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Wealthy Women Lack Investing Confidence, Says Study

Justin Maiman
Daily Ticker
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A new study of affluent women is out and the results will surprise you.

41% of women -- with $455,000 in investable assets and $145,000 in household income -- say they are "not at all confident in their ability to invest." That's according to the Wells Fargo Affluent Women Retirement Survey just published this morning.

Various studies have suggested that women are more risk averse than men, which of course might be a good thing when it comes to stock market investing. Wells Fargo director of retail retirement Karen Wimbish says one of the big takeaways from the study is that women are not pushing towards an ultimate investment return at the expense of everything else -- "peace of mind" is more important.

Wimbish tells The Daily Ticker: "I would characterize [the study] as a little good news, bad news. 41% said they are not at all confident in their investing ability. Another 48% said 'I'm somewhat confident.' Only 8% said 'I'm really feeling good about my ability to invest.'" So that's the mostly bad news. But the good news from the survey can be found among the women who identified themselves as confident. "Two-thirds of them are full partners with their husbands or spouses or partners in the investing decisions that they make," says Wimbish. "So some level of confidence drives really positive behavior."

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Wells Fargo (WFC) calls this the confidence correlation.

According to the study: "Confidence in investing among affluent women correlates to attitudes and choices that differ greatly from those of women who describe themselves as not confident at investing."

Some of their findings:

  • A greater percentage of confident women (59%) say the stock market is the best place to grow savings over time, while 44% of those who are not confident investors agree with this. Forty-nine percent of women who are not confident in investing say the stock market is too risky for them versus 23% for the confident women.
  • Seventy-three percent of confident married women say either they alone or in conjunction with their spouse make the household investment decisions versus 49% of those who describe themselves as not confident in investing.
  • Two thirds (67%) of confident women say they were “taught about investing by someone” versus 39% of the not confident.
  • Almost half (47%) of confident women are interested in learning more about how to invest in the stock market versus 35% of the not confident.

The telephone survey of 600 women was conducted by Koski Research, an independent research firm, this past summer.

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