Research in 2015 from Fidelity found that while 72 per cent of the 567 women polled handle daily money management tasks, including balance their family’s budget, only 28 per cent would make investment decisions on their own and only 37 per cent felt confident that they could plan for retirement financial needs on their own.
Further, while 92 per cent of women report that they want to learn more about financial planning and 75 per cent want to learn more about investing, only 47 per cent said that they would be confident discussing money and investing with a financial professional on their own.
In exploring the reasons behind these findings, we find that the lack of confidence is a leading factor holding women back.
But what happens when women do begin to invest? Research suggests that women actually do better than men. Fidelity’s customer data reveal that women at every income level contribute a higher percentage of their salaries toward retirement plans than their male counterparts. In addition, research continuously finds that women are more risk averse in their investment strategy and as a result often outperformed men.
Perhaps one of the biggest barriers to investing for women is that they find investing information inaccessible, boring and they don’t understand the terminology. This can be overcome.
Getting started in investing is best when done working with advisors. Wealth advisors can help select the right investments for you and make sure that they fit in with your personal objectives. You need to be comfortable with the advisor you choose. Work with someone who is interested in helping you select investments that match your goals. Be wary of the advisor who just pushes the latest company product at you, or the next greatest investment option. Investments must match your risk tolerance and your long-term goals. Ask your advisor to explain why the investment is a good choice and how it works.
Women can and do add value to a family’s investment performance. Investing is one of the last frontiers that women have yet to fully embrace and tackle, and it is high time they did.