In spite of recent economic gains, women feel financially anxious and not ready to handle their wealth, according to the new study by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America.
Census Bureau data suggest women will control 60% of the wealth in the United States by 2010, yet 90% of U.S. women say they are somewhat or not at all financially secure. Nearly half worry about becoming a bag lady, according to the new Allianz “Women, Money and Power Study.”
Lack of knowledge is the biggest barrier to women getting more involved in managing household finances-4 times as much as lack of time.
Women who work with a financial advisor feel more responsible, confident and optimistic than those who don’t and are more likely to have financial clarity, security and satisfaction, the study of 1,900 women and 1,300 men by Harris Interactive found.
The study identified 5 distinct personalities reflecting women’s attitudes towards money and investing.
“Cinderellas:” 8% of women hope a man will come along to make everything O.K. and think they don’t know enough to make smart financial decisions.
“Alices in Wonderlands:” 17% are confused by all the financial choices facing them and avoid financial responsibility.
“Wonder Women:” 18% feel capable of handling whatever comes their way and confident and knowledgeable about money and investing. These women are most likely to work with a financial advisor.
“Belles:” 23% like to handle things equally with their partners, are communicative and happy with their marriages where household finances are concerned.
“Goldilocks:” 35% thoroughly research their options before making financial decisions and are confident and knowledgeable about household finances.
The study also found radically different approaches and perceptions between men and women. For instance:
Women view themselves as carrying more responsibilities and are therefore burdened with more worries; men see themselves as more analytical and more open to taking risks.
Lack of savings and too much debt are the major sources of financial conflicts between men and women.
Women are more likely to attribute arguments with their partner about money to issues of power and control, while men are more likely to attribute such problems to trust.
While almost all husbands and wives agree the ideal way for a married couple to meet with a financial advisor is for both of them to meet together, nearly half say they act alone.
Allianz says among the main lessons for financial advisors to take away from its study are that women are taking more control of their and their families’ finances and that financial firms should recruit more female financial advisors.