The Power of Female Investors

December 13, 2017

Women control $11 trillion of assets and 40% of all investable assets. 4 out of 10 women are primary income earners, up from 2 out of 10 thirty years ago. Women control more wealth now than ever, which means it is critical for investment management, wealth management, and financial planning professionals to understand their needs.


Heather Lord, Director of Strategy and Innovation at American Funds, revealed in a November 3rd podcast several fundamental differences between women and men when it comes to investments. There is the numbers side - Women are more averse to risk and are drawn to portfolios that may change the asset allocation from equities to fixed income over time. They prefer funds with strong track records of controlling downside risks during periods of falling markets.


However, there is a striking difference between the sexes which has the ability to fundamentally change our economy and the kind of companies that receives investments. Female investors have higher expectations for the companies they choose to invest in - for them, it is important that companies provide societal and economic benefits not just to their families, but to their community and country. They see wealth as providing them independence and security and like any investor, they want to achieve investment management results the exceed the market, but they also want their investments to deliver social goods:


  • When it comes to their investments, 73% of women vs. 50% of men expect companies to populate senior executive and board positions with women

  • 85% of women vs. 70% of men expect companies to prioritize their employees’ and customers’ social and health wellness.

  • 75% of women vs. 58% of men expect companies to support disadvantaged communities. 


Between women, there are some generational differences:


  • Millennials are the most confident in investing and financial decisions and perhaps relatedly, are also the most educated in history. 60% of college graduates are women. Promisingly, 60% of millennials are saving for retirement before the age of 25.

  • 66% of Gen Xers are anxious about their financial future and want investments that can catch them up to their desired level of wealth.

  • Boomers are more experienced and confident about their futures, with 60% expecting to feel satisfied on their 100th day of retirement, compared to 40% of millennials and Gen Xers.


Among all generations, women feel most confident in their consuming power, some when it comes to investments, and the least amount of power when it comes to determined their wages in the workplace. Just 45% of women feel they have power over their own wages.


Women control 70-80% of consumer purchasing decisions. However, 81% of all women have experienced negative stereotypes of their investing acumen, including a surprising 89% of millennial women. These stereotypes include the harmful belief that women have little knowledge or insight when it comes to investments and/or are confused by numbers and math. This, despite the fact that 67% of undergraduate degrees last year went to women.


Women’s primary focus is saving for retirement. Millennial women are in the most family focused generation - they want to focus on building a nest egg, desiring to save enough money to pay for children to go to college and pay for their aging parents. Female boomers want to preserve their existing nest egg and emphasize investments with downward resilience.


75% of millennials do not have financial advisor. Of the 25% who do, 72% feel misunderstood by their financial advisor. This means that only 7% of millennials have a financial advisor who feels like they understand them.

It is important to have a financial advisor who not only provide beneficial financial advice but who also believes in your ability to understand financial matters. At TABER Asset Management, we work with a number of clients of all ages, gender, and backgrounds to help them create wealth and grow their assets in a way that respects our clients’ individual goals and preferences. Please email us at invest@taberasset.com or call us at 515-557-1860 to build your financial future with us, today.

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