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Portfolio > Portfolio Construction > Investment Strategies

Female Investors Approach Market on Their Own Terms: Survey

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What You Need to Know

  • Fifty-one percent of female investors surveyed said they're confident that they are making correct investment decisions.
  • Over two-thirds said investing apps have had a positive effect on how they manage their portfolios.
  • Still, 29% said they were more likely to seek professional guidance.

In recognition of Women’s History Month, E-Trade from Morgan Stanley looked at female trading trends for its quarterly study of experienced investors and traders.

Fifty-one percent of female investors in a survey said they feel confident that they are making correct decisions for their portfolios, up 6 percentage points from the first quarter of 2021.

Forty-one percent of women reported that they have dedicated more time to their portfolios. About a third said they are trading equities and derivatives more often.

Mobile access is key in this trend, as 67% of respondents said investing apps have had a positive effect on the way they handle their investments, up 9 points from a year ago. Half said they use their trading app at least once a week, up 6 points.

Still, many female investors also look to an advisor for guidance. While 27% said they were more likely to rely on a mobile app to trade, 29% said they were more likely to seek out professional guidance.

“While historically many tended to associate trading the markets with men, the reality is that today there’s a whole new generation of female investors and traders who are tackling the market on their own terms,” Mary Ryan, executive director of trading at E-Trade from Morgan Stanley, said in a statement. 

“The switch has been flipped on the narrative around trading being a male-dominated practice, and as an industry we must lean into this trend. Delivering intuitive, seamless, and useful tools is key.”

Dynata conducted the survey in early January among an online U.S. sample of 901 self-directed active investors who manage at least $10,000 in an online brokerage account. The female data set comprised 359 investors. 

Useful Tips

Ryan offered further insights to female investors.

For one, she said women can use paper trading to try new trading ideas. Paper trading allows both simple equity traders and more experienced traders looking to experiment with complex options strategies to test and monitor a portfolio without risking capital.

Ryan also said access to tools that enable seamless trading on the go is key to executing a well-planned-out strategy and keeping up with an ever-changing market. 

Three-quarters of investors in the survey said they consider it important that their broker’s mobile app has robust capabilities that match the web experience.

Ryan said women engaged with the market do not necessarily have to go it alone. Leveraging multiple account types can be a useful strategy.

She noted that investors with more complex needs may keep a long-term investment portfolio with a financial advisor, and at the same time dedicate a satellite portfolio to active trading.


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