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Women are ‘less confident’ than men about investing

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Women are far less confident than men when it comes to investing, according to a study by BlackRock.

Just 38% of women said they felt comfortable making their own investment decisions compared with 53% of men.

And while 36% of men felt knowledgeable about investing, this figure dropped to 19% for women.

This lack of confidence means women hold more of their savings in cash than men – 73% v 60%.

While just three in 10 women thought investing was for them, when they were shown a graph illustrating how a £1,000 investment in equities would have grown to £1,821 over 10 years, and the same investment in cash would have returned £998, one in seven women said they would want some sort of equity exposure.

BlackRock surveyed 2,000 men and 2,000 women in the UK about a range of personal finance topics.

When it came to retirement, the report found 56% of women and 64% of men had started saving for later life.

However, women wanted less annual income in retirement than men – £21,000 v £25,000.

More than half (61%) of men were confident they would meet their retirement income expectations compared with 41% of women.

Claire Finn, head of DC Investments at BlackRock, said: “While women want less income than men, they’re less confident in achieving it. Making use of every tax advantage available to them, via their workplace or personal pension scheme or an ISA is the first step.”

Women in the survey are contributing just 6%, on average, to their pension, with half contributing 5% or less.

“Ideally this contribution level would be closer to 15-20% to give them the best chance of achieving the retirement they want,” Finn said.

The study also found that women are more concerned with day-to-day financial risks such as the high cost of living, rising interest rates and inflation.

Outside of their mortgage, women have on average £5,000 of debt versus men who have £8,000. More women have a student loan but men are more likely to have a bank loan and are more likely to turn to payday lenders.

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