New research from Barclays Smart Investor shows rise in women and young people investing under lockdown

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A new study conducted by Barclays Smart Investor shows a rise in female and young first-time investors over the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The study consulted 2,000 people who had either invested or considered investing in the past, and found that two in three (69 per cent) had managed to save under lockdown – with many more women than men using this additional cash to invest for the first time (36 per cent vs. 21 per cent).

The young followed the same trend – with over half (53 per cent) of under 25s who have previously considered investing doing so for the first time with their lockdown savings. This also reflects behaviour on Smart Investor, as more than two thirds (63 per cent) of new investors on the platform were under 45.
While 2020 has seen more women and young people turn their hand to investing, an increase in savings isn’t the only driver. The research shows that the rise of digital or robo-advisors has also played a role - and one that is being adopted by younger women.
Nearly one in five (18 per cent) young women who invest say that they use a robo-advisor, compared to just 9 per cent of young men. Young people are considerably more likely to use a robo-advisor, with 14 per cent of under 25s using one, compared to just 6 per cent of over 55s. 1 in 4 investors (25 per cent) also said that robo-advisors had boosted their confidence when investing.
The new research could also explain why women are often cited as being better investors than men – with women tending to follow best practice, sitting tight and checking their portfolio on a less frequent basis.
When asked how often they check their investment performance, men check-in an average of 16 times per month, compared to just 10 for women. Nearly one in five male investors (17 per cent) check their portfolio every day, compared to just 12 per cent of female investors.
Clare Francis, Director at Barclays Smart Investor, says: “It’s really positive to see more women and young people starting to invest for their future, particularly given what a tough year it’s been.

“For a long time many have seen the investment market as one dominated by older men, but thanks to new technology and the rise of digital advice, it’s great to see more diversity in this year’s surge of new investors. As a nation we’re not saving enough for our future, so hopefully those who have started to invest this year will continue to do so, as it should help them achieve their longer-term financial goals.”