Lawyer Alex Lipski decided to dive into the world of investment after realising many of her male colleagues were already doing it - and now an ad campaign prompted by her search for information is hoping to convince other young women to do the same.

The 27-year-old approached the Financial Markets Authority last year when she was looking for New Zealand data around the gender investment gap.

The gap recognises that women do not invest to the same extent as men. Fewer women have investments, they save less for retirement and many park their money in cash, resulting in lower returns.

Lipski says she "hit a brick wall" looking for information on the subject here but her queries to the regulator prompted them to turn around and ask for her help in getting more young women interested in investing.


She suggested they start with KiwiSaver and get women interested by talking to each other about it.

This month the FMA launched a social media campaign aimed at getting more young women to look at their KiwiSaver accounts and consider how much they are paying in fees.

It features three videos of young women talking about how much they are paying in fees and what they plan to do about it.

Simone Robbers, the FMA's acting head of investor capability, said its research showed women aged 18 to 35 were the age group least likely to engage with KiwiSaver and take action.

The campaign coincides with annual KiwiSaver statements being sent out by providers and the first time fees will be reported in dollar figures.

Lipski says the simple reason many young people don't pay attention to KiwiSaver is because retirement is such a long time away.

"When you are 20 or 25 years old - 65 is all too far."

But she believes the reason women don't pay attention is also deeper than that.


She recently read an article by investment bank Merrill Lynch which found women are more comfortable talking about their own death than their finances.

Lipski has noticed her friends don't talk about money.

She says young women might feel a little bit guilty about money.

"They know they are probably over spending but they are not doing anything about it. They are brushing it under the rug."

When it comes to KiwiSaver she says many feel they are doing enough by just being in the scheme.

But she says women have the most to gain by paying attention to their money given they live longer and potentially earn less.

"There are all these reasons why we should be spending all this time and effort and getting more women engaged."

Brooke Roberts, who co-founded investment platform Sharesies, says many have the perception that investing is expensive.

"And then if you get interested you start getting jargoned out."

One of the reasons Roberts set up Sharesies was to enable people to get into investment for as little as $5. The platform is one year old this week and has $15 million invested across it.

She said women faced the challenge that the finance industry has been traditionally male dominated and the majority of financial advisers are male.

Sharesies founders (from left) Ben Crotty, Sonya Williams, Richard Clark, Brooke Roberts, Leighton Roberts, Natalie Bryant and Martyn Smith. Picture / Supplied
Sharesies founders (from left) Ben Crotty, Sonya Williams, Richard Clark, Brooke Roberts, Leighton Roberts, Natalie Bryant and Martyn Smith. Picture / Supplied

"If you Google search images of investors you only get photos of men," she says.

But she says research shows women make good investors, taking a longer-term diversified approach.

Roberts believes the key for women is to learn by doing.