“A huge part of self love is creating a good future for yourself financially” says business owner and Female Invest member Nuna Kamhawi. As she reflects on her own journey into investing as a 28-year-old business owner, she advocates that “by investing, you're literally giving yourself that love. I care about myself and my future, and investing allows me to nurture that.” It’s inevitable that the older we become, the more we seek to take control and form healthier habits. Our finances form a crucial piece of that puzzle, because the pursuit of money isn’t about wealth – it’s about freedom of opportunity. It’s about choice.
Planting the seed
London-born Nuna, who graduated from King’s College London with a masters in nutrition in 2020, started investing in May 2021. “I was starting my businesses and my boyfriend at the time actually made me more aware of investing. And at first, I just asked him to do it.” But speaking of her regrets, she added: “I wish I hadn’t done that, because it turns out he didn't actually know what he was doing.” This was Nuna’s turning point. She realised the importance of building her own financial knowledge, and that growing her money would only be achieved through her actions alone. That’s the thing – nobody cares more about your money than you do.
Learning the ropes
Fast-forward to a year later in May 2022, and determined to expand her knowledge around investing in stocks and shares, Nuna joined the Female Invest community. It was there that she consolidated her own knowledge around personal finance and began to delve deeper into mechanics of investing for herself. “I just wanted to get my foot in. I didn’t want to become a professional investor. I just wanted to feel I can manage this on my own, on the side of my business.”
Frustrated by the investment jargon and dull explanations, Nuna recalls falling asleep at the podcasts her then-boyfriend would send, and how she wasn’t anymore confident after 45 minutes of alienating spiel. Instead, she was met with an overwhelming sense of loss and confusion. “There's no way I can teach myself about this stuff” she thought, which is why she was desperate to find something that quenched her desire for bite-sized knowledge she can easily digest little by little. “That’s what Female Invest does so well. They make it more interesting, less challenging and more relatable. it just makes you feel like there's a place for you in this” Nuna said.
The feeling of overwhelm resonates with many women who increasingly feel excluded from the investing world. Complex jargon and heavy acronyms risks bombarding people, particularly women, who don’t speak the same language. It’s no surprise, therefore, that only 26% of women describe themselves as ‘investors’, compared to 37% of men. Meanwhile, a 2021 study by the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center found that one third of the financial knowledge gap between men and women actually came from a lack of confidence, rather than a real knowledge gap. Inclusivity matters. Building women’s confidence is vital.
The confidence competence loop
Female Invest was born to address the confidence gap. “We were frustrated by the lack of necessary resources for women” says Co-Founder of Female Invest, Anna-Sophie Hartvigsen. “We understood first-hand the importance of building women’s confidence and have made it our mission to make investing more inclusive, transparent and fun for women and non-binary people across the world.” A learning platform that puts women at the forefront, Female Invest is committed to creating an empowered community where women learn, trade and grow, all in one space.
“ I work completely on my own schedule. That’s huge. That's worth it for me.”
As part of the community herself, Nuna says: “it’s amazing to have a platform that's trustworthy” adding that “for me, it’s been extremely beneficial for investing to be broken down and simplified, rather than feeling like I'm constantly having to challenge myself. What’s great about Female Invest is that it gives you that competence to then feel confident about the whole financial world. Then you feel confident that you do have a place in this space.” Action is born out of the belief we can do something. Once we get this cycle going, it propels us forward to achieve our long-term objectives.
So how can facilitating a confidence competence loop around investing impact society as a whole? Well BNY Mellon estimated that if women invested at the same rate as men, there would be at least an extra $3.2 trillion of assets under management from private individuals today – that’s more than the UK’s entire GDP. Not only does empowering women financially give greater security, independence and choice for women as individuals, but it also improves the welfare of the families, communities, and countries they find themselves in. The ripple effect is endless.
Life since joining Female Invest
Building financial knowledge is a crucial step for any women who wants to establish freedom and choice in their lives. For Nuna, a big driving force was her businesses: “It's so comforting knowing that on top of the hard work that I’m doing, if anything does go wrong, or my businesses aren't as successful as I want them to be, then at least I’m making a passive income in the background that will secure my future.” So, yeah, it just feels good to be putting money towards something productive.”
Because the reality is, money is a key pain point for everyone. Yet US based research shows that it’s women who worry the most. Establishing a healthy and freeing relationship with money is always a work in progress, but Nuna is convinced that “by learning the basics and having financial freedom, it’s reduced the amount of stress and anxiety I have day-to-day. I think one of the really important things to get rid of in life is stress.” As a freelance nutritionist with an insatiable desire for travel, “I've been able to fly out to Bali and live here. I work completely on my own schedule. That’s huge. That's worth it for me.”
Now as a long-term investor, Nuna rests assured her money isn’t going stale in a bank account, but growing in the stock market. Economic turbulence and stock market drops might be making the headlines, but people can find solace that the stock market has increased on average 7 and 10% every year. That includes years such as the 2008 financial crisis and the dot-com bubble of the 1990s.
Nuna learnt this for herself, equipping herself with the tools to dive into the stock market with confidence and ease. “It really isn’t as daunting as it’s designed to make us feel. I’ve learnt about powerful strategies such as dollar-cost averaging with Female Invest – something I believe every investor should apply to their investments in order to shield themselves against volatility. It's something I wish I knew earlier.”
Investing is for everyone
Reflecting on her own experience of investing, Nuna recommends everyone to learn for themselves and start investing some money: “I really think it's so important. Not just because of the money that could potentially be made, but also because it's such a nice mindset to be in – to be looking after yourself and your future.”
That’s because financial education stretches beyond financial literacy alone. It’s a source of freedom and independence, to make choices and decisions on your own terms. “Educating yourself on investing is part of that empowerment loop” Nuna says. “We all deserve money.”