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Women connect at M&G Investments finance event

Finance and investment involve far more than just numbers, and no one knows this better than Jenny Rodgers.

A member of the Macro & Multi Asset Investment Team at M&G Investments, Jenny is Co-Fund Manager of the M&G Episode Growth Fund. She joined Prudential Portfolio Managers (now M&G Investments) in 1994, initially analysing European equity markets and acting as a Portfolio Manager for external clients. She has been part of the Macro Investment team since it was established in 1999. Jenny is a Chartered Financial Analyst and has a BA Honours in Economics from Exeter University.

Behaviour and neuroscience in financial decisions

“We ask ourselves things like: do we think Japanese equities are attractive? And we make those investment decisions,” says Jenny referring to her team.

But these decisions aren’t made based solely on numbers. Jenny works in behavioural economics that assesses the emotional make-up of investors. She uses behavioural finance and neuroscience to help understand what’s going on with market pricing.

Jenny says that emotions play a big part in what goes on day-to-day in the financial markets. Forecasting can be tricky because we’re so influenced by behaviour - whether that’s over-confidence, envy, regret or following the herd. To help combat this emotional influence, Jenny’s team uses a checklist approach and indicators to assess value within markets - and they’re working to reduce the investor behaviour gap.

“Our belief is that human behaviour can periodically be the dominant driver of asset pricing. We want to buy things that people are worried about, and not buy things that people are comfortable with,” suggests Jenny.

Change the norm

Jenny addressed an audience of female graduates at a high-powered event at M&G Investments’ London office. During the event, Jenny positively encouraged the young women in attendance to enter into the exciting arena of fund management.

“Investment isn’t like the Wolf of Wall Street or The Big Short,” remarks Jenny. “The majority of fund managers are men and we most certainly need more women to change the status quo.”

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