Women are still lagging behind men when it comes to investing outside of superannuation and homeownership, but a new app by the founders of women’s focused super fund Verve, aims to reverse that trend.
What does the rise of Abbie Chatifeld and a virtual queue of a million Australian Taylor Swift Fans have to do with the latest Investor Survey released by the ASX? According to Christina Hobbs, the founder of new investing app Verve Money – a lot!
“When we look at the latest data from the ASX, and see that for the first time that women represent half the the number of new investors coming into the market, it absolutely fits within a broader cultural trend”, Hobbs told Financy
“Despite the exciting trend of new women investors, we know that 58% of investors in market are still men. We didn’t just want to be sitting around talking about the problem, we were passionate about building a thoughtful investing platform that met the needs of underserved women investors and allowed us to truly partner with women along their wealth building journey.” Hobbs continued.
The Verve team has launched a new app called Verve Money, which applies an ethical investment approach to invest in listed assets and non listed impact focused assets.
Through investing a portion of every portfolio in alternative impact focused assets, Verve Money separates itself from other investing apps available in the market that seek to keep costs low by only investing in shares. In many ways it models itself more closely on the longer term investment approaches of most superannuation funds that are focused on delivering returns while avoiding unnecessary risk.
“If you’re an ethical consumer, you’re not going to buy the one ethical shoe from a brand that makes the rest of its products in a sweatshop, you want to be served by, and support a wholly ethical brand. It’s the same with investing, women want a fund that they can trust on ethics – and that means a rigorous ethical investment approach to 100% of investments’.
“We know that risk is an important factor for many women investors. By investing in assets that aren’t listed on the stock exchange as well as shares and ETFs, we offer a product that isn’t as subject to share market fluctuations. We absolutely know that over the long term greater diversification is associated with decreased risk”. Hobbs said
The team at Verve hope that the Verve Money app helps inspire women into getting excited about wealth creation.
According to Hobbs “The reality is that many Australians simply have more important life goals than being rich and accumulating money for the sake of it. They want a strong future for their families, they care about their communities, they’re focused on the impact they want to have on the world and the things that bring them joy – and this was the sentiment amongst many of the women we were interviewing. Sadly, the way investing is currently positioned in market just demotivates a lot of women”.
This led the Verve team to integrate a behavioural psychology approach to the Verve Money app that centers the whole app around its members’ life and money goals – knowing that research shows that this is more likely to encourage its members to actively invest for their future.
Verve has been testing the app in a pilot mode for the past six months and the initial results of the app are promising. Almost ninety percent of Verve Money’s initial 1,000+ members who have been trialling the app are women, many first time investors. But Hobbs is also excited that the app has broader appeal.
“We’ve really proved the saying that if you build a great product and service for an underserved community, then you often just build a great product for everyone. We’ve created an app to meet the needs of underserved women investors but we’re excited that there is a broader community including men and non binary investors who are looking for this service”.
Whether the Verve Money app will reach the dizzying heights of penetration that Taylor Swift has clearly made in recent weeks is not yet known, but one thing is clear, it lands at the right moment to drive momentum amongst empowered women investors forward.
Financy writes about gender financial equality, diversity and inclusion. We also provide the software, Impacter which makes DEI performance easy and accessible for business. And when we’re not doing all that, we publish the quarterly Financy Women’s Index report which measures timeframes to equality in Australia. To stay up to date with us, subscribe to our newsletter.