Englishwomen from the middling sort on up had the skills and knowledge to invest in the new financial instruments made available by the Financial Revolution. Women became public investors because this allowed them to maintain themselves and retain their gentility. Public investments offered a good rate of return, relative security and reliability, and easy liquidity. Women benefited from financial dealings with impersonal companies rather than relying on family and friends. The role of women as financial advisors for their families is a major finding of this book. And it is surprising how much femes coverts participated in investing in the early years of the stock market. Women were active managers of their stock portfolios, they were diversified, and they did not always eschew risk. Women investors, especially in the aggregate, were functionally “financial patriots.” The capital of British women helped make London the capital of the world.
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