10 June 2020
'A lot of private investors started investing last year and benefited from the recovery that followed the stock market decline in March last year. Questions quickly arise such as: 'Shouldn't I sell?', 'Can I still start investing now?' and 'Isn't the stock market too high?' These aren't crazy questions to ask, but my advice would be: Don't let emotions determine your investment policy or the moment you start investing, but the end result you want to achieve instead.'
For several years now, Judith has been responsible for communicating ABN AMRO's investment vision and strategy for the Dutch market with a focus on sustainable investing. Previously, she was a Wealth Manager at a small asset management company. 'The field has evolved considerably over the years. While I used to make my own investment decisions within client portfolios, this was being centralised and made heavily model-driven. That made it less fun for me and I started looking for a new position in which I could still use my knowledge and skills. Initially, I got that from organising and leading investment workshops for women.'
'The stereotype of the caring woman still exists. Half of Dutch women are not financially independent. I encourage women to think about this and get them excited about investing*1). Investing isn't complicated. It serves a purpose: rainy day money, a carefree old age or independence. Women are actually better investors. They do not chase every whim in the market; they can make their decisions calmly and consistently while keeping the objective in mind. This requires a different approach to external communication – a different tone of voice. I am committed to this because, although as an investor I entered in a man's world, I know all too well that tension, outperformance and golden opportunities do not appeal to women.'
At ABN AMRO, sustainable investment funds outperformed their non-sustainable equivalents by up to 5% during the coronavirus crisis. 'The better performance is partly due to a sector tilt. In sustainable portfolios, industry, financials, energy and aviation are often underweight and sectors that are doing relatively well, such as technology, are often overweight in their positions. Apart from that, corona has set in motion a number of sustainable trends such as new forms of working, less travel, reducing chain dependencies and local over global. I expect that companies that value sustainability will be able to anticipate this better and therefore stand out for even more positive reasons in the future.
Sustainability and return go hand in hand That is the message I want to convey to ABN AMRO and Mees Pierson clients. You can also make a statement with your investments, make your voice heard and thus contribute to a better world.'
*1) Judith Sanders wrote the book 'Zal ík het anders doen?' together with journalist Saskia Smith. In it, they describe passionately and humorously why women are much better at big financial matters such as saving and investing.