Men are in mutual funds, women are in CDs.
Recent research from Lake Forest, Ill.-based Spectrem Group supports the generalization that men are more risk tolerant than women, even among high-net-worth investors.
While 44 percent of the high-net-worth men in Spectrem’s survey were willing to take risk on a portion of their investments in hopes of better returns, just 30 percent of women felt the same. Over half of the high-net-worth women, 55 percent, would prefer a guaranteed rate of return on the majority of their investments, compared with 46 percent of men.
Spectrem defines high-net-worth investors as those with between $100,000 and $25 million in investible assets. The study looked at 1,500 U.S. households.
Over the next 12 months, the genders differed little in investing plans. According to the survey, high-net-worth men are more likely than women to invest in individual stocks by a margin of 44 percent to 37 percent. Men are also more likely to invest in mutual funds, 49 percent to 42 percent, and ETFs, 23 percent to 16 percent.
Women are more likely than men to place assets in money market funds, 36 percent to 33 percent; CDs, 23 percent to 20 percent; and checking or savings accounts, 56 percent to 52 percent.
High-net-worth men were more likely to enjoy investing than women, 48 percent compared to 32 percent, and reported higher interest in being hands-on with their investments, 50 percent versus 36 percent, according to the survey.
Seventy-six percent of men were confident they would have sufficient income to live comfortably in retirement than women, compared with 71 percent of women.
High-net-worth men were more likely to be self-directed investors than the women in the survey, 39 percent versus 31 percent.
Women were more likely than men to use an accountant, attorney, banker, full-service broker, independent financial planner, RIA, insurance agent, investment manager, trust officer or a friend and family member as a financial advisor than men, while respondents of both genders were equally as likely to have used an online broker, mutual fund representative or other professional advisor to access advice.
High-net-worth women were more likely than men to report being satisfied with their financial advisor, 76 percent to 74 percent. Both men and women cited communication issues, like failing to remain in contact by phone or e-mail, as their top reasons for firing a financial advisor.
When selecting investments, women in the survey were more likely to consider a company’s past track record, social responsibility and reputation than men, said Spectrem.
When asked about national concerns, men and women differed over political and economic issues. The largest areas of difference were in concerns over inflation, which were raised by 67 percent of the high net-worth women surveyed versus just 50 percent of the men, and interest rate increases, named by 45 percent of the women and only 38 percent of the men.
Women were also slightly more likely to be concerned about government gridlock, stock market performance, terrorism, tax increases and low interest rates, while men were slightly more likely to express concern over the political environment and the national debt.
When asked about personal financial issues, women expressed more concern than men across every one of a broad range of issues from the financial situation of children and grand children, to maintaining their current financial position, to having enough money to leave a legacy behind, according to Spectrem.
When asked about how they achieved their wealth, men and women cited similar leading factors: hard work, cited by 94 percent of men and 96 percent of women, education, cited by 83 percent of men and 82 percent of women, frugality, cited by 76 percent of men and 81 percent of women, and smart investing, cited by 78 percent of men and 77 percent of women.
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