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Industry Spotlight > Women in Wealth

Women view threats to financial maintenance more seriously

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Financial conservatism and wariness toward risk-taking is higher among women worldwide than it is among men.

So reports Blackrock in a new Global Investor Pulse Survey. The research polled more than 17,500 respondents in 12 nations, including almost 9,000 women globally.

The report reveals that 55 percent of women globally (compared with 47 percent of men) agree that “I am not willing to take any risks with my money.” And just 22 percent of women globally (compared with 34 percent of men) say they are willing to take on higher risks to achieve higher rewards.

Only 21 percent of women worldwide say they are comfortable investing in the stock market (compared with 33 percent of men).

The BlackRock poll shows that women view threats to household financial maintenance and sustainability more seriously than men do.

When asked to pick top threats to their financial futures, women are more inclined than men to name job security (31 percent vs. 25 percent) and having to spend more than they earned (35 percent vs. 27 percent).

Consistent with such concerns, women are more likely than men to cite the following as priorities:

  • Paying off the mortgage on their main home – 30 percent of women vs. 26 percent of men;
  • Paying off other debts – 49 percent vs. 42 percent;
  • Aaving a deposit for a new home – 15 percent vs. 11 percent; and
  • Financing their children’s education – 21 percent vs. 18 percent.

“Globally, women’s financial worldview is differentiated by not only specific priorities and concerns, but also generally lower financial confidence levels,” says Anne Ackerly, Blackrock’s chief marketing officer and co-chair of Blackrock’s Women’s Initiative. Only 15 percent of women globally (compared with 20 percent of men) say they feel “completely confident” about making the right savings and investment decisions.

Women are also less confident than men about their ability to achieve key financial priorities, including:

  • Growing their wealth – 66 percent of men vs. 55 percent of women are confident;
  • Preserving their wealth – 71 percent vs. 62 percent;
  • Drawing an income from their savings/investments – 69 percent vs. 60 percent;
  • Funding a comfortable retirement – 65 percent vs. 52 percent; and
  • Paying for long-term care for themselves and/or their partner – 59 percent vs. 43 percent.

In the U.S., women lag behind men in knowledge and use of some basic financial principles and products.

Compared with American men, American women are less knowledgeable and express less interest in saving and investing. Only 41 percent of U.S. women identify themselves as knowledgeable about saving and investing, compared with 57 percent of U.S. men.


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