I used to work at a bank and noticed two things. First, women on the 1940s-50s end of the Baby Boomer generation were more likely to rely on their husbands to "take care" of the money. Conversely, Generation X men were more likely to say "she handles all that," when referring to bills and money.
Even though perspectives on gender equality are shifting, there are still areas of everyday life where women aren't on the same playing field as men.
Incorporating more accessible technology might be the answer according to Maike Currie, investment director at Fidelity, one of the world's largest investment firms. Currie said that women cite a lack of time and trustworthy information as reasons why they don't invest more.
In the UK, women are investing less than men with only 12 percent owning stocks according to FT Adviser. Twenty percent of women reported feeling a lack of confidence when it comes to investing, where only 13 percent of men felt cautious.
The UK wants more women to invest because there would be about £100.8 billion more invested in the country if it was equal.
Women also fall behind men in the UK when it comes to making the same salary, otherwise known as the gender pay gap. In the UK 78 percent of companies pay men more money. The UK is one of the only countries that is asking businesses to complete pay gap data reports.
Last year about 10,000 employers submitted reports, but more than 200 had to change their data and more than 900 said there wasn't a pay gap. Independent statistician Nigel Marriott told Personnel Today that between nine and 17 percent of these reports are calculated incorrectly.
Some investment apps are gaining a larger female user-base by providing a less intimidating starting point. Below are a few examples.
The Dabbl app works to make investing simple to understand, accessible, and affordable for everyone. The developers said their target audience is the generation that lacks confidence, tools, and a price point to get started and to benefit from investing.
"At Dabbl, we're re-imagining this complex and intimidating experience to make it fair and frictionless," the website said.
In the app users can search for a company, brand, or topic that they're interested in and find investment-related information. Dabbl incorporates technology to make complex data and insights into everyday language.
Companies are trackable so you can keep up with their performance financially and otherwise.
A subscription for Dabbl is fairly affordable: as low as £2 per month. The app offers a few options for usage, like Pay As You Go and customizing when you want to place your order on the market.
The UK Moneybox app (iOS, Android) helps you turn your spare change into investment funds. When you make a purchase, you can round up to the nearest pound and invest it. For example, if your morning coffee is £2.40, round up to £3.00 and invest the 60p.
Signing up costs as little as a £1 subscription fee, and the app gives you different options about how aggressive you want to be with investing: cautious, balanced, or adventurous. Depending on which selection you make determines the tracker funds your money goes to, a cash fund, a global shares fund, or a property shares fund.
Investing spare change minimizes financial risk so using Moneybox could be more attractive to new investors.
Like Dabbl, you can keep track of your savings, relevant news stories, a future earnings estimator, and check on how your company is doing.
The UK investment program Plum is a little different because it works through Facebook Messenger. When you click "Sign Up," you'll be redirected to Messenger where you can start chatting with a Plum Bot. You can pick between two responses as the bot tells you about Plum, "Get Started" or more questions.
To get started the Plum Bot says you need to connect it to your bank for a spending analysis. Every four or five days, the bot will calculate and put aside a small amount for you to invest whenever.
You choose the amount based on spending habits and income. The bot will alert you before transferring any money.
The company said it doesn't store bank details, sell or share data, and all savings are stored safely in a bank account provided by MangoPay. Mango Pay isn't protected by the UK's Financial Services Compensation Scheme (like how the US has the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation).
Plum said it is held accountable to an unnamed "strict European regulation" that will return your funds if anyone goes "bust."
In the app, the bot can set aside separate savings to invest at your discretion and keep track of your investments.
If you choose to go with Plum, you might be cautious because of its Facebook Messenger connection. Facebook has been under fire for data breaches, hacks, and the way it handles privacy of user data.
The company's mobile app lets you check on your investments and interact with your money on the go.
7IMagine gives you an overview of where you're money is invested and its status. You can compare investments and performance with different market measures. You can customize a portfolio based on location, asset type, and account type.
The app also offers relevant news, opinion, and lifestyle articles.
The program offers different investment options with varying levels of risk. 7IMagine offers six different funds: Cautious, Moderately Cautious, Balanced, Moderately Adventurous, Adventurous, and an AAP Income fund. Each fund is broken down for easy understanding on the website.
Users can invest regularly or in lump sums into 7IM.
Which one is right for you?
Investing funds can still seem overwhelming and frightening because of the potential risk. Keep in mind that these apps are only available in the UK, but reading up on them could lead you to investment apps available in your country.
All the programs remind users that an element of risk comes with investment, but the good thing is that there are different options to match your comfort level with risk. It might be wise if you're planning to invest and still have questions, to contact a local investment advisor.
FOLLOW Download.com on Twitter for all the latest app news.
- Though gender stereotypes are changing, women are still financially a step behind when it comes to investing and saving money when compared to men. However, mobile apps are helping to level the playing field.
- In the UK, apps like Dabbl, Moneybox, Plum, and 7IMagine are examples of ones that could help bridge the gap.
- Use the PayPal app to make purchases in Walmart stores
- Best payment apps to split a bill with friends
- JP Morgan to offer an app that practically gives away investing services
- Make adulting easier with these essential finance, food, clothing, and task apps
- Facebook stock's $120 billion loss is biggest single-day drop ever (CNET)
- Data breaches affect stock performance in the long run, study finds (ZDNet)
- 5 things businesses need to consider before accepting or investing in cryptocurrency (TechRepublic)