08 March 2021

Investing for women – ideas and inspiration for International Women’s Day

Investing for women – ideas and inspiration for International Women’s Day

By Gillian Boyes

Women investors are unique. 

Women earn less on average, with lower wages and more time out of the workforce for family reasons.  We also live longer than men.  Women often have a lower appetite for financial risk, which means they can end up with lower returns.  But things are changing quickly, with more women taking control of their finances and many at the forefront of the consumer share investing boom.

These differences aren’t just cosmetic — it’s a big deal, affecting a lot more than just the quality of holidays in your retirement. To quote from a great article just published by the chief executive of US women’s investment company Ellevest Sallie Krawcheck headlined 6 Money lies told to women “Women earn less money than men do. And women keep less of the money they earn than men do.

This can mean dreams not realised, bad relationships stayed in, dead-end jobs not left, companies not founded, families making do with less.”

But women are increasingly getting together to support each other and share experiences around good investing and how to take better control of financial affairs.

Of course, we could spend all day researching and reading about finance — but a lot of it can get pretty dry.  Thankfully there’s plenty of women in New Zealand and around the world doing the mahi of sharing inspiring stories and giving practical advice.

For International Women’s Day this Monday 8 March, we’ve gathered up a few links and pointers to some of these women who speak a lot of sense about money and share their knowledge in an approachable style.


Mary Holm

View Mary's website

One of our favourite women on the local scene is Mary Holm – she’s been answering questions from everyday people about finance and investing for decades now and she’s got a real interest in helping women become more confident and sophisticated investors.

Check out a great guide she wrote for the FMAYou can also watch some helpful tips she gave during a presentation to a group of local women investors. There’s also a stream of a chat I had with her at a recent World Investor Week event, answering questions from the public.

And if you’ve just got time for something quick, Mary’s filmed a great Top 5 Tips for investing.

Frances Cook

View Frances' Linkedin

Another local favourite is journalist Frances Cook – she hosts a personal finance podcast Cooking the Books, has written the book Tales from a financial hot mess and is active on social media with handy tips and reminders. Check her out: Twitter, @francescookInstagram, @francescooknz and TikTok, @francescooknz


KiwiSaver is the biggest single investment for most of us outside of owning a home. And it’s really important that you’re in the right fund. Living longer means that there’s more retirement for women to enjoy, but also a longer demand on retirement savings.

So if you’ve chosen a fund that’s too conservative, you’ll miss out on the investment returns you need to fund your retirement. Most women could significantly improve their retirement outcomes by choosing a growth or balanced fund.

A good way of checking if you’re in the right KiwiSaver fund is to check our simple flow chart – What’s your KiwiSaver flow? Check out more of our KiwiSaver resources here.

Investing for women

One organisation doing awesome work is the social enterprise Closing the Gap, which runs regular workshops teaching practical skills and concepts to get out there and start investing. Here’s a great interview with Closing the Gap’s Alex Lipski on “Why are young New Zealand women not investing?”. You can also read our investor profile interview with Alex from International Women’s Day 2020. 

The Curve is new on the scene and is an investing educational platform that offers a plethora of content including podcasts, online content and events: @the_curvenz. Founded by fund manager Victoria Harris, The Curve is designed to create a safe space for women to get investment-savvy and become more confident when it comes to their finances.

You can also keep an eye out for financial companies which often run investing events targeted at women.


View Sorted website

The Sorted website, run by the New Zealand Commission for Financial Capability - one of its many great tools is its KiwiSaver Fund Finder but there’s also loads of good guides, blogs, and advice. It’s more than just investment planning, there’s good ideas about getting out of debt, budgeting, and spending. You can set up a customised dashboard — including a to-do list, tools, and money steps. Then you can track your progress as you get ahead.

They’ve also launched Sorted Women, a workplace seminar series designed and delivered by women for women.  It provides a safe and non-judgemental space for women to learn money skills that will help close the financial knowledge gap that many face.

International resources

We’ve mentioned Ellevest – the American financial planning service for women. Ellevest magazine has some great articles and it also sends out a good e-newsletter. Also worth checking out is Clever Girl Finance Blog, which has financial content targeted at women and links to helpful tools. Annuity.org has also compiled some ideas on how women can change their retirement planning mindset.

That’s a quick list of some of the women and sites we like - do you know of any other great women-focused investing resources?  Feel free to let us know!  Email [email protected]

And happy International Women’s Day!


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