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Survey highlights disconnect among married couples

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Married men and women disagree as to who is responsible for financial decisions in the household, according to a new study.

BMO Private Bank, the brand name of BMO Harris Bank N.A., arrives at this conclusion in a survey conducted by Pollara. The research is based on an online poll of 748 married Americans.

When asked questions about financial decision-making, married individuals overvalue their own contribution, undervalue their spouse’s contribution or do both, the report reveals.

“Sixty-nine percent of married men declare themselves as making decisions ‘primarily by themselves’ when it comes to investment decisions, yet only 13 percent of married women claim that their spouse is the primary decision-maker,” says Mary Jo Herseth, national head of banking at BMO Private Bank. “The numbers just don’t add up.”

Conversely, in instances where married women self-identify themselves as the primary decision-maker in respect to investment decisions (38 percent), only 5 percent of married men support their claim.

The study also finds that:

  • Sixty-nine percent of married men see themselves as the primary decision-maker regarding the family’s choice in financial institutions, a claim that’s supported by only 9 percent of married women.
  • Sixty-two percent of married men say they are the primary decision-makers for major purchases, such as new autos and home renovations. Just 9 percent of married women agree.