Women’s wealth is on the rise: Don’t get left behind!

Women are gaining financial power at a faster rate than any other group – but, with a number of barriers to female financial potential, how can this wealth rise be built upon and translated into something that makes a real difference to the lives of women?

Overview

  • The financial power of women is growing.
  • However, confidence and self-esteem can be stumbling blocks when it comes to finances.
  • Financial advice and a long-term financial plan can help to boost self-assurance when making decisions about savings, pensions and investments.

  It’s well established that females often find themselves at a financial disadvantage, with gender inequality in pay, the workplace, pensions, divorce and even property – not to mention the coronavirus pandemic, which has had a disproportionate impact on women. But these barriers to financial parity aren’t the full picture. A glimmer of hope is that women are gaining financial power at a faster rate than any other group, and their assets are growing rapidly. The wealth held by women is expected to grow to a whopping $93 trillion1 by 2023, up from $77 trillion in early 2020.2 Currently, about a third of the world’s wealth is in the hands of women.1 What’s more – Catalyst.org estimates that 67% of all UK household consumption is controlled or influenced by women, and this figure rises even higher when you break it down by types of purchases, such as cars, holidays and homes.3 A crisis of confidence So, how can we take this momentum and turn it into something that makes a real difference to the lives of women? It all comes down to confidence! Essentially, women may be more financially powerful or more affluent than ever before, but they don’t necessarily feel it. Success and happiness are often based on male ideas of what they mean. But, while men tend to think about wealth in terms of achievements and how they live their life, for women it’s more about a sense of greater well-being. According to a report by the WealthiHer Network, for 47% of UK women, wealth means health and happiness, followed by financial security and work-life balance.2 ‘A sense of greater wellbeing’ can be harder to measure, though. Sharon Bonfield, Propositions Manager at St. James’s Place Wealth Management, says:

“For many women success is also about freedom of choice and making a difference, but that requires being able to manage your money. You might earn well but if you don’t manage it well you may feel unsuccessful.”

This partly reflects itself in women’s low self-esteem. Men are twice as likely to have high self-esteem as women, according to the WealthiHer report.2 Bonfield points out:

“There is a link between self-esteem and financial autonomy. Women hold back from investing because they think they don’t know enough about it or they don’t know it’s an option for them. The result is that their markers for success may not be attainable.”

The WealthiHer Report also measured men’s and women’s confidence, especially when it comes to financial matters. It found that just 39% of women in the UK consider themselves ‘above average’ when it comes to everyday financial confidence, compared with 57% of their male counterparts. This extends to long-term investing, too, with women twice as likely as men to rate themselves as having low confidence. Ladies – it’s time to talk It’s clear that money confidence can help women to unlock their financial potential – and it’s never too late to start to learn how your money can translate into something meaningful for you and how you live your life, whatever your goals and aspirations. It may begin with a simple conversation, according to Bonfield:

“The lack of confidence around finances means women don’t feel comfortable speaking about money to anyone. But don’t be embarrassed – turn it into something that’s relevant to your long-term happiness and security. Ask your friends what they’re doing. Do they have a pension? Do they invest? Even just starting to have those conversations is half the work.”

You might find it easier to start this conversation with someone one step removed from you personally, like a financial adviser. We know that taking advice can inspire women to become financially secure – a recent report revealed that women who had taken advice more commonly expressed the view that higher levels of financial literacy made them feel more empowered to make informed decisions.4 Whichever path you choose, the important part is taking that step towards it.   Contact us today Your Wellesley adviser will take the time to help you to understand how to manage your money so that you feel as successful as you really are. We can explain to you how to manage your money in the context of your personal and family lifetime goals. When it comes to going further, making your money work harder for you and putting a long-term financial plan together, professional advice may be the key that opens the door to success. If you have a question about financial planning or would like more information about our services, please contact Wellesley Wealth Advisory on 01444 244551 or via email at info@wellesleywa.co.uk.   Sources: 1 Women in Wealth: Managing the Next Decade of Women’s Wealth, Boston Consulting Group 2020 (April 2020) 2 The Changing Faces of Women’s Wealth, WealthiHer Network, 2021, total number surveyed: 2,239 3 Catalyst.org, May 2018 4 ILC, ‘Peace of Mind: Understanding the non-financial value of financial advice’ report, conducted via in-depth interviews with 32 UK individuals in 2020.

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