Financial concerns drive women to online investing

Women are more concerned about their financial future than men, while the number of women investing online has almost doubled in the last five years.

On International Women's Day, Investment Trends research that shows about 150,000 women are using online investment tools to build their wealth and move towards financial independence. The figure has almost doubled since 2013, when it stood at 76,000.

What's more, the proportion of online female investors using exchange-traded funds has more than tripled in the same timeframe, as a quarter now use ETFs.

Investment Trends' global head of client service and sales Suzie Toohey said the increase in the number of women investing online is testament to wanting a financially secure future.

"The twofold increase in the female online investor population over the last five years shows that more women are building their wealth and moving towards an independently secured financial future," Toohey said.

The findings come as Fidelity International revealed this week that women worry about their financial future more than men.

The global investment manager said 42.2% of women worry about their financial future on a daily or weekly basis, and more than half don't think or know if they are on track to meet their financial goals.

Despite recent progress, Fidelity International managing director Alva Devoy said not enough women are investing in the stock market because of their aversion to risk and lack money to invest.

"Women are still earning less, they take career breaks and there are fewer of them in senior positions which has resulted in a superannuation gap," Devoy said.

"If women's ability to earn and then save during their working lives is less than men's, then it's more important than ever that they have access to the tools to make their money work hard for them.

"They are more risk averse, prefer the perceived safety of cash and feel that the investment industry is not tailored to them."

Fidelity's Financial Power of Women report said less than a third of women describe themselves as very or somewhat confident when it comes to investing; about 20% feel investment communications are tailored to men.

Financial literacy was called out by Investment Trends' Toohey as well, who said it needed to improve among all Australians. However, she said the onus was on the Australian wealth industry to play its part by developing products and services that work for women.

According to Investment Trends, just 22% of people aged over 40 say the feel confident they can fund the lifestyle they seek in retirement. Again, women make up a smaller portion of this cohort.

"It is vital to lift financial literacy levels and retirement preparedness across the country, especially considering the mounting challenges faced by Australians in building their wealth, planning for their retirement and affording a reasonable lifestyle throughout their retirement..

"While more women are investing and taking control of their financial future than ever before, the gap between the independent financial security of men and women remains too large, and the wealth management industry must continually increase its focus on delivering products and services that work for women, and work for them at every stage of their life - young, middle aged or mature; single, partnered or widowed," Toohey said.

Read more: Investment TrendsFidelity InternationalAustraliansSuzie TooheyAlva DevoyDayFinancial Power of WomenInternational Women
Link to something T8TBECer