“Dear women, take care of your finances!” This is an important call that we are seeing more and more often in one form or another on the front pages of women’s magazines, on social media, but also in classic bank commercials. Lisa Hassenzahl explains why this is a good thing and how it works.
In addition to the annoying problem of the gender pay gap, i.e. the fact that women in comparable positions earn less than men, women are more often employed in social professions or part-time. All good reasons to deal more rather than less with your own finances. Because this is about more than the already important question of your own retirement provision.
Dealing with your own finances has a lot to do with personal responsibility. It strengthens self-confidence and in a partnership it ensures eye level. Of course, it is normal in a partnership to distribute tasks. But the issue of finances, unlike the question of who prefers to cook, is simply too far-reaching and important to be left entirely to your partner. Studies show again and again that women in particular cling to an unhappy relationship for financial reasons.
So the question arises as to what keeps women from dealing with their own finances – or: is it even true that women are not interested in their finances?
Lisa Hassenzahl is the founder and managing director of Her Family Office, the first family office for women in Germany. She has been a certified financial planner, CFP, since 2015. Lisa Hassenzahl is a member of Mission Female, among other things.
In recent years, the term “women and finance” has also gained in importance. Women, a newly discovered target group, are addressed with targeted offers, commercials and women-specific topics. On social media, influencers provide everything women need to know to take care of their finances themselves. “Female Finance” is the new favorite topic in many podcasts and newspaper articles.
But what exactly is “female finance”, do we need it and is “pink finance” really the solution to getting women to deal with their finances?
The umbrella term “Female Finance” brings together many different topics, from career tips for women to female start-up investors. A major focus, however, is “financial knowledge and investments by women for women”. The offer ranges from seminars and workshops, where women can discuss financial issues among themselves and ask questions without hesitation, to intensive courses lasting several weeks, to advisory services that are explicitly aimed at women by women.
“Does a woman have to be advised by a woman?” A legitimate question and the answer is: “No, of course not”. It’s not about women just needing investment tips or advice from a woman. In fact, there are also women who do not want any explicit advice for women and therefore want to be advised by a man. Well, the main thing is that women take care of their finances.
Rather, it is about creating an offer that women can use if they want to. In some cases it is the aspect of being able to speak “from woman to woman”. Women in particular, who are very successful in their profession and who are often in competition with men there, find it easier to ask questions and admit ignorance to a woman. Men often do not know more about finances, but are less afraid to ask their questions.
What really separates women and men when it comes to finance is the basic approach. Women often have a significantly greater need for information, want to understand connections better and, above all, have the desire to be the focus of counseling with their initial situation, their goals and challenges.
In short: women are primarily interested in their financial planning and only then in specific investment products, which is often misinterpreted in many study results as “women are not interested in their finances because they have fewer securities accounts”. Rather, starting with financial planning as a starting point is a sensible approach which, as studies have shown, also makes women more successful in the long term when it comes to investing. The problem is rather that there are too few offers for this wish.
A current study by the direct bank ING Germany summarizes all these findings well:
Women invest with a lower share quota and more broadly diversified. An aspect that could be justified with a lower willingness to take risks. Rather, women value a balanced and long-term investment strategy, which they then stick to in a disciplined manner, even in difficult market phases. As a result, women achieve higher returns on average.
In short: Yes, we need female finance because we still have a long way to go. In order to inspire more women to take charge of their own finances, special offers are an important building block. The aim here is to reduce fears of contact and to adapt the advice to the needs of the women: more information, more space for questions and a comprehensive view. Then the number of women with securities accounts will increase all by itself.
What we certainly don’t need is “pink finance”. This includes, for example, special product solutions for women or offers especially for women, which represent connections in such a simplified way that they are questionable from a technical point of view. Gladly also in combination with a lot of rose and pink.
Because one thing remains to be said in conclusion: men are no better at finance than women, they often only ask themselves fewer questions and get to work faster.
As one of the leading women’s networks, Mission Female aims to create platforms and make the needs of female managers visible. Under the slogan