In this Spotlight feature, we talk to Zoe Fiddes of Moxi Wealth about what we can be doing to help millennial women understand their finances and the impact CSR could have on investing in the future.
What is the thinking behind Moxi Wealth? What inspired you to set it up?
Today we are seeing women fly in their careers and entrepreneurial spirit and we are earning more. We want to know how to grow our money but we’re not so interested in high risk, complicated jargon or untrustworthy information. Step in MOXI Wealth. We are like your best friend that works in finance, you can come to us with any question and we’re happy to talk it through. We provide education and tools on the subjects that matter to women; sustainable saving and investing.
Do you think men and women approach personal finances differently? Is the industry doing enough to cater to these differences?
We believe, on the whole, there is a difference but for many reasons. Firstly, more men work in finance. It only takes one look at lunch hour in the City of London to see this. Next, women have less money. We are glad to see the gender pay gap is getting smaller, but this takes time. Also, if women want kids they usually plan ahead which involves putting money aside. Not to say men don’t feel the financial pressure of children but women are usually the ones to take time away from work and are faced with a direct pay cut.
To what extent is a lack of financial education affecting millennial women?
The trend is that women are becoming more financially independent and millennial women in particular will want more financial education and tools to help plan their pension and other investments. If women cannot connect easily with financial guidance, then they may be left behind when it comes to growing their future wealth.
How well do you think millennials — particularly women — are coping when it comes to budgeting and personal finance?
A lot of millennials have been put off investing because of the crash which, despite happening a decade ago, is still fresh in their minds. Some don’t even feel comfortable depositing into a pension. A positive outcome of the crash is that millennials take saving more seriously and understand the importance of a Rainy Day Fund. However, a fear of the stock market is not good because investing over long time horizons can bring larger returns than interest on saving accounts. Plus, the tax-relief when you invest in a pension is unbeatable; anyone who pays income tax would be insane not to take advantage of this.
We believe that millennials care a lot about corporate social responsibility, aka CSR, and they are learning that their power to invest can steer the behaviour of large corporations. For example, ethical investing is on the rise and has created good returns in recent years. We see that corporations are focusing more on their CSR so the power of investor ethics is working!
If you could give millennials just one piece of advice about personal finance, what would it be?
Aside from, ‘start your pension now’, you should get-to-know money. Know how much salary you receive each month, where you spend it and the best places to put it to grow your wealth. If you are one of the majority that doesn’t check their bank balance regularly and doesn’t save, you should keep your spending in check using the free budget app Spending Tracker and make a plan to save and invest in your future.
What could the financial services industry do to make finance simpler?
The industry is full of unnecessary jargon which often makes financial planning appear more complicated than it is. MOXI Guides aims to explain financial products in easier language. We are also seeing more robo-advisers – online tools helping us make money decisions. Banks, pension platforms and stockbrokers want to evolve online and will focus on providing more tools like this for their users.