Girls That Invest: The Hit Podcast Empowering Women With Financial Literacy
Simran Kaur and Sonya Gupthan, hosts of the chart-topping podcast Girls That Invest, were friends for 20 years before they ever talked about money. “It comes down to what we’ve been told growing up. It’s rude to talk about money, it’s not polite. You don’t ask people about religion, politics, money. Those are the forbidden topics,” Kaur says. But, she adds, the reality is that talking about money “makes it seem more accessible”. Finally talking about it with Gupthan revealed how important, illuminating and self-affirming candid conversations about money matters can be.
Girls That Invest was started during the pandemic, at a time of growing fear and anxiety around plummeting stock prices and the decline of the financial markets, which made Kaur aware of a knowledge gap. As she says, “If you have financial literacy, you know it’s not the end of the world. If anything, it’s a good time. When the stock market drops, things get cheaper.”
The gap between those who have the privilege of financial literacy and those who don’t prompted her to consider, “Maybe there needs to be some kind of central resource specifically for women and minorities, because that was an entire group of the population that didn’t have any access.” Kaur studied financial markets through a certificate program at Yale University, and remembers the basics coming easily to her, even if for the first 25 years of her life that knowledge felt like it was totally out of reach.
The problem was that financial advice had been notoriously inaccessible, often poorly packaged in jargony language and seldom geared toward young women like Kaur. And for young women, especially women of colour, who are among the most financially vulnerable and lowest paid in society, this knowledge is a powerful key to financial freedom. Even as it democratises financial literacy, Girls That Invest has also managed to help women unlearn a lot of the information that they’ve been taught to believe, such as ‘I’m not a numbers person’, or ‘investing just isn’t for me’. For women who grew up watching Carrie struggle to be able to buy a house in Sex And The City, for instance, it has been difficult to find representations of women who are good with money. Kaur set out to change that.
“If I could ask for anything in the world, it would be the ability to see young women just believe that they’re naturally good with money,” Kaur says. “Research shows that when women do invest, they’re better investors, and female fund managers outperform male fund managers when it comes to making money for their clients.”
Apart from changing the core beliefs women hold about money, Kaur would like to help women let go of the pervasive fear that “to want to be wealthy [is] taking away from others”. Research shows that “when we do get wealthier, we actually invest back into our communities, our families. We’re still more likely to be charitable, so not only do we improve our lives, but we improve the lives of people around us.”
In November 2021, Girls That Invest was rated the No.1 business podcast in the US, Canada and New Zealand, and it became clear that Kaur and Gupthan succeeded in filling a major gap in the media sphere. Now Kaur’s vision for the future of Girls That Invest has more to do with changing minds, influencing attitudes and shifting social mores than with hard sales figures and projections. The goal is to “[make] it become so normalised to go and have brunch with your girlfriends and talk about money in a way that doesn’t make others uncomfortable”.
5 Books On Money And Investing, Recommended By Simran Kaur
- Financial Feminist: Overcome The Patriarchy’s Bullsh*t To Master Your Money And Build A Life You Love by Tori Dunlap
- Your Money Or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joseph R. Dominguez
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter
- Girls That Invest: Your Guide To Financial Independence Through Shares And Stocks by Simran Kaur
- The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets Of America’s Wealthy by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko
Suzana Vuljevic is a culture writer, editor and translator, whose work has appeared in Artforum, Eurozine and more