Of the 1,012 UK women surveyed, over a quarter (27%) use an online website or money app to invest and chose to do so because they want to receive regular updates on their investments.
Olga Miler, innovator and expert on money and women, told International Adviser: “Apps are a great way to complement the human advise with the necessary convenience. I do not believe they will replace human interaction.
“For a sound financial plan more is needed than putting your pocket money to work: a good understanding of your personal situation, defining your investment philosophy, your appetite to risk and the careful selection of the products you invest in.
“Especially in life moments; such as child birth, divorce, inheritance, house purchase, more profound advice is needed than a digital tool. This is where financial professionals come in.
“Their role is to keep the oversight, provide sound advice to craft an individual investment approach and in times needed most – imagine having only a digital tool to talk to in times of market turmoil or political changes.”
Accessing information is key for female investors
Within the survey, ease and accessibility of online tools was one of the reasons given by women for investing through a website or app.
Some 27% of women said being able to access information quickly was a key benefit. Being able to see how investments perform easily (21%) and view information in real time (23%) were also major factors.
A quarter (25%) of women who had invested for the first time in the past 12 months had also topped up their investments after being prompted by an app.
Kirsty Stone, investment manager at UK wealth firm Dart Capital, said to IA: “It’s fantastic to see evidence that women are becoming more engaged with investing for their future and opening their first investment account is certainly a great start.
“We must acknowledge that for younger people or those with a smaller capital base there is a clear advice gap and there has to be a vehicle for them to save – apps are a clear option for these people. However, for those who have begun to develop a reasonable sized portfolio or are now able to save larger sums, the benefits of engaging a professional are well known.
“Having instant visibility as to the performance of your investments is, of course, appealing – particularly for women who are traditionally considered more cautious as investors.
“I’d definitely caution that this can sometimes lead to a short-term view of their investments when, as wealth managers, we try and stress as much as possible the importance of taking a long-term view of investing and not being consumed in short term volatility.
“It’s our role to ensure that we monitor markets constantly, so our clients don’t have to worry themselves.”
Complementing the wealth manager and financial adviser
There is also the belief that apps can be a great way for financial advisers to be assisted in their offering to clients.
Fidelity Personal Investing recently unveiled Investsense, an online investment assistant that anticipates customer intentions and provides them with a series of helpful prompts.
Victoria Carroll, head of marketing at London and Capital, told IA: “Nudge technology via apps and mobile can allow clients to feel more in control of their investments and can add peace of mind, but when we move towards the higher end of the investing scale, into the millions of pounds, the personal touch is still desired in order to navigate the complex situations that come with these wealth levels and to build trust.
“That being said, nudge technology can certainly compliment a wealth management service and indeed will allow clients to feel more involved in their investments. It will also allow wealth managers to stay connected with their clients in a non-intrusive way.”
Nudging in the right direction
But another idea was discussed by Jane Goodland, corporate affairs director at Quilter, who told IA that the industry has to “acknowledge that women consume financial services differently” and “needs to continue to evolve”.
She added: “Evolving can be through digital innovations and the use of nudges or by simply attracting people from diverse backgrounds into the advice profession, so everyone feels they are getting relatable advice and wealth management.”
This survey comes a few weeks after IA reported on Wealth-X’s global report, which found the number of high net worth and ultra-high net worth women, globally, hit a new record.