The latest research by wealth manager Saunderson House shows that when it comes to their finances, women have a much lower sense of financial wellbeing than men.
Men and women both chose having mental and physical wellbeing, feeling happy with finances, and having confidence over future financial plans as their top financial wellbeing factors.
Yet in all three factors, men feel considerably more able than women to achieve these. Only 37% of women feel happy with the state of their finances, and only 30% have clarity and confidence over their future financial plans, compared with 72% and 69% of men respectively.
The research suggests one contributing factor to women feeling less happy with their finances is that currently, men feel they are much better understood by their financial adviser compared to women.
When asked how well they thought their financial adviser understood their financial goals and aspirations, men on average gave a score of 7.7/10 whilst women gave a score of only 6/10. Only 25% of women say they sought advice from their financial adviser with regards to their wealth during the pandemic, compared with 64% of men. In addition, 29% of women think having a financial adviser of the same gender is desirable, compared to just 1% of men. Further highlighting a disconnect between advisers and women.
Georgina Fry, Chartered Financial Planner at Saunderson House, said: “The last decade has seen a significant rise in the number of female High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs). By 2025, over 60% of UK wealth is expected to be in the hands of women. This is an exciting and important development and one which the industry must promptly adapt to. The research provides a fascinating insight into how the financial needs and goals of women differ from those of men and the ways in which our industry can better understand and serve HNW women.
“The industry needs to understand the reasons for these barriers. This could include misconceptions based on stereotypes, as well as women’s experience of the advice industry and how advisers, who are currently mostly men, struggle to empathise with their needs.
“Many of these issues could be addressed by the right support from the right financial adviser. The advice industry can determine how best to engage and advise female clients and potential clients through a more appropriate and tailored service. While the industry needs to address this imbalance, more widely all advisors need to fully understand the needs and aspirations of women.”
The research identifies several wellbeing concerns which are specific to women, a key example of which is not having enough time to think about their finances. 53% of women say they would “appreciate more time to feel more in control of my finances” compared to just 14% of men.
A greater number of HNW women rate reaching a point where they don’t need to work purely for the money as important compared to their male counterparts (75% vs 61%) but feel their ability to achieve this as far lower (21% feel able vs 77% of men). These figures reflect wider concerns, which suggests that the ‘invisible labour’ of familial duties takes a toll on both the general and financial wellbeing of many women.
The Saunderson House research also supports findings from other reports that women are more values orientated, with the vast majority of women (82%) saying that using their wealth “to help me act in line with my personal values and goals” is important to them, compared with 65% of men.
The report is launched in conjunction with the NatWest Everywoman Awards, which celebrates female entrepreneurs from all walks of life, providing a platform for them to share their achievements. Awards include for: A woman who founded her business whilst raising a child/children aged 12 or under; the most inspirational woman running a business trading for 18 months to 3 years/ 3 to 5 years/ 6 to 9 years/ 10 years or more; the most inspirational and successful female founder of a social enterprise who has combined strong community benefit with a sustainable business model, and the female founder of a business that demonstrates great potential for growth.