Are we living our Destiny’s Child era? Three reasons to get excited about the investing habits of young women

by Verve

Places to go, things to invest in? Here’s the TL;DR version…

  • An independent survey^ conducted in August 2023 by YouGov, looked into the financial habits of Australian men and women, and how they feel about their financial future, including future investments
  • More young women are making investment decisions independently than ever (yay 🎉), but they’re also more stressed (boo 👎)
  • Women are prioritising their values more when making investment decisions, considering things like the planet and supply chains of the companies they invest in
  • Regardless of income, women still don’t feel as confident investing as men, which means we’ve got our work cut out for us if we want to close the investment gap (and we do!)
  • As a goal-based ethical investing fund, Verve Money is designed to help people of all genders take action on their financial future from as little as one dollar
  • Destiny’s Child is still slay* (ok, so the survey didn’t exactly tell us that, but we stand by it)

Question, tell me how you feel about this

All the women who are independent
Throw your hands up at me
All the honeys who making money
Throw your hands up at me
All the mamas who profit dollars
Throw your hands up at me
All the ladies who truly feel me
Throw your hands up at me

You know the words off by heart. You’ve belted them out a million times (and if you haven’t, where have you been?). And now the research shows what a generation of women know in their hearts to be true — we are independent

Having internalised the prophetic words of Beyoncé, Kelly and Michelle from Independent Woman (Part I and II), women are investing more than ever before. With unprecedented growth in the number of women opening new investment accounts, it seems we have moved well past ‘a man is a financial plan’.

So surely, with all these new women in the market, we’re well on our way to closing the sizable gender gap in investing by now? Unfortunately, we still have a way to go — but there are some promising signs if the latest stats are anything to go by. 

Let’s dive into the research and see what it’s telling us about how women are investing, who they’re doing it with, and what’s stopping them from putting their best financial foot forward.

The results are in, and the survey says…

Conducted in August 2023 by YouGov on behalf of Verve Money, a recent independent survey has found a few noteworthy things about the financial habits of men and women in Australia. 

Looking at the financial habits and underlying sentiment of 1,006 adults, when thinking about their financial future (including future investments), the research found that:

  • 38% of women surveyed have investment experience, compared to 60% of male respondents
  • Just over one-in-two (56%) women currently hold investment products, compared to over eight-in-10 (83%) men
  • Out of the women who have investment experience, or are currently invested, three-in-five report feeling stressed about their financial future
  • 60% of women investors felt stressed, compared to 50% of male investors
  • While one-in-three (33%) Australian women wanted to manage their own finances, only 17% believe they are best at managing their money when it comes to setting and achieving financial goals

Now we know what you’re thinking — this sounds bleak af. But there is actually so much to love about these results, and we’ll tell you why… 

Because the research also shows that women are looking for ways to alleviate that financial stress by turning to values-based solutions to create a more secure financial future. Women are *literally* channelling fear and stress into investing in climate solutions, and other ethically-aligned investments. And if that’s not living our Destiny’s Child Independent Women era, then we don’t know what is. 

Want to know three powerful findings from the latest research on the money habits of women? Yeah you do.

Women are investing independently — ’cause I depend on me if I want it 🎶

When we say that women have taken the words of ‘Independent Woman’ to heart, we mean it, with more young women making investment decisions independently than ever before. 

In fact, the majority of Millennial and Gen Z aged women reported they make all of their investment decisions independently. And you love to see it — young women taking meaningful steps towards a more independent, savvy and confident financial future.

In many ways, this represents a generational shift that our foremothers would be proud of, with seven-in-ten women born after 1980 (71%) making investment and financial decisions on their own, compared to slightly over one-in-two (55%) women in Gen X and above (born before 1980). This shows that younger women are less likely to rely on a partner to manage their future wealth and they are keen to take control of their destiny (‘s child).

“We all know that a man is not a financial plan, but also that older women are the fastest growing cohort of people experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity after a lifetime of caring for others. So, it would be fair to assume that younger generations have been exposed to the difficulties, injustices and hardships caused when women don’t play an active role in the ownership of their future wealth.” — Christina Hobbs, Verve Money CEO 

The truth is, we need to see investing as an option for building our financial wealth and security, regardless of our personal circumstances, salary, dependants, or marital status. 

And this is exactly why we created Verve Money — so that more Australian women+ could feel confident building their wealth, and not only setting but achieving their financial goals.

Values-based investing — because I do what I want, live how I wanna live 🎶

Who would have thought that ‘getting rich’ was not a major motivating factor for women when making investment decisions – but their personal values are? Everyone. We all thought that. And now we have the research to back it up.

In this latest study on the financial habits of women, 70% of women prioritise values  when making investment decisions compared to 66% of men. This mirrors similar research in the US that found 71% of women take sustainability into account when choosing their investments, compared to 58% of men.

Does that mean that women are inherently more ethical than men? Of course not. But what it does suggest is that women are done with the status quo and investing in ‘business as usual’. It’s got us this far — which is to say underpaid, undervalued and under-invested in. Instead, the majority of women are looking for more ethical alternatives that don’t rob the earth, or our futures.

What we are seeing from the growing number of Verve Money investors is that building wealth matters — but not at any cost. Instead, where their money is invested matters more. 

Interest in responsible and ethical investing is at an all-time high, and we’re on a mission to make it more accessible than ever to align our decisions, choices and behaviours with our values to create positive change for people, communities and the planet.

