Harris Tapper - Interview with the co-founders of women's investing and finance platform, The Curve
The Curve is an education platform offering investing and finance information to women globally, founded as a safe space for women to get investment-savvy. We interviewed The Curve co-founders, Victoria Harris (sister of Harris Tapper co-founder Sarah Harris Gould) and Sophie Hallwright, chatting about the beginnings of The Curve, and why an investment platform for women was necessary.
Sophie wears Magda Trouser and Dahlia Bra, Victoria wears Wilem Jacket and Eva Skirt.
So why did you create The Curve?
VH/SH: We created The Curve because there was (and still is!) such a lack of resources available and places for women to go learn about investing. We wanted to create a safe environment for women to learn about investing in a non-scary or intimidating way. For some reason, women have been left behind when it comes to discussions around money and building wealth. We want to break down those barriers. Investing and finance should be more widely talked about, so that we can all help each other learn and grow together. The Curve was created by women for women which is also really special.
Do you both come from a finance background? If so, how many years’ experience do you have in the industry and was this always the path you planned to take?
VH: I have worked in the finance industry for over a decade now. I started as an analyst (analysing companies to invest in) and now I am a Portfolio Manager (managing clients’ money). I only really got interested in finance at University due to curiosity. To be honest, I didn't really understand what finance was! Once I started learning and were given some real-life case studies, that's when I got excited and realized this was the path I wanted to take. Now, every day I get to research and discover such a range of interesting investment opportunities. I get to talk to CEO's from some of the largest NZ and Australian companies, travel to conferences around the world, experience the thrill (and stress!) of the share market but mainly, I love helping clients achieve their investing goals.
SH: Unlike Vic, my knowledge and confidence when it comes to investing and finance is pretty fresh. Vic and I have been friends for a long time so I have often tried to absorb her knowledge through organic conversations, but to be honest I always felt inadequate and incapable of ever truly understanding. There is so much to learn and as Vic often reminds me, you can't be an expert overnight. Committing to this work is work - as cliche as it sounds, if it were easy everyone would be doing it. That is why The Curve was created, to strip away the barriers and make it as easy as possible for womxn to learn. My background is in content creation, I have worked in radio, TV and the online space creating video, podcast and photography content. My role with The Curve is content creation - finding ways to communicate Vic's brilliant knowledge in a friendly, digestible and interesting way.
Vic, you speak of being, more often than not, the only female in the room. How did you handle this and what were some challenges you had to overcome?
VH: The finance industry definitely still has that 'boy's club' mentality which can be off-putting to a lot of women as a career choice. But the more women that are interested in finance and that become a part of the industry, the sooner that mentality can be squashed. Like you said, there have definitely been multiple occasions when I have been the only woman in meetings or the only woman in my team. Even though I am so used to it now, when I was younger I found it super intimidating. Now I use it to my advantage.
Can you suggest your top three pieces of literature, podcasts or other content that you would encourage women interested in investing to read or listen to?
VH: Every few months we post 'reading lists' on our Instagram @the_curvenz for anyone wanting to power through multiple books. These were all books I read when I started my investing journey and are pretty easy reading. The latest list includes 1) One Up on Wall Street by Peter Lynch 2) The little book of common sense investing by John Bogle 3) Warren Buffett invests like a girl by Louann Loufton
Victoria wears Jude Blazer Ivory and Clement Dress.
Sophie, being rather fresh (like many of us), is there a book/ podcast that has helped you the most?
The first ever book I read about investing was called Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki and Sharon Lechter. I found it a great place to start in terms of understanding investing basics and why changing your mindset is so important.
More generally, what was the last book you both read?
VH: My friends will be able to tell you how much I love reading non-fiction. I really enjoy reading about other people's experience, business ideas, investing (obviously) and I'm definitely guilty of reading the odd self-help book! I just finished ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’ by Daniel Kahneman. It's all about different ways the brain works in terms of how it thinks - and very relatable to investing too!
SH: The Artists Way by Julia Cameraon and I could not recommend it more! It is an incredible tool for anyone wanting to cultivate their creativity and connection with themselves. Elizabeth Gilbert was quoted saying "If it wasn't for The Artists Way there would have been no Eat, Pray Love!" It's an amazing resource that is designed for anyone wanting to dive deeper into their creativity, which is inside all of us whether you realise it or not!
What can we expect to see from The Curve this year?
VH/SH: So much! We are really excited with all the content we have yet to release to our community. Our website has just launched (www.thecurve.co.nz) and we are currently in the process of writing articles, filming videos and creating as much content as possible. We are recording a podcast series called 'Raising The Curve' which will be released this month! It takes listeners on a journey from the very beginning when it comes to investing ideology and terminology. For many womxn the overwhelm of 'where do I start' can be too much, so this podcast winds things back to basics and moves at a pace that doesn't assume prior knowledge.
Victoria wears Sofie Top and Skirt with Tabi Blazer Black, Sophie wears Dree Shirt and Joni Trouser.