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Females more confident and savvy with investments: Moomoo

Samantha Chiew
Samantha Chiew • 7 min read
Females more confident and savvy with investments: Moomoo
At a panel discussion: (from left) Joan Chang, co-founder, Lloyd’s Inn and The Ove Collection; Kelley Wong, lawyer and adviser, Young Women’s Leadership Connection; and Sharon Wong, founder and CEO, Motherswork. Photo: Moomoo Singapore
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In a noteworthy event that coincided with International Women’s Month, Moomoo, the online trading platform regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), hosted the “Invest Smarter: Invest in Your Future” forum on March 9.

This event went beyond Moomoo’s commitment to democratising investment knowledge; it aimed to celebrate empowerment and enhance women’s education in the financial sector. Moomoo’s initiative reflects the growing influence of female investors in reshaping retail investment, spotlighting a demographic frequently overlooked in traditional financial narratives.

The forum featured a line-up of distinguished speakers, including Echo Zhao, Moomoo Singapore’s country head; Isaac Lim, Moomoo Singapore’s head market strategist; Christine Zhang, head of intra-Asia multinational corporate banking, Greater China, Japan and Korea, JP Morgan; Emelia Tan, director, research and FinLit, SGX Research; Joan Chang, co-founder of Lloyd’s Inn and The Ove Collection; as well as Nicole Tan, executive director, CSOP. Drawing from their respective backgrounds and expertise, each speaker contributed rich insights into women’s empowerment, financial resilience, and the strategic nuances of investing. 

Opening the event, Moomoo’s Zhao sets the tone for future investing and sheds some light on what it means to do that. “It starts with investing in your personal growth, seeking out challenges to build character and skills, pursuing education to expand perspectives and potential, and sharpening resilience to turn setbacks into comebacks,” she says, adding that it goes beyond the conventional financial sense. 

“We invest in the future prosperity of our families, communities and workplaces. We become the role models and trailblazers who inspire those who come after us,” says Zhao. 

According to the study “Females Shaping the Future of Investment” unveiled by Moomoo during the event, 89% of Singaporean women are actively involved in making financial decisions within their relationships. This suggests that women are confidently taking charge of managing their families’ financial futures without hesitation.

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“Women are not just participants; they are decision-makers. The study highlights a significant shift in society and reinforces the notion that women are increasingly taking charge of their financial destinies,” Zhao emphasises. 

This is where women become increasingly self-empowered, striving to find their version of independence. In a fireside chat during the forum, Chang of Lloyd’s Inn and The Ove Collection says: “One way towards self-empowerment is by thinking about what your financial goals are. It is different for everyone.” 

While individual differences are a significant variable, Chang advises that there should be an end-goal nonetheless, regardless of whether it is planning to raise a family or retire, and a path towards achieving this goal.

See also: SingPost books valuation gain while underlying transformation stays on track

 

A study in empowerment

For the “Females Shaping the Future of Investment” report, the global survey canvassed 2,288 female investors across Singapore, Hong Kong, Australia, Canada and the US, revealing compelling narratives about their investment behaviour, aspirations and hurdles.

The study showed that an overwhelming majority (94%) of women in Singapore have identified family financial freedom as a pivotal goal. This sentiment underscores a significant shift towards women aspiring for financial autonomy and looking into investments as a means of securing a financial bastion for their families.

Another key finding from the study highlighted that women in Singapore are increasingly making an effort to bridge the knowledge gap. Despite acknowledging a lack of experience as a barrier, over half of the women surveyed are dedicating time daily to enrich their investment knowledge, lending weight to the growing community of informed and engaged female investors.

As the study showed, about 59% of female investors in Singapore tend to take a conservative investing approach, while only 2.9% of women described their investing strategy as aggressive. In comparison, only 40.8% of male investors have a conservative investing strategy, while 9.5% believe that they are aggressive investors. 

The study also shed light on the preferred investment vehicles, with stocks and stock options leading the pack, followed by a marked preference for fixed deposits among Singaporean and Hong Kong women. These choices reflect a multi-faceted understanding of risk and return among female investors.

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“Stereotypes around gender with regard to risk appetite have been discussed in countless studies. But the whole picture is much more nuanced than that. What we see is that women approach risks differently than men. Excessive risk-taking can lead to outsized gains, but also tremendous losses. Savvy female investors are more risk-aware, and they’re good at identifying the appropriate level of risk in investments that provide the best chance to achieve their financial goals,” says Justin Zacks, vice president of strategy, Moomoo US.

Tan of SGX Research says that through statistics from SGX and her own observations, women are becoming more financially literate. She also notes that some research she has come across before has shown that women tend to outperform men in investing because women are more careful and disciplined. “A big part about investing is not just being able to make these smart decisions and making the right choices, but a lot of it is also being disciplined on your own and not just investing blindly,” she says. 

While most investors believe self-research to be the best source of seeking financial advice, a higher proportion of females see family and friends as trustworthy source of financial advice. According to the Moomoo study, in Singapore, women are almost twice as likely (23.5%) to trust friends’ or family’s financial advice compared to men (12.5%). Meanwhile, about 19.9% of women said they are more inclined towards social investing (following suggestions from influencers, friends or family).

“Perceived self-biases may limit women from realising their full potential in investing. But with the right support and resources, investment can become a powerful tool that can redefine a woman’s financial resilience,” notes Erika Chiang, chief marketing officer, Southeast Asia, Moomoo.

 

Moving forward

Moomoo’s survey found that investors have a generally positive outlook on the stock market, with females slightly more cautious than males. A majority of female investors plan to engage in more trading activities in the next 12 months, with over half of women in Singapore (55.1%) planning to trade more. 

During Moomoo’s event, a panel discussion titled “Seizing Opportunities in the Market” was held, highlighting some of the themes and trends in the market now. Zhang of JP Morgan notes some trends for investors to keep an eye on, such as upcoming decisions from the US Federal Reserve on interest rates, which will be determined by US inflation, and the geopolitical situation in Ukraine.

Moomoo’s Lim also notes that there are several elections going on globally, while the Japan market is an interesting one to watch. Japan on March 19 raised its interest rates, ending the era of negative rates. 

In Singapore, CSOP’s Tan says that the US interest rates are a key theme to look out for and there are speculations of a rate cut. “Markets are speculating or expecting the Fed to lower rates. It is a matter of timing, how many times and the quantum of the cut. Whatever it is, the cuts are coming and investors should position themselves for that,” she says. Less than two weeks after Moomoo’s event, on March 20, US Fed chairman Jerome Powell announced that he will reduce rates three times this year.

With the impending rate cuts in mind, Tan is re-examining the Singapore REIT sector. “Once that REIT scenario (high interest rate regime) reverses, then the REIT market will have a second life because all the REITs are highly leveraged companies. So that interest burden would be lifted,” says Tan, who also sees opportunity in money market funds.

Overall, Moomoo’s initiative is not just about creating a platform for dialogue, but also fostering a community where women are empowered to take charge of their financial futures. By highlighting the perspectives and potential of female retail investors, Moomoo is carving a niche for itself as a brand synonymous with inclusivity, education and empowerment in the investment space.

With unique perspectives, strategic thinking and meticulous approaches, women bring a fresh and valuable perspective to the world of investment. “We firmly believe that by equipping women with the knowledge and resources they require, we can bridge the gaps in the investment landscape and provide a supportive community for their investment journeys,” says the Moomoo study. 

 

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