Women Reveal Which Companies They Invest In and Why
Investing in the stock market seems simple enough, but sometimes figuring out where to start can be the hardest part. After all, there are tons of companies to choose from across industries, each offering a unique opportunity to become part of it. Regardless of which companies you choose to put your money into, the key to seeing any return is simply getting started. According to Ellevest, a financial planning service, women make up only eight percent of investors. What's more is that women hold 71 percent of their investments in cash versus investments, as opposed to 60 percent of men. If you're looking for ways to grow your wealth, there's no better time than now to get your feet wet.
We spoke with professional women about what companies they're investing in and why they chose them. Here are their stories and their best tips for other female investors.
Start with a Personal Connection
When you're thinking of investing, perhaps one of the best places to start is with companies and products you're using in your everyday life. "For me, it makes sense to bring my personal experiences and preferences to my investments," says Christy Murdock Edgar of Writing Real Estate. "While I may not be an expert on all of the inside machinations of the financial markets, I know what works for me and my household." For Edgar, that translates to Pinterest, Slack, Uber, and Campbell Soup Company—all companies either she or someone she knows uses regularly.
Kathy Osborne, founder of Kamel PR, shares a similar experience when she began investing. After becoming a first-time homeowner recently, she became an angel investor for Doorvest, an online platform for consumers to get access to income-producing real estate properties. "The real estate industry is not set up for the average person. It was so hard to purchase our first home and it opened my eyes to the friction in the space. Real estate is a long-term investment strategy and it should be available to everyone," Osborne said. "I found Doorvest to be that exact company. Personally, investing in companies and industries where I experience first-hand challenges is where I believe in the value of investing."
Consider World Events
The news cycle and social media are two key places to start when thinking about companies to invest in. Marketing consultant Jen-Ai Notman, who has been on Robinhood investing for the last five years, took the COVID-19 pandemic as a cue to focus on indoor gym equipment, specifically Peloton. "With lockdowns hitting the world in 2020, I knew any at-home work out equipment and software would skyrocket, I got in early and have now quadrupled my investment," she says.
Similarly, food and travel blogger Rosanna Stevens invests in Teledoc, a telemedicine service. "Online medical care has been boosted a lot due to the pandemic and I think a lot of people will still choose this method going forwards as we adjust to a new way of living," she says. For Jenna Guarneri, founder of JMG Public Relations, the increase of pet adoptions during the pandemic inspired her to invest in a well-known pet company. "I purchased shares of PETCO which recently went public and as we all probably experienced during our video meetings, pets have become even more attached to their loved ones because of the pandemic," she said.
Invest Now for the Future
Though world news is a key indicator for companies to invest in, sometime it's worth it to think more long-term, too. Specifically in the environmental and technology space, where companies are creating products and services to improve our daily lives. "We are looking for brands that are better for human health, and better for the environment, too," says Elizabeth Edwards, founder and managing partner of H Venture Partners. "This means that the products are using technologies that are cleaner, generally plant-based, and that the packaging is sustainable."
Kristin Hull, founder and CEO of Nia Impact Capital, feels similarly when it comes to investing. "I invest at the intersection of environmental sustainability and social justice. I see companies that are addressing solutions much needed for people and planet across six solutions themes: spanning renewable energy, health care, eco and affordable transportation, education and financial inclusion," she says. "I seek highly innovative companies with products or services beneficial to women and people of color. I invest only in those companies that include diversity in leadership."
Believe in the Company
When it comes to choosing companies to invest in, sometimes it doesn't come down to current events or personal connections. Sometimes, it's just that you believe in company and the work they're doing. Such is the case for Kristin Baker Spohn, general partner at venture capital firm CRV. "I invest in companies who are leveraging technology to transform the health industry. The founders I partner with have a common thread: their work is personal and they understand that a person is at the core of everything they do, and that their company's purpose is to give that person the power to live their life better," Spohn said. "They know that a patient is more than just a billing code and a provider is more than just a credential."
For Lindsay Droz, co-founder of L'AVANT Collective, supporting other female-founded companies is a top priority. That's why she invests in venture funds that support such businesses. "I bet on females. Females are powerhouses and can get anything done. When females believe in themselves, they do anything to accomplish their goals," she says. "Women are phenomenal multitaskers, they are resourceful, and networked."