Women investors are more likely to consult a professional advisor than friends and family for financial information, according to a new study by the Spectrem Group of wealthy women investors.
Almost half (46 percent) of those with a net worth between $100,000 and $1 million (not including primary residence) rely primarily on a financial advisor for their information. This reliance increases with wealth levels, with 64 percent of women Millionaire investors and 82 percent of Ultra High Net Worth investors ($5 million and up) seeking out financial information from a professional advisor.
Women across wealth levels are more concerned than men about a prolonged economic downturn and increased taxes, according to the Spectrem Group study. They are also more likely than men to rate themselves as less or not at all knowledgeable about financial products or investing. Women are also more likely than men to feel they need financial advice to meet their financial goals. This is especially true of UHNW women of whom almost half (46 percent) expressed that they could profit from professional advice vs. 34 percent of men.
This tentative confidence is borne out in several national studies as well. Karen Blumenthal, writing in The Wall Street Journal, cited a recent survey by MassMutual Financial Group of 1,500 participants in its retirement plans that found only 26% of women are confident making their own investment decisions, compared with 44% of men.
On the downside, this has serious implications for women investors, who are likely to live longer, but earn less than men. However, Blumenthal offered, “When they do invest, their humility and caution make them far less likely than men to trade excessively or to take outsize risks, which can benefit them in the long run.”
Beyond professional advisors, women are all about educating themselves. Thirty-percent of women Mass Affluent investors do consult with family and friends, as do 29 percent of Millionaires and nearly a third of UHNW investors.
Women Millionaires and UHNW investors are more likely to get financial information from daily financial press than they are from cable television, but women Mass Affluent investors tend to prefer to watch financial news than read about it.
Millionaire (38 percent) and UHNW investors (36 percent) are also more likely than Mass Affluent investors (24 percent) to seek financial information on the Internet from websites other than their professional provider or advisor.
However and wherever they get their information, women are taking a pro-active role in money management that will help them approach their own investments with more confidence.