Australian women are still struggling to overcome barriers to investing, despite more than half saying they are concerned they are not on track to meet their financial goals.
A survey Fidelity International survey found that women have a high aversion to risk, lack confidence in their financial knowledge and feel they do not have enough money to invest.
More than half described investment communications as “complicated”. Others described it as “intimidating” or “tailored for men”. Only 28.3 per cent of female respondents described themselves as confident investors.
Fidelity commissioned CoreData to survey 1222 people (815 were women) who had a minimum of $20,000 of investable assets outside of super.
Managing director at Fidelity International in Australia, Alva Devoy says: “Not enough women are investing in the stock market. They are more risk averse, prefer the perceived safety of cash and feel that the investment industry is not tailored to them.”
The survey found that 46 per cent of women have a high aversion to investment risk compared to 26.8 per cent of men.
This risk aversion led women to invest in a safer asset classes, with over 75 per cent of women considering that property offers equal or greater security than other investments.
One of the largest barriers for women was their lack of disposable income. Over 50 per cent of women did not have leftover funds to invest compared to 35.2 per cent of men.
“A lack of time and confidence, and fears about the risks, are all obstacles that are stopping women form believing in investing is for them,” Devoy says.
The research found that women have different financial priorities compared to men.
“Women tend to focus more on goals rather than financial gain; having enough money to provide for their families, paying off their mortgage and having enough money for the lifestyle they want in retirement all ranked as top priorities,” Devoy says.