Women lack the confidence to invest
Investing continues to be a male-dominated affair, with 2.6 million more male than female investors in the UK.
Research from Duncan Lawrie Private Bank estimates there are some 8.4 million male investors in the country, compared to just 5.8 million female.
It finds that almost one in five women who do not invest blame a lack of confidence and understanding.
But this lack of confidence means far more female investors are likely to seek advice; some 54% say they go to a financial adviser or bank for help with managing their investments, compared to just 36% of men.
Richard Boyd, chartered financial planner at Duncan Lawrie, says historically there have been fewer female investors as they have been typically paid less, and because of "social imbalance".
"However, with women increasingly earning more and taking control over household finances, there really is no excuse for such a divide any more," he adds.
Chelsea Financial Services data shows there is a split between the genders but it is not quite so prominent; it says about 60% of its ISA accounts belong to male clients and 40% are for female clients.
However, it points out that in many cases this is because couples are making use of both individual allowances, while in reality men are still managing the family's investments.
A spokesperson says: "The differences tend to appear more where the woman is either in financial services or is the higher earner. The other time women start to take on the finances, unfortunately, is when their partner dies."
Invidivual Savings Accounts were introduced on 6 April 1999 to replace personal equity plans (PEPs) and tax-exempt special savings accounts (TESSAs) with one plan that covered both stockmarket and savings products, the returns from which are tax-exempt. The ISA is not in itself an investment product. Rather, it’s a tax-free “wrapper” in which you place investments and savings up to a specified annual allowance where the returns (capital growth, dividends, interest) are tax-exempt (you don’t have to declare ISAs and their contents on your tax return). However, any dividends are taxed within the investment, and that can’t be reclaimed.