One-third of women depend on advice when making investing decisions, compared to only 15 percent of men.

Fewer than 7 in 10 women feel confident when investing versus more than 8 in 10 of men, new research shows.

Online investing service BMO InvestorLine unveils this finding in a survey of 1,308 adult Canadians conducted by Pollara Strategic Insights, a Canadian public opinion and market research firm. The study examines the confidence levels and investing styles and priorities of Canadian women and men.

The report shows that 68 percent of women feel confident when investing, versus 83 percent of men. Almost 60 percent of Canadians also believe that society supports men over women with respect to investing.

When Canadians were asked why women might lack confidence when investing, the study found that:

  • 83 percent believe that investing has traditionally been viewed as a role for men.
  • 58 percent report that society is not as supportive of women investing as they are of men.
  • 48 percent contend that women are intimidated by investing.

“History and society have not viewed men and women equally with respect to investing,” says BMO InvestorLine President Julie Barker-Merz. “However the times are changing; women currently control one third of all wealth in North America and this is increasing by eight percent annually.

“We need to adjust our thinking accordingly,” she adds. “Women are taking a larger role with the management of their own finances and we must work to understand and support the different approach that they take to investing and adjust to meet their needs.”

The study also finds that one-third of women depend on advice when making investing decisions, compared to only 15 percent of men. Additionally, women are more likely than men to seek education and guidance to learn the options available to them before committing to an investment decision.

When asked what concerns them most when investing, the study reveals that women focus primarily on putting their money into safe investments (60 percent vs. 44 percent of men) and avoiding big losses (51 percent vs. 42 percent of men). Men, in contrast, focus on building and accumulating their wealth (35 percent vs. 26 percent of women).