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By Leslie Greyling*

Leslie Greyling

Although there are still some women who prefer to leave household financial and investment decisions to a partner or spouse, we have seen some change in recent years. Statistically, women are more likely to live longer than their male counterparts, which means they need to understand their finances and equip themselves to plan for, and in later years manage their own retirement.

You never know exactly how your future will turn out, ensure that you are prepared for any contingency and have made enough provision to be financially independent.

Although the remuneration gap between men and women persists worldwide, more and more women are economically active and are taking charge of their own financial affairs.

Women make up a smaller portion of investors than men, yet they hold a considerable amount of the wealth. A report by McKinsey published in June this year shows that in Western Europe, women investors now control roughly a third of total assets under management (AUM), valued at some €4.6 trillion. The report estimates that by 2030, women’s share of investments is expected to reach 45% of AUM and a total of €10 trillion.

This means that although women were previously not encouraged to pursue careers or set up their own investment strategies or learn investing principles, this is not the norm anymore. But there are still many women who are not confident when it comes to long-term investing and on average, they invest approximately 40% less than men.

Inherent to women’s hesitancy to invest is an aversion to risk and a preference for more conservative investing styles. Studies show that women are more fearful of incurring big losses and they are not impulsive when it comes to investment decisions.

Having a financial plan will keep you on course when markets decline and prevent you from making rash moves when markets are on the rise. You will remain on track with the most efficient path towards your financial goals.

Typically, women take more time off work than men due to domestic responsibilities such as taking care of children or assisting elderly parents. This could result in them being overlooked for promotion or they receive lower annual increases, which could in turn affect their ability to save sufficiently for their retirement.

An increasing number of women are independently increasing their wealth and appreciate the benefits of working with a financial advisor that understands their circumstances and realities.

Research done in the UK shows that 70% of women investors prefer working with a female advisor. They can relate to and understand their specific challenges and appreciate their preferences. Women’s view about investing is unique, and they are likely to seek investment options that suit their behavioural finance profile, risk tolerance, and time horizon, which is different to that of men in most cases.

The female population in SA is 50,76%, and women fill 44% of skilled posts including professional and managerial positions. A concerning statistic is that 42% of women are single parents.

This shows how important it is for women to have their own financial plan and goals, which can be implemented with the help and guidance of a financial advisor.

Women must be empowered to take responsibility for their own financial wellness.

This women’s month, why not take charge of your finances by implementing your own investment strategy?

  • Leslie Greyling is a financial advisor at Brenthurst Fourways. 
  • Brenthurst Wealth has 10 female financial advisors across the country. Find the details here: Brenthurst Wealth Advisors