Female advisers have mixed views on cautious investing

Female advisers have mixed views on cautious investing

Female advisers have mixed views on whether women are cautious investors and whether or not this is positive, with some believing that the stereotypical female approach of cautious investing can be advantageous.

Women are often regarded as the underserved group of customers in financial services.

As Jessica Robinson wrote in March, women tend to hold the self-perception that ‘investing is not for them’ and pointed to communications discrepancies between the sexes - men are encouraged to ‘dare to invest’ and defined by the glories of financial success, while women are portrayed as excessive spenders, in need of guidance to help them save and restrict .

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Last August an analysis of HMRC Isa statistics by Bowmore Financial Planning showed women continued to ‘overinvest’ in cash Isas, threatening to miss out on valuable returns in the long term

Stephanie Pickering, chartered financial planner at Verity Wealth Management, told FTAdviser while it is true that some women have a cautious approach to investing, it is not true for all.

Having a cautious approach “may potentially hinder them” in her opinion.

However, she added: “Females seem far less likely to invest in esoteric investments compared to their male counterparts and as such are less likely to be hit by investment failures.  

“The role or profession the female has in life will often have more influence on what their risk and investment philosophy will be, more ladies are taking control and have a greater interest in their finances and investments than ever before.”

For Rowena Griffiths, chartered financial planner at Female Financial Management “women are more cautious in general, but that is not necessarily a bad thing”.

She explained: “Just because they are cautious doesn’t mean they don’t want to invest some of their money in emerging markets. 

“As long as a company is regulated by the FCA there are protections in place and we get back again to financial education. 

“The Money and Pension Service and the various Pension Wise elements are rebranding as MoneyHelper and that could also play a role if they get their message right and get their message across.”

Samantha Patterson, pension income manager at Age Partnership told FTAdviser, gender was not a factor in her findings around caution.

She said: “At Age Partnership our wealth management services are designed for the over fifties, and in particular the period of time when you come to access your pension – for the vast majority this is in their sixties.

“With this in mind, we find that people are generally more cautious as they get older, with no significant gender difference.  We also take a more balanced approach than many advisory firms by adopting a safety first approach to retirement planning."

In March this year, research released by Barnett Waddingham showed career breaks can cost women 10 per cent of their pension.

The study also confirmed women are saving less than men, leading to smaller pension pots at retirement - a range of 25 per cent to 45 per cent across the schemes analysed.