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So who is most concerned about their financial futures?
According to a new study by Fidelity Investments, women overwhelmingly want to learn more about financial planning (92%) and get more involved in their finances within the next year (83%). Financial planning customer engagement weighs heavily among females.
The Fidelity Investments Money FIT Women Study revealed that there is a reluctance to talk about financial topics, citing the No. 1 reason as the subject is “too personal.”
Consider that while 77% of women are confident discussing medical issues with a doctor on their own, less than half (47%) say they are confident talking about money and investments with a financial professional.
“Beneath women’s reticence to talk about money lies a lack of confidence in their knowledge of financial planning and investing,” Kathleen Murphy, president of Personal Investing at Fidelity, said in the study. “This confidence-gap is really unwarranted. Studies show that women actually demonstrate stronger saving rates than their male counterparts and have historically enjoyed better long-term investment performance when they do engage. Unfortunately, too many women still hesitate to take control of their investments.”
Overall, 60% of women worry about having enough savings to last throughout retirement, with financial anxiety most prevalent among Gen X and Y women (born between 1965 and 1996). For many women, a lack of confidence is driven by a need for more in-depth understanding and experience with the investment process. Women who are not confident in making financial decisions cite these reasons:
Haven’t done research about my options (37%)
Don’t have much experience because I haven’t done much with my finances to date (36%)
Don’t know who to talk to in order to get the best advice (36%)
Further compounding the challenges holding women back are competing demands for their time both at work and at home.
“Women are much more capable than they often give themselves credit for,” Murphy said. “The same discipline that makes them dedicated savers can also be applied to investing. The key is to take action now to ensure the money they’ve worked so hard to earn is working just as hard for them to achieve their goals and live the lives they deserve.”
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