S'pore women hobbled by lack of confidence in investing: BlackRock

S'pore women hobbled by lack of confidence in investing: BlackRock

TODAY'S women can be as financially savvy as men, but Singapore women still lack confidence in their abilities to manage finances, says BlackRock.

The asset manager's annual Global Investor Pulse Survey has found that Singapore men and women share similar financial goals, but are quite different in their attitudes toward investing.

The survey polled 31,000 respondents globally, of which 1,000 were from Singapore.

It found that Singapore men and women generally have similar financial priorities, with saving money being the most important, followed by saving or investing to ensure a comfortable retirement, and growing wealth.

BlackRock said it believes women in Singapore can do more to grow their wealth. Despite ranking it as their third financial priority, only 72 per cent of them said they had investments, versus 80 per cent of men.

The survey also found that a quarter of women had only savings and no investments, compared to less than a fifth of men.

Women were also found to hold more conservative asset classes, such as cash and insurance-linked investments.

In contrast, more than half the male respondents said they were holding equities, compared to only 39 per cent of women; 20 per cent of the men were holding bonds, compared to 17 per cent of women; 18 per cent of the men are invested in foreign exchange, against 9 per cent of women who took the survey.

BlackRock has inferred from its survey results that Singapore women are being held back from investing by their lack of confidence in their abilities to manage their finances, as well as their lower risk appetite. Just over half the women (55 per cent) of the women surveyed said they likened investing to gambling; only 38 per cent said they were willing to take on higher risks for higher returns.

Female respondents generally do not consider themselves competent investors. Only 37 per cent indicated that they feel investing is for people like them; 54 per cent of the men indicated the same.

Kevin Hardy, country head of Singapore at BlackRock, said: "Today's women can be as financially-savvy as men. They are aware of the need to save and invest proactively.

"However, more education is needed to shift and improve investment behaviours, for both women and men to become even more confident in managing their own finances."

This article was first published on March 8, 2016.
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