Women are still vastly underrepresented in the financial world and in their investment behavior. Yet decentralized finance (DeFi) can offer a way to break financial dependencies. A conversation about women in finance and crypto with financial blogger Margarethe Honisch.
After all, poverty disproportionately impacts women – all over the world. This is supported by various factors, such as a lack of education regarding how to handle finances. But cultural circumstances and family structures also often prevent women from making their own financial decisions. The effects and reasons for women’s underrepresentation in the cryptocurrency space are thus closely intertwined.
While women struggle against their financial powerlessness, especially in developing countries, cryptocurrencies could be a step towards financial freedom. The decentralized financial world offers opportunities to break through financial dependency. Even in countries where people live in much greater affluence, it is a matter of existence for women to take care of their own finances.
A conversation with Margarethe Honisch, founder of the finance platform Fortunalista, about women, investment behavior and why it is so important, especially for women, to take care of their own finances.
CVJ:CH: How did you find your way into the investment world? What were your first steps?
Ultimately out of bad conscience. I fell into the classic lifestyle inflation: the more I earned, the more I spent. At some point, a rethink took place and I realized that I couldn’t go on like this. The first steps were then directly the visits to appropriate seminars to acquire knowledge straight from professionals. The first step to investing was then quite classically an ETF savings plan.
You have built a large community of women interested in finance. What have you learned along the way?
Women often have different needs and different issues than men, and this is evident in many facets. For example, women are generally considered to be more risk-averse. But due to the gender pay gap, many also have less money at their disposal. This naturally raises the question: are women really risk-averse, or do they not have to be more conscious and careful with their investments because of the general conditions? These are aspects that many banks do not take into account in their offers. That’s why it’s important to me to impart knowledge in my courses in such a way that every woman can apply it individually to her personal situation.
Why do 60% of women leave finances to their partners?
Unfortunately, this is the problem of low self-efficacy. In other words, women are not confident that they can successfully manage their money and plan their finances themselves. Thinking “I can’t do it anyway”, they prefer to pass on the responsibility. Of course, this is only a general statement, but the figures are alarming. Many only realize after the death or divorce of their partner that they are not as well protected as they thought. According to a UBS study, 72% of them experience a negative financial surprise afterwards. In addition one must say: The men do not always in bad intention. Some don’t know any better themselves and prefer to keep quiet about the fact that the family money has been badly invested.
How do you think there is such an imbalance between women and men in investment behavior?
Women have less money and have to use it more sustainably. But they also want to understand everything. I always notice that from the detailed questions that often come after lectures. You notice that many are already well informed, but still think they need to know more. But that also has an advantage: out of this uncertainty, many opt for a passive investment strategy with ETFs and often even achieve better returns with them.
How do you experience women’s interest specifically in the crypto world?
The interest in my courses and lectures is really great. Questions about cryptocurrencies often come up and here, too, the participants want to understand exactly how it works with the blockchain and how you can recognize a good cryptocurrency.
What opportunities does the investment world offer regardless of gender?
I see it less as an opportunity and more as a necessity. You have to be able to afford not to invest your money. And not only since the high inflation rate. Investments enable one’s own security in the first step, and financial independence in the second step, of course.
What is your advice for women who are just starting to look at investing?
Don’t get lost in theory for too long, but also get started. Theory is important, but only with implementation comes experience and the self-confidence that it works. If you don’t have the confidence to do it on your own, you should get help. Then it is better to invest the money in a course or a consultation instead of putting off this important topic for longer.