Many women are now the main earners in the household, and this, combined with the fact that women tend to live longer, means that they will often have larger estates than men to pass on to the next generation. As such, professional financial advice could be hugely beneficial in helping women to grow their wealth. So why is it still the case that fewer women seek financial advice?
The impact of the pandemic on women’s finances
According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies, by May 2020, mothers were 1.5 times more likely than fathers to have either lost their job or quit since March 2020; they were also more likely to have been furloughed. In addition, the Fawcett Society found that 35% of working mothers had lost work or hours due to a lack of childcare support during the pandemic.
By 31 January 2021, 2.32 million jobs held by women were on furlough on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, amounting to 15% of eligible jobs. This is likely due to women being around a third more likely to work in a sector that was shut down by coronavirus restrictions than men.
But even when you take the pandemic out of the equation, many women face other significant financial challenges on a daily basis; the gender pay gap, the gender pension gap, and the unwarranted belief that investing in the stock market ‘isn’t for them’.
Faced with all these challenges, you may think women would be more likely to seek professional finance advice, but we know this is not always the case. A recent report by Fidelity helps to shed some light.
Unlocking the power of advice: key findings from Fidelity
Key findings from Fidelity’s “Unlocking the power of advice” report show that 21% of men aged 18-34 have sought a financial adviser, compared to just 12% of women of the same age. This is despite 59% of young women in that age range stating that they worry about money at least once a week.
Nearly a third (30%) of the women surveyed said that money worries had affected their mental health negatively, while 23% reported feeling anxious when faced with the choices of how to take their pension; for example, whether to opt for an annuity, take it all as a lump sum or leave it invested and draw an income from it. Alarmingly, one in ten women stated that they worry about money every day.
In its report, Fidelity stated that “the feedback from those that have sought out financial advice was overwhelmingly positive, but women tended to reach out to a professional adviser later in life.”
So why does this gap start to happen at a young age?
Research indicates that young women are more likely to think that they don’t have enough wealth to seek financial advice than young men. There seems to be a belief amongst women that advice is ‘not for me’ stemming from a lack of knowledge of what it can offer them – close to a quarter (23%) of women agreed that this was the primary reason. So, there is a clear need to look at how advice is spoken about.
According to the survey, a third of women said that they would feel more comfortable making a decision if they talked to an adviser. Using a trusted financial adviser can help you to make informed choices about building and protecting your assets, make the most of your investments and secure the long-term future of you and your family. Fidelity found that when women did seek advice, they came away happy with the service, with 72% reporting they would recommend professional financial advice to a loved one.
The value of professional advice
Whatever your circumstances or situation, it’s always a good idea to seek professional, independent financial advice to make wise and informed decisions about building and protecting your assets, make the most of your investments and secure the long-term future of you and your family.
At George Square Financial Management, our experienced advisers work with a diverse range of clients; this includes a growing number of female clients and multiple generations within the same family. We invest our time in getting to know you, listening, and learning until we fully understand your priorities, needs and aspirations in both the short and long-term.