News from Australia.
I have a special interest in Australia as my daughter lives there, so I was intrigued by this survey from Stockspot and the magazine Women’s Agenda. Here is some of what the survey of 800 women found.
First, women in Australia, wield a huge amount of power when it comes to household finances, with four in five saying they’re responsible for the purchasing decisions at home. Yet a number of barriers continue to hold women back from investing, widening the ‘investment gender gap’.
More than half of Australian women say a lack of trust in banks and financial advisers stops them from seeking out investment advice.
In the survey, women said that just over half (53 percent) of them have never seen a financial or investment adviser, while a majority (57 percent) cited a lack of trust in the guidance they offer.
Two-thirds (66 percent) of all women said revelations from the royal commission had affected their trust in the sector – with the respondents being more likely to trust their own online research above anyone else when they seek advice.
The survey saw 57 percent of women list internet research as their most trusted source for advice and innovation, compared with 39 percent who felt most at ease with their investment or financial planner.
Only 37 percent said they would trust a partner and 12 percent would trust a bank, the same proportion as those who trust no one.
Around 57 percent of women have invested in shares at some point.
The report noted that 48 percent of women said they had a lack of money to make it worthwhile, as a reason preventing them from seeing an adviser.
The figures for women seeking advice escalated when considering individuals under the age of 35, with a third reporting having ever seen an adviser, with around half (48 percent) citing a lack of trust in the guidance given by professionals.
“A lack of money” was cited as the number one barrier to investing for 59 percent of all respondents.
Other top reasons included fear of losing money (48 percent), trust issues, lack of confidence (48 percent) and knowledge (56 percent).
The report also found almost half of the women (44 percent) believe they are socially discouraged from investing in stocks.
Around 37 percent of women disagreed they would feel confident investing in shares if they had the money to do so and a further 17 percent strongly disagreed.
Looking at where women place their money, half of the survey respondents said they invest in a high-interest savings account, while 60 percent own their home.
Around 39 percent reported making additional superannuation contributions while 38 percent had invested in shares and 29 percent had placed money into an investment property.
Currently, Australian women are retiring with around half (47 percent) the superannuation of men, indicated by Rice Warner figures. They are also earning less – with the national average for full-time workers is 14.1 percent less than their male counterparts.
Despite this, most respondents in the Stockspot survey did not lack financial ambitions: more than three-quarters stated they have “specific financial goals” they are looking to achieve or have already completed.
Women were also found to be much more confident about investing in property, with 61 percent agreeing with the statement and with 41 percent adding they would opt to pay off a mortgage before investing in the stock market.
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