More women than ever are taking part in retail investing, with a participation spike during the pandemic.
A Fidelity study shows unprecedented growth in women opening retail investment accounts, with a record 43% year-over-year increase since last summer. Millennials are the ones driving the upward trend.
Half of the survey respondents said they have become more interested in investing since the start of the pandemic. Forty-two percent say they now have more to invest, and 67% said they are investing savings outside of their retirement and emergency funds. Those investments are going primarily toward individual stocks and bonds.
The trend coincides with the overall jump in retail investors entering the stock market over the last year.
A growing population of retail investors in the public markets has been spurred by more time spent in front of a computer, large amounts of liquidity in the markets, and zero-commission trading. Many retail traders are using social investing platforms to buy and sell assets.
Public.com, an investing app popular among new investors says 40% of its member base is made up of women.
"We have significantly more women investing on the platform. We have significantly more people of color investing on the platform than our closest competitors," Public.com's chief operating officer Stephen Sikes told Yahoo Finance during a recent interview. "We're really proud of that."
Educating new participants is key. According to the Fidelity survey, only 4-in-10 women said they’re comfortable with their investing knowledge, and 70% of the respondents said they would need to learn more about picking individual stocks before they could get started.
"Investing can be intimidating," added Sikes. "Being exposed to a community of people, that are at a similar stage in learning about investing or actually used to be, but are now further along, and being able to interact sort of in that fashion is really helpful for people to get over the hump," he added.
The upward trend of women investing is expected to grow, with nine in 10 of those surveyed saying they plan to take steps within the next 12 months to help their money grow.