Photo/IllutrationAn investment seminar targeting women is held at the Tokyo Stock Exchange in Chuo Ward on July 7. (Ayumi Shintaku)

  • Photo/Illustraion

Securities companies are increasingly holding investment seminars for the people more likely to have higher savings and control over the family’s purse strings: women.

Although men have long dominated the investment field, women are showing a rising interest in increasing their money amid times of ultra-low interest rates and concerns about pensions.

At the start of July, an investment seminar for women was held at the Tokyo Stock Exchange in the Kabutocho district of the capital.

“Let’s invest money based on knowing the necessary expenses in your life, such as marriage, children’s education or home purchases,” a female employee of Matsui Securities Co., a leading online securities company, told an attentive audience.

A 27-year-old office worker said she decided to attend the seminar because she wanted to start investing for her future, but no women around her were doing so.

The seminar provided explanations about Nippon Individual Savings Account (NISA), a new type of tax-exemption program for small investments, and the individual-type Defined-Contribution pension program (iDeCo), in which subscribers pay a fixed amount of monthly premiums and receive benefits that will differ according to the investment results.

Securities companies set up booths at the seminar and introduced financial products and investment apps.

One of the companies that hosted the seminar was the operator of a website called “Community for women who don’t know about finance, Kinyu Joshi (Finance Women).”

Mariko Suzuki, president of the company, which introduces investment information for women, opened the business in 2016 after working at a travel agency and a start-up.

“I was also a woman who didn’t know about finance,” she said. “I believed that with my experience, I could represent the voices of women.”

Leading Internet brokerage Rakuten Securities Inc. started to hold seminars targeting women in February to attract new customers.

Seventy percent of account holders at Rakuten Securities are men. However, women now hold 40 percent of the NISA accounts.

“The average longevity of women is longer than men, and their life options are diversified,” said Naoko Shinoda, an analyst at Rakuten Securities. “So, many women feel the necessity for preparing money for their futures.”