Although women in the United States control slightly more than half of the nation’s wealth ($14 trillion), their approach to investing is still underappreciated by the financial services industry, according to our latest research commissioned by PIMCO, one of the world’s leading investment management firms.
In a survey conducted by the Harris Poll of 1,500 U.S. adults with investible household assets of over $10,000, more than half of the women said financial services do not reflect their lifestyles or their financial realities. This disconnect is rooted in the definition of investment performance. For the women surveyed, more than 60 percent said generating income is a top indicator of a successful investment portfolio followed by having the flexibility to meet unexpected needs (44 percent), and the resources to meet short- and medium-term lifestyle goals (41 percent).
Women said retirement savings were important, but only 17 percent cited it as their top financial goal. Instead, 84 percent of the women surveyed said they view investing as a tool to meet myriad short- and long-term financial obligations they manage which can include putting a child through school or caring for elderly parents.
As more household finances are controlled by women – by 2020 they are expected to manage $22 trillion of personal wealth – time management is becoming much more difficult. Of the younger women polled – Generation X or Millennial generations – 72 percent said “lack of time” was the biggest challenge in their day and nearly half said they feel more “time-poor than financially poor.”
Considering their growing economic power, women are expected to control $22 trillion in the U.S. by 2020, the financial services industry needs to adapt to keep pace. The majority of women surveyed (78 percent) said they would be more interested in talking to a financial advisor if they focused on improving their quality of life rather than just beating the market and 71 percent said they would switch to financial advisor who can help simplify the management of their finances.
Read the full study here.