Women Are More Confident About Finances Than You May Think
Last week I attended the launch party for the forthcoming white paper, the Financial Lives of Girls and Women. The study was prepared by Barbara Stewart, a chartered financial analyst specializing in financial counseling and portfolio management at Cumberland Private Wealth Management Inc.
The impetus for the study was Barbara’s observation that despite media coverage that women lacked confidence in making financial decisions and felt disempowered by the financial advice they received, her own experience in her day-to-day dealings with her female clients was quite different. As a result, she wanted to challenge some of the definitions usually given to “confidence” and research whether what women said about their finances was different than what they actually did about their finances.
To do this, Barbara commissioned global survey firm Angus Reid to poll 1,000 women across Canada to measure the differences between what women say regarding their finances and their actual behaviour. She also conducted focus groups and one-on-one interviews to obtain anecdotal input.
The findings of the study include the following:
- Women aren’t afraid of making financial decisions - 63% reported being confident in financial or investment matters;
- Women aren’t all that interested in financial news – 53% surveyed didn’t consume financial news even once a quarter;
- When women do seek financial news, they turn to the printed word – 48% reported getting it from the newspaper (almost one-third more than from television); and
- Women assume most of the responsibility for family finances – 52% indicated that they were responsible for day-to-day banking, while only 8% indicated their partner was responsible.
Despite the fact that the women surveyed tended to be confident in dealing with finances, they didn’t always act like it. The study also found that women often use self-deprecating language when describing their ability to manage their finances – even though lack of ability apparently isn’t an issue.