
The author of this text is Renate Kewenig.
With her company "Finanzverstand 2022" she offers financial seminars and coaching for women.