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‘Wary women’ shun investment brands and products

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There remains a huge disparity between men and women when it comes to stock market investment, with women tending to stick to cash for their savings because investments are ‘too risky’.

Only 21% of women have investments compared to 34% of men, according to a report from Boring Money. The gender investment gap starts early, with 45% of women under 25 having no savings or investments compared to 40% of men of the same age.

Boring Money identified three major barriers for women to invest: confidence, willingness to engage and time. Women said they are more likely to stick to cash because investments are ‘too risky’ (22% of women savers vs 17% of men savers).

When choosing a financial provider, women said they are more likely to seek recommendations from friends and family than men, who are more inclined to do their own research. Nearly twice as many men said they are happy to pick their own investments, while women are more likely to want to seek the help of a financial adviser.

Women favour retail and comparison site brands compared to men who typically favour traditional financial brands. Their top ten favoured brands include Nationwide, MoneySavingExpert, Barclays, HSBC, MoneySuperMarket, John Lewis, Standard Life, Aviva, Tesco and Hargeaves Lansdown. Nationwide also scores highly among men, but their list also includes Aberdeen Asset Management.

Boring Money said the potential for new brands is clear – almost a fifth (18%) of people would consider investing through a non-financial services brand, such as a retailer. Women in particular favour retail brands and comparison sites which suggests they value and trust the clear signposting and guidance offered by these brands when it comes to making decisions and selections.

Holly Mackay, CEO at Boring Money, said, “Our failure to engage women as long-term investors simply exacerbates a key problem we face – women are typically paid less, earn less and are also less likely to engage with the investment products which could deliver better returns for long-term savings. We need to tell people that investing can be for them, regardless of their gender, age or net monthly wage, or attempts to deliver equality in later life will fall short. This is a bigger issue than simply looking at the pay gap.”

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