Around half (53 per cent) of Australian women have ever seen a financial or investment adviser a new survey has found, with the majority (57 per cent) citing a lack of trust in the guidance they offer.
Stockspot partnered with corporate women’s news publication Women’s Agenda to conduct an online survey of 800 women in April.
Two-thirds (66 per cent) of all women said revelations form the royal commission had affected their trust in the sector – with the respondents being more likely to trust their own online research above anyone else when they seek advice.
The survey saw 57 per cent of women list internet research as their most trusted source for advice and innovation, compared to 39 per cent who felt most at ease with their investment or financial planner.
Only 37 per cent said they would trust a partner and 12 per cent would trust a bank, the same proportion as those who trust no one.
Around 57 per cent of women were said to have invested in shares at some point.
The report noted 48 per cent of women said they had a lack of money to make it worthwhile, as a reason preventing them from seeing an adviser.
The figures for women seeking advice escalated when considering individuals under the age of 35, with a third reporting having ever seen an adviser, with around half (48 per cent) citing a lack of trust in the guidance given by professionals.
Barriers to investing
“A lack of money” was cited as the number one barrier to investing for 59 per cent of all respondents.
Other top reasons included fear of losing money (48 per cent), trust issues, lack of confidence (48 per cent) and knowledge (56 per cent).
The report also found almost half of women (44 per cent) believe they are socially discouraged from investing in stocks.
Around 37 per cent of women disagreed they would feel confident investing in shares if they had the money to do so and a further 17 per cent strongly disagreed.
Challenges to accumulating wealth, but ambition persists
More than half of women (53 per cent) reported they lacked confidence the savings they were accumulating or already have accumulated would be enough to support them leading up to and beyond retirement.
Looking at where women place their money, half of the survey respondents said they invest in a high interest savings account, while 60 per cent own their home.
Around 39 per cent reported making additional superannuation contributions while 38 per cent had invested in shares and 29 per cent had placed money into an investment property.
Currently, Australian women are retiring with around half (47 per cent) the superannuation of men, indicated by Rice Warner figures. They are also earning less – with the national average staff for full-time workers being 14.1 per cent less than their male counterparts.
Research by Fidelity earlier this year found the investment gender gap was costing women in retirement.
Despite this, most respondents in the Stockspot did not lack financial ambitions: more than three quarters stated they have “specific financial goals” they are looking to achieve or have already completed.
Women were also found to be much more confident about investing in property, with 61 per cent agreeing they would and 41 per cent adding they’d opt to pay off a mortgage before investing in the stock market.
The majority of women (79 per cent) said they were responsible for the majority of purchasing decisions in their household.
Sarah Simpkins is a journalist at Momentum Media, reporting primarily on banking, financial services and wealth.
Prior to joining the team in 2018, Sarah worked in trade media and produced stories for a current affairs program on community radio.
You can contact her on [email protected].