Close Close
ThinkAdvisor
Happy young woman with laptop

Industry Spotlight > Women in Wealth

Women Have Narrowed Financial Confidence Gap With Men Since 2020: Study

X
Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

What You Need to Know

  • Gaps are shrinking in areas such as financial engagement, focus on retirement and general financial strength.
  • Both Generation Z and millennial women and men were the most confident of the generations surveyed.
  • Women of all ages are more confident in their ability to manage their finances,

The world has changed in many ways since the onset of the pandemic, including the way in which women manage their money, U.S. Bank reported Tuesday.

In a March 2020 study, U.S. Bank found that women were less confident and less engaged with managing money than men, generally started investing later than men and tended to associate negative emotions with financial planning. 

The most recent survey shows that many of these gaps are shrinking in areas such as financial engagement, focus on retirement and general financial strength among women and men from different generations. 

The report says these differences are reason for great optimism that a new generation of female investors is redefining women and wealth. 

“The most positive insight from this second Women & Wealth survey is the progress younger women have made in engaging with and managing their finances,” Gunjan Kedia, vice chair of wealth management and investment services at U.S. Bank, said in a statement. 

The new survey was conducted online in September among 1,517 women and 1,507 men with at least $25,000 in investable assets.

Positivity Increases

The new survey found that women are more positive about managing their finances now. Consider the shifts in how they associate positive and negative words with financial planning:

  • Pride: 35% in 2020 vs. 37% in 2022.
  • Excitement: 29% vs. 34%.
  • Happiness: 28% vs. 31%.
  • Anxiety: 33% vs. 27%.
  • Inadequacy: 13% vs. 11%.
  • Fear: 12% vs. 8%.
  • Dread: 9% vs. 8%.

Both women and men are more confident now in their ability to fund future financial needs, according to the survey results. In 2022, 36% of women and 37% of men felt they were sufficiently prepared to cover their future financial needs, up from 23% and 34% in the 2020 survey. 

Both Generation Z and millennial women and men were the most confident of any generation in the sample. 

In 2020, 48% of women and 61% of men said they were confident that they would be able to retire when they were ready, according to U.S. Bank. In the 2022 survey, that 13-point gap had shrunk to 5 points, with 57% of women now confident about retirement

New Generation

Women of all ages are more confident in their ability to manage their finances, according to the new data. In 2020, 56% of women under 35, 50% of women 35 to 54 and 41% of women 55 and older said they were confident in their ability to manage their finances. Those numbers went up across all generations surveyed in 2022. 

Seventy-one percent of Gen Z and millennial women, 53% of Gen X women and 46% of boomer women expressed confidence. But men are more confident overall than women in their ability to manage their finances, the study found. 

U.S. Bank said the new research points to a new generation of female investors — those who have more money saved than any other generation of women, are overwhelmingly in charge of many financial decisions and associate financial planning with feelings of confidence, competitiveness and joy. 

Both Gen Z/millennial women and men are more confident in their ability to manage their finances and in their ability to retire when they are ready than older generations. They were also far more likely than other generations to invest the money they saved during the pandemic. 

Financial Literacy

The survey also found that Gen Z/millennial women and men are likely to use online courses, podcasts and social media to improve their financial literacy. 

Forty-seven percent of women and 54% of men among this generation said they have made an investment based on something they saw on social media, 48% of women and 60% of men have made an investment based on information from an online influencer and 57% of women and 66% of men have invested via a trading app. 

The research also showed that “digitally savvy” men and women — those who use personal finance or trading apps — of all generations are significantly more confident than non-digitally savvy investors that they will be able to afford to retire when they are ready. 

This group was also very likely to talk about money with their friends: 77% of digitally engaged men and 71% of women said they do this, some a few times a week. 

In addition, the majority of Gen Z and millennial women and men in the survey prioritize working with a financial provider who has a strong workplace equality/diversity rating, supports gender equality in the workplace and supports international human rights — more so than women and men of older generations. 

And 88% of baby boomer women and 81% of their male counterparts highly value a financial advisor who takes the time to listen to them.