Does your fund have something to hide?

More and more, investors are doing their research to find out what industries and assets their managed fund is invested in and which ones they actively screen out, in order to make an informed decision about aligning their investments with their values.

If your fund has nothing to hide, this information should be easy to find and publicly available. And with Verve Money, it is. 

See exactly what you’re invested in with Verve Money, with a trip around our Investment Universe

Even though the honeys are making money — we’re still not as confident

Despite some really promising signs that we are gradually closing the gendered investing gap, women are still experiencing significant levels of financial stress. And this stress is getting in the way of women building wealth through investing.

“The study showed that a burden of household responsibilities (22%), a perceived lack of experience with money management (31%), fear of losing money (38%) and lack of investable assets (23%) are the major reasons women choose not to invest.” — Christina Hobbs, Verve Money CEO

The reality is that, regardless of their level of income, women still don’t feel confident investing. And this is a problem. But unlike what to wear to your bestie’s birthday bash — this is not a problem for women alone to solve; it’s a systemic issue of inequity that requires a systemic, and multi-pronged, response.

We also hear it all the time: ‘women are more risk-averse when it comes to investing’ and other realms. And with the research showing that 36% of women investors report that they plan to invest less or not invest at all over the next 12 months (compared to the 35% of men planning to increase their investment portfolio) — you’d have to say there’s something to it.

But here’s the thing that these stats don’t tell you: the impact of the investment gap, wage gap, superannuation gap (the list goes on, we assure you…), affects our appetite or capacity to take on risk. There’s also a growing body of research to suggest that women aren’t risk-averse, they just face more consequences when they take risks, and have learned to adjust their behaviour accordingly. 

As such, it’s important that we see ‘risk’ not only in terms of how much women are willing to take on — but how much they’re actually able to take on given our resources, goals, norms, and social safety nets. This is a conversation for another time, but you can rest assured it’s a conversation we will be having. A sneak preview…

“There are still cultural factors that impact women’s confidence when it comes to managing money. We know that parents are still more likely to talk about investing and wealth building with their sons, compared to their daughters, and that talking about money is still a taboo for many women. To increase confidence we’re going to need to break these cultural taboos and talk about money more. However, most women still struggle to know who to trust when it comes to investing.” — Christina Hobbs, Verve Money CEO

Want to start investing but don’t know where to start? Think: WWBD.

As with most things in life, we can’t go too wrong if we ask ourselves: what would Beyoncé do? But in this case, we want you to choose whatever word aligns with your most bold and badass self, whether it begins with ‘B’ or not. 

Because while it might be true, on paper, that women are looking to turn the dial down on their investments in the face of financial stress — what we also know is that there are so many savvy, independent women+ out there, looking to build a life of money, power and freedom.

And it is entirely possible that not as many women are investing because they haven’t yet found an investment tool that works for them; one that allows them to grow their wealth and not compromise on their values. 

Want to get started with ethical investing while balancing your risk? Great (money) move. 

Calling all savvy independent women+

Now we’ve got the research behind us, let’s see what it looks like to get started investing with what’s called a diversified managed fund. Because, chances are, it’s a lot easier than you think to get started. 

In fact, this is exactly why Verve Money exists: to make investing more accessible and break down those barriers in confidence and capability to level the financial playing field for all.

With an ethical managed fund like Verve Money, you don’t need to pick stocks because our ethical investing experts do that for you. We also design the investment options for strong diversification, and to ensure that the risk level is suitable for investments of different time horizons. And we’ve also ensured strong ethical screens, and that 20% of every portfolio is invested in climate solutions. So you can feel pretty good about the future your money is working towards as well. 

But perhaps the best part? You can literally get started with just one dollar, and build from there. 

“You don’t necessarily have to ‘dive right in’ and invest a large sum upfront, you can work your way up slowly and build confidence (and wealth) over time. Thanks to the power of compound interest, investing smaller amounts over a longer term can be more beneficial than waiting and investing a larger amount down the line.” — Christina Hobbs, Verve Money CEO 

With no account or investment management fees on balances under $1,000, has there ever been a better time to see what you’re capable of?

Ready to start investing like the savvy independent human you are with a diversified and sustainable investment portfolio? 

Sign up to Verve Money today and download our fun new app from the App Store or Google Play.

^ DISCLAIMER: All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 1,006 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 14th – 16th August 2023. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all Australian adults (aged 18+).

When considering financial returns, return of capital is not guaranteed and past performance is not indicative of future performance. Please consider the risks before investing.

This article is published by Verve Money Pty Ltd (ABN 71 653 669 366, AFS Representative No. 001294184), a Corporate Authorised Representative of True Oak Investments Ltd (ABN 81 002 558 956; AFSL 238184), as the Manager of Verve Money. A friendly reminder that all the financial information contained in this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal financial objectives, situation or needs. It’s important to do your own research and consider getting in touch with a professional adviser to access specific information tailored to your unique situation.

You should read the Product Disclosure Statement, Investment Guide, Target Market Determination and Financial Services Guide before making a decision to acquire, hold, or continue to hold, an interest in the Verve Money Fund. Visit to view these documents.

Interests in the Verve Money Fund (ARSN 662 622 899) are issued by Melbourne Securities Corporation Limited (ACN 160 326 545, AFSL 428289). When considering financial returns, return of capital is not guaranteed and past performance is not indicative of future performance.

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