We live in a world where financial independence means control over one’s life and is a key to both security and freedom. It is therefore time to once and for all dispel the myth that investments are not for everyone.

A trend that has been going on for over a decade is that younger people make up an increasingly large part of the shareholders in Sweden. The number of young shareholders is increasing. At the same time, already at the age of ten, we can see differences in share ownership between boys and girls. While it is encouraging to see more young people jumping on the investment bandwagon, the disparity in share ownership between boys and girls highlights an important area for improvement.

When we look at Unga Aktiesparare’s member statistics, we see that both girls and boys show an almost equal interest in joining us. But when we delve into how they are encouraged to get involved in investing, a stark difference emerges: Only half as many girls get a membership from a family member, friend or acquaintance, compared to the number of guys who get it.

Interestingly, further examination shows that even in families where there are both sons and daughters, parents tend to encourage their sons to invest more than their daughters. This trend continues regardless of whether it is mom or dad who introduces the children to the world of investing. Best of all are grandparents, but unfortunately it’s only about a paltry percentage or two.

It underscores the importance of opening up the dialogue about money and investing at all ages and in all contexts – and not just assuming that basic financial knowledge is something that is automatically imparted from home. The reality is that few people get to learn this at the dinner table. Instead, we tend to inherit financial knowledge and behaviors from our families, which for many is not an advantage.

It is inspiring to witness an increase in young shareholders. But it is crucial that we ensure that this opportunity is equally available to just about everyone right from the start. It is also time to dispel the myth that investments are not for girls. It’s for everyone. It’s not just about justice – it’s about smart economics.

One of the most powerful tools in an investor’s toolbox is the interest-on-interest effect. It is an economic phenomenon that means that your investments not only generate returns, but that these returns in turn also generate additional returns. This means that the earlier you start investing, the greater financial security you can create.

In addition, Sweden is a fantastic country for those who want to invest and build up their financial independence. Sweden offers excellent conditions with easily accessible information for investors at all levels and a low threshold for getting started with their investments.

I therefore think it is very sad that personal finance is so rarely discussed within the school world. Despite the fact that the Swedish National Agency for Education recently made updates to the curriculum for Social Studies, the fact remains that the content is still far from sufficient. We at Unga Aktiesparare work actively to push through changes in this area on several fronts. But what can we, as young women, do about it on our own?

Whether it’s a lack of knowledge, money or self-confidence that’s holding you back, a first step can be to start talking about finances with your friends. You will quickly realize that the obstacles you imagined are often exaggerated. The information is readily available and you can start with a small investment. As for confidence, it will grow with experience. Not acting can be more expensive in the long run than daring to take the step. Don’t let inflation eat your money.

Share your savings goals and investment ideas with your friends. Ask all the stupid questions. Answer all stupid questions. It can help you both demystify the subject and inspire action. Starting with a savings account that offers a competitive interest rate is good. However, investing your money longer term can and will in all likelihood provide even greater benefits over time.

Financial independence is more than just numbers. It is a cornerstone of being able to take control of one’s life. Building a strong financial base today means giving yourself the opportunity to choose your own path tomorrow. Let’s jointly strive and work towards a future where financial knowledge is a matter of course for everyone. Regardless of gender or background. It is not just an investment in our individual future – but in the well-being of society as a whole.

 

Contact Emma 

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Mail: emma.hedman@ungaaktiesparare.se

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