The celebration of International Women’s Day often places emphasis on the need for greater gender equality, and empowerment of women. However, with the financial markets being an open marketplace for the buying and selling of securities, regardless of gender, this makes International Women’s Day, as good a day as any, to kickstart your trading and investing journey.
In this article, we’re share three highly-actionable tips which may help to give you the push you need, to get going in your trading journey.
Women and the financial markets
Despite the increasing number of women in the workforce and their growing economic power, it’s generally perceived that less women are interested in personal financial investment. However, evidence suggests that when women do participate in the financial markets, they prioritise risk management more than males do, and studies from Fidelity Investments even show that female investors continue to outperform their male counterparts. 
So, why is it that there are less women than men who participate in investing their money? Financial literacy is the ability to comprehend and apply the basic concepts and instruments of personal finance to have a positive relationship with money. A certain level of financial literacy is crucial for both genders to actively participate in economic activities and make sound financial decisions for themselves and their families.
According to Annamaria Lusardi, a University Professor of Economics and Accounting at the George Washington School of Commerce, a third of the difference in financial literacy between men and women is not attributable to women’s lack of understanding, but rather to their lack of confidence.
3 everyday tips to get your trading journey started
Whether you’re a seasoned trader or just starting out, building confidence is crucial. Here are three tips for building confidence:
#1 Take the first step
The first step is always the hardest. You can start by opening an account, any account – be it a demo account or a live account! If you’re completely new to the trading and investing world, then a demo account could be an option for you. Demo accounts allow you to dip your toes into the trading world without risking your real capital. If you’re opening a live account, be sure to start with small trades and size up as you gain more experience.
Alternatively, your first step could simply be to start reading financial articles, stay informed with the latest financial news, or follow a broker’s social media account to consume bite-sized information.
This helps you to get exposed to different financial instruments and how they work, before you work your way up.
#2 Know your risk appetite
Women tend to be more risk-averse than men when it comes to investing, but taking calculated risks and learning from mistakes is key to success. Besides educating yourself about the market and different investment strategies, you must first understand the level of risk you’re willing to take for your investments.
Can you stomach major fluctuations in the markets that could see your portfolio value dive in the short term? Or are you more inclined to take it slow and steady, to seek long-term results while limiting your exposure to short-term fluctuations?
Your risk tolerance will not just affect the products that you add to your portfolio, but also your overall investment strategy. To help you get a better understanding of how much volatility you are willing to take on, you can consider getting a taste of the financial markets through a demo account first. It is a testbed for you to make mistakes, learn and build confidence before taking it to the live markets. You can open a Vantage Demo Account in under 30 seconds!
#3 Do it with other like-minded individuals
Trading can be a lonely journey, but it doesn’t have to be. Join an online community of traders and investors, be it via social media platforms or online forums. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals who can offer support, advice, and mentorship. By learning from others and sharing your own experiences, you can gain the confidence and knowledge needed to succeed in the financial markets.
Empowering women to embark on their trading journey
The good news is that more women are making financial investments outside of retirement plans. According to Fidelity, over two-thirds of women are now making investments, and they are starting at younger ages.  However, due to the gender pay gap, women typically earn less than men, leaving them with less money to work with in retirement .
On this International Women’s Day, let us celebrate the progress we have made and continue to support and empower one another in all aspects of our lives, including finances and trading.
Happy International Women’s Day from Vantage! Follow us on social media for more about trading.