Almost 70% of married men say they make financial decisions primarily by themselves, but their wives might have a different story, according to a survey released Thursday by BMO Private Bank. When asked if their spouse was the primary financial decision maker in their household, only 13% of married women agreed.
A similar gap appeared when the questions were reversed. Although fewer women identified themselves as the primary decision maker (38% versus 69% of men), only 5% of men said their spouse was calling the shots on financial decisions. Forty-six percent of women said they share financial decision making equally with their spouse.
BMO Private Bank polled 748 investors at the end of April. Although all identified themselves as married, they weren’t necessarily married to each other.
The survey found men and women also disagreed over who was in charge when it came to which financial institutions to use or big purchases like new cars or renovations to a house. Almost 70% of men said they were the primary decision maker on which financial institution to use; just 9% of women said their spouse made that call. The same percentage of women said their spouse made the final call on big purchases, although 62% of men said they were the primary decision maker.
With such dramatic differences in the way investors perceive financial responsibility, the importance of communication is obvious. “Men and women have unique financial needs, and finding the right advisor who can listen to those respective needs and respond with clarity while delivering value can make all the difference in the world,” Mary Jo Herseth, national head of banking for BMO Private Bank, said in a statement.