S'pore women 'less confident in investing than men'

S'pore women 'less confident in investing than men'

Women here are more conservative and less confident than men when it comes to investing, according to a new survey.

It found that while men and women think saving and investing are important, women tend to be more cautious in their attitude and approach to investment.

The survey noted that 72 per cent of women here had investments, compared with 80 per cent of men.

The type of assets they tend to hold also differs.

Women are more likely to hold conservative assets such as cash and insurance-linked investments, while men are more likely to invest in foreign exchange and hold alternative assets such as bonds.

About 18 per cent of men said they invest in foreign exchange compared with only 9 per cent of women, according to the annual survey carried out by BlackRock, an asset manager.

Around 31,000 respondents across 20 markets, including 1,000 here, were polled from July to August last year.

Participants were selected without taking income or asset qualifications into account, to get a representative sample of each country's population.

Mr Kevin Hardy, country head of Singapore at BlackRock, said women are "aware of the need to save and invest proactively".

However, they are not as confident about making the right savings and investment decisions compared with their male counterparts.

Around 47 per cent of women tend to seek advice from family and friends when making long-term savings and investment decisions, compared with 39 per cent of men.

Women also tend to consult more with insurance companies and financial advisers.

The survey noted that the lack of confidence in their ability to manage finances and a lower risk appetite could be holding women back from investing.

Only 37 per cent feel investing is for them, compared with 54 per cent of men.

And 38 per cent say they are willing to take on higher risks for higher returns, compared with 54 per cent of men.

"It is interesting to find that Singaporean women tend to cast more doubt over their own investment abilities than men, despite having similar investment goals," said Mr Hardy. He added that more education would help both men and women be more confident in managing their finances.

The survey also found that Singaporean men are more likely to use the Internet as a source of financial information. Social media and blogs are also becoming a key source of financial information for digitally savvy Singaporeans.

Almost 20 per cent of both men and women use such online sources when making long-term savings and investment decisions.

"Singaporeans should tap their digital savviness via financial tools and information resources available online," said Mr Hardy.

"These serve as a good starting point towards addressing the knowledge gap and ultimately cultivating the right investment habits."

This article was first published on March 13, 2016.
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