How female financial journeys differ from men’s
In March 2021, Time ran an article entitled, ‘Women know more than they think they know about finance’.
There’s a wealth of evidence to support this notion – one that suggests it’s confidence, not knowledge, that prevents women from adequately preparing for their financial futures.
But this isn’t the only blocker. In fact, it could be argued that we need to take a step back and address a much larger problem – the variations that exist between the male and female life and financial journeys. Here’s a quick overview:
The wealth gap between women and men endures: women hold just £14.3bn in investments, compared with £29.3bn held by men
Women continue to earn less than men
Women outlive men, meaning women have to make their wealth last longer. And yet, at 65, a woman's pension is currently one-fifth of a man’s
Women have less access to private capital
Women are more likely to take time off from careers during prime earning years
Insuring Women’s Futures (IWF), a programme established and led by the Chartered Insurance Institute, decided that something had to be done to rectify this. The route it took was to identify what it coined Six Moments that Matter – points in a woman’s life when ‘interventions’ made by individuals, employers and the government could make the greatest difference to the ultimate, long-term outcome.
These six moments are: growing up, studying and requalifying; entering and re-entering the workplace; relationships: making and breaking up; motherhood and becoming a carer; later life, planning and entering retirement; ill health, infirmity and dying.
“The purpose of these interventions,” says Sian Fisher, IWF’s Chair, “is to make sure that women are helped to understand the financial implications of what they are doing.”
It’s also vital to keep front of mind the fact that the majority of advisors in this space are male, while research shows that female investors who work with advisors rely more heavily on them for holistic planning advice than men do4.
Advisors, therefore, need to have a heightened awareness of the stark differences between their own life journeys and those of the women that they are working with.
“Financial Advisors need to be able to picture a life that isn’t an average one,” she says. “At the end of the day, assuming that the male and female journeys are exactly the same, and that men and women are looking for exactly the same things from financial services, is mistake 101.”