Barbie, Beyoncé, The Swifties, And The Rise Of The SHEconomy

Barbie, Beyoncé, The Swifties, And The Rise Of The SHEconomy
Stéphane Renevier, CFA

7 months ago5 mins

  • Beyoncé's inflationary effects, the Swifties’ influence on Ticketmaster, and Barbie's record-breaking box-office sales aren't just pop culture buzz: they're signals of the global rise of the SHEconomy. It’s reshaping industries and could have a big impact on your investment portfolio.

  • Four major factors are fueling the trend: women's increased financial power, rapid business adaptation, the rise of women-led businesses, and women's growing influence in the investing world.

  • To benefit from the rise of the female dollar, consider investing in women-focused enterprises, support women-led companies, target businesses with responsible policies, and champion women's financial empowerment.

Beyoncé's inflationary effects, the Swifties’ influence on Ticketmaster, and Barbie's record-breaking box-office sales aren't just pop culture buzz: they're signals of the global rise of the SHEconomy. It’s reshaping industries and could have a big impact on your investment portfolio.

Four major factors are fueling the trend: women's increased financial power, rapid business adaptation, the rise of women-led businesses, and women's growing influence in the investing world.

To benefit from the rise of the female dollar, consider investing in women-focused enterprises, support women-led companies, target businesses with responsible policies, and champion women's financial empowerment.

Mentioned in story

This summer said it all: Beyoncé's been sparking inflation, Taylor Swift's superfans have been crashing Ticketmaster, and Barbie's been smashing records. This is more than just some pop culture phenomenon: it’s a sign of the rise of the SHEconomy. It’s echoing across all industries around the world and could have a big impact on your portfolio.

What’s happening?

Women are flexing a lot more financial muscle.

Across much of the world, women are the central financial players at home, making 85% of the day-to-day spending decisions and 80% of healthcare choices. And with educated, career-focused women flexing increasing purchasing power and spending hard, they're making a massive difference in an increasingly wide number of sectors.

And we’re not talking small numbers: in the US alone, women are currently in control of over $10 trillion in assets. And with record workforce participation, education levels that surpass men’s, and improving salaries, this number is predicted to triple in the next decade. By 2028, women will hold the purse strings for 75% of discretionary spending and command 66% of consumer wealth. It's more than a trend, it's a financial revolution: the rise of the SHEconomy.

Businesses are finally getting the memo.

Businesses are finally taking note of how women approach finances and money management. That means action: keeping them top of mind when conceiving products and services like mortgages, healthcare, and financial services. And it’s not enough for companies to “pink-wash” their commitment to this crucial demographic. For real success, they’ll need to strive for genuine equity, inclusion, and representation. Companies that will do it best will likely reap big benefits (and will be the ones you’ll want in your portfolio). Those who don’t will be more likely to fail.

Women-led businesses are crushing it.

Despite a persisting disparity between the amount of VC funding that goes to female founders, compared to male ones, women are driving startups to multi-billion-dollar outcomes and changing the face of the successful founder. Just look at Kim Kardashian with her $4 billion Skims line of shapewear in the US, or Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw’s $6 billion Biocon Biologics in India. These are important success stories: they’re creating jobs, setting new trends, and reshaping the business landscape. That momentum is only likely to accelerate.

And women are rocking investing.

When it comes to their portfolios, women do tend to invest differently from men – in a good way. Women are just generally better investors (research proves it), and they tend to be more interested in sustainable and socially responsible investing. This trend has led to the rise of investment funds and products that align with women's values and ethical considerations. And with more and more women taking control over their financial future, this could have serious implications for the investment management industry and financial markets.

What’s the opportunity here?

Investing in women-centric businesses could be a smart money move, with the numbers to back it up. Here are some of the opportunities:

Invest in women-centric businesses: Sure, women-centric brands in fashion, wellness, and beauty – companies like Lululemon Athletica, Estée Lauder, Tiffany & Co., and WW International – are all likely to benefit. And, hey, if you're after that pre-IPO buzz, keep an eye on Skims and Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty, and possibly even decacorn ecommerce behemoth Shein (though, mind the gap on that one: some are questioning its ethical practices).

But according to VC firm Cake Ventures, two less obvious areas may present even better investment opportunities: healthcare and caregiving.

On the healthcare side, forget about hospital wards and think bigger. We're talking digital care, improved diagnostics, and even health wearables. Some of the most interesting opportunities could be in the FemTech industry, with fertility solutions, pregnancy and post-partum care services, period-tracking apps, and other wellness things. And, sure, a lot of these companies are still privately held, but a few are publicly traded and ready to make waves with steady or even increasing demand, like Progyny, TherapeuticsMD, or Natera.

On the caregiving side, solutions for household management, childcare, eldercare, and related products are big business (and getting bigger) in the SHEconomy. There are already companies out there tackling these issues (Bright Horizons Family Solutions and Amedisys are two that spring to mind), and they might just be the investment opportunity you're looking for.

Invest in women in corner offices: Research has shown that companies with diverse leadership, including women at the helm, tend to be more innovative, have better decision-making processes, and often outperform their less diverse counterparts. And you’ve got a growing list of fantastic women-led companies to choose from, including Bumble, Oracle, and Nasdaq, and even Ark Invest. And if you prefer an ETF that does the legwork for you, check out Hypatia Women CEO ETF (ticker: WCEO; expense ratio: 0.85%), which invests more than 80% of its assets in US companies led by female CEOs.

Tap into gender-based ETFs: For a simpler, more diversified investing approach, consider ETFs like SPDR SSGA Gender Diversity Index ETF (SHE; 0.2%) and Impact Shares YWCA Women’s Empowerment ETF (WOMN; 0.75%) provide exposure to global companies with policies and practices that support women’s empowerment and gender equality.

Double-check companies’ commitment: Make sure to scope out how companies incorporate women into their game plan before you part with your cash. If a company's missing this demographic, they may be missing a whole lot more...

Support women's financial empowerment: According to Ellevest, women are now three times as likely to see financial wellness as critical – in fact, only mental wellness was voted as more important. And they're not just talking about it – they're taking action, with more women learning the finance ropes and bossing their budgets and investment portfolios. If you're a woman, there's never been a better time to be empowered and seize control of your finances. My colleague Michelle, one of Finimize’s female financial whizzes, highly recommends our very own Finimize female investing club, as well as the AJ Bell Money Matters podcast.

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Disclaimer: These articles are provided for information purposes only. Occasionally, an opinion about whether to buy or sell a specific investment may be provided. The content is not intended to be a personal recommendation to buy or sell any financial instrument or product, or to adopt any investment strategy as it is not provided based on an assessment of your investing knowledge and experience, your financial situation or your investment objectives. The value of your investments, and the income derived from them, may go down as well as up. You may not get back all the money that you invest. The investments referred to in this article may not be suitable for all investors, and if in doubt, an investor should seek advice from a qualified investment advisor.

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