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Women’s financial futures could be at risk – it’s time to act

Published: 20 September

Unknowingly, UK women are putting their financial futures at risk. That’s the conclusion of the second white paper published as part of Alliance Trust Savings’ Investing Gender Gap research initiative.

Surveying a nationwide sample of over 2,000 people, evenly split between women and men and all with financial means, the study found that women are significantly more risk averse than men around investing. They are more likely to prefer cash savings, have less confidence in investing as a calculated risk to grow their money and are far more likely to be put off by the risk warnings that are integral to investment marketing today.

Sara Wilson, Head of Platform Proposition at Alliance Trust Savings sees this as a big problem.

“With interest rates currently so low, inflation is eroding the value of cash savings in real terms. The gender pay gap is still very real and changes to the state pension age mean women’s pre-retirement incomes are now falling – by £32 a week for women aged 60 to 62 according to a recent study by The Institute of Fiscal Studies.

History shows that investing offers the greatest potential to grow savings over the longer-term and so help address issues like these. The challenge is how to get more women to embrace it.

Improving financial education, through initiatives such as the industry-wide KickStart Money of which Alliance Trust Savings is proud to be a part, can play an important role. They can help build confidence around money from an early age and encourage everyone to take a greater interest in their financial affairs, but this all takes time.

For women’s sake we can’t afford to wait. It’s time for the financial services industry to tackle the investing gender gap head on and give women much needed financial confidence now.”

One of Alliance Trust Savings’ guiding values is that investment services like ours should be accessible to all. By better understanding the differences between women and men when it comes to investing we can find ways to respond on a more practical level.

Find out more and download the first two of our Investing Gender Gap white papers here.


Important information

This is provided for general information only and takes no account of personal circumstances. It is not a recommendation to buy or sell. It is provided solely to support you in making your own investment decisions. If you have any doubts as to their suitability you should seek expert advice. Alliance Trust Savings does not give advice.

Please be aware that the value of investments can fall as well as rise so you could get back less than you invest.

Alliance Trust Savings Limited is a subsidiary of Alliance Trust PLC and is registered in Scotland No. SC 98767, registered office, PO Box 164, 8 West Marketgait, Dundee DD1 9YP; is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, firm reference number 116115. Alliance Trust Savings gives no financial or investment advice.