Women investors hold more cash than male investors, allocating on average 37 percent of assets to savings or checking accounts compared with 25 percent for men, according to a study released today by Hearts & Wallets.
“Cash may seem like a safe strategy, but too many assets in cash can backfire over the long term,” said Chris J. Brown, Hearts & Wallets partner and co-founder. “To grow investment savings to sustain an individual over a lifetime, compounding is needed.”
Women also allocate fewer assets to individual stock holdings than men, 8 percent versus 13 percent, and less to mutual funds, 10 percent compared with men’s 15 percent allocation.
When is comes to risk, 62 percent of women said they are “very” or “somewhat” less willing to accept market volatility in hopes of gaining returns on investments as compared with 42 percent of men, according to the Hingham, Mass.-based financial research firm.
Financial advisors can help women avoid risk by investing in hedge-like products that can help protect assets during market down swings, Brown suggests.
According to the study, women also have higher anxiety about their finances and getting ready for retirement, with 33 percent of women expressing either high or moderate anxiety as compared to 25 percent of men.
Yet both sexes need help when it comes to retirement planning. Sixty-six percent of women said that retirement planning is difficult for them, but only 13 percent sought help. For men, 61 percent said it was difficult, but only 12 percent sought help. The challenge, according to Hearts & Wallets, is people don’t know where to go for help and aren’t sure who to trust.
“Investor uncertainty is easy to understand, given the continued effects of the great recession and recent market volatility,” said Brown. “But fear isn’t a sound investment strategy.”