Four in five women shun investments due to lack of understanding

Woman shunning investing

An insight into the nation’s savings habits reveals men and women have different attitudes to investing versus holding money in cash.

The study of 2,000 adults conducted by Selftrade from Equiniti reveals that just one in five (19%) women hold investments, compared to a third (34%) of men.

One in three (33%) women claim a lack of knowledge in the stock market holds them back.
Women are potentially losing out by holding their money in savings accounts (52%) and shockingly, 17% of women say they keep their money in a piggy bank, compared to 13% of men.

Women are however savvy to the pitfalls of cash, with a quarter admitting it is the worst way to save (24% vs 20% of men), but they are far more likely to be risk averse.

However, women who do invest are just as bold, if not bolder than men in the amount they deposit. Women who hold stocks and shares have, on average, more money invested than men at £26,000 vs £25,251.

“Doing a small amount of research is often enough”

Mark Taylor, chief executive of Selftrade from Equiniti, says: “Investing in individual stocks is difficult and time consuming for anyone, therefore mutual funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs) are a good options to spread risk and to gain access to a variety of markets quickly and easily. Doing a small amount of research and being mindful of significant political and economic events is often enough to make an informed decision on a fund or ETF.

Investing regularly and for the long term is also a great way to lower exposure to risk. Having a monthly direct debit into a stocks and shares Isa, with as little as £50 being deposited at a time, is a great way for people to test the waters. If you are really unsure, speaking to a financial adviser is always advisable.”

Savings vehicle Men Women
Current account with a bank or building society 60% 55%
Savings account with a bank or building society 53% 52%
Piggy bank/rainy day jar 13% 17%
Cash individual savings account (Isa) 37% 34%
Stocks and shares (not part of an Isa or self-invested personal pension) 17% 8%
A unit trust/mutual fund (not as part of an Isa) 4% 2%
Stocks and shares Isa 11% 6%
Savings bond (with a bank, building society, NS&I or life assurance company) 10% 8%
SIPP 5% 3%