Is investment behavior of women different from men? These survey findings will surprise you

By: |
June 17, 2019 10:53 AM

A striking association that emerged from the survey was that a large proportion of married, working women without kids associated money with ‘power’.

investment, women, money, investing, DSP Winvestor Pulse 2019,financial advisor, child’s education,debtThe study found that the top goals for men and women such as child’s education, dream home, child’s marriage, debt free life and a higher standard of living are similar.

The approach towards handling money, managing savings and taking investment decisions is widely considered to be a man’s job. Also, it’s a general perception that finances are not the woman’s best friend. But, times are changing and more and more women are supposedly taking active part in understanding and managing not only their own savings but also that of the household including that of the spouse.

A recent survey shows that husbands play a bigger role in introducing women to investing than their fathers. This and other path-breaking findings are a part of the DSP Mutual Fund’s ‘DSP Winvestor Pulse 2019’ Survey. The survey was conducted as part of DSP Mutual Fund’s Winvestor initiative, a program to encourage women to take charge of their investment decisions and to instill confidence in them, so they don’t depend on someone else to control their finances.

The survey focused on different areas that impact woman’s approach towards money. Some of them were:

  • How do women take investment decisions?
  • What is the attitude towards investing and confidence levels?
  • What are the top money goals and associations with ‘money’?
  • How do women take financial advice and are there any gender preferences?
  • How do parents influence their children’s attitudes towards investing?

Key Findings

The study found that only 33% of women take independent investment decisions as compared to 64% men.

Those women who make their own investment decisions, primarily did so due to encouragement by their husband (33%) or from their parents (24%).

13% women said that they were forced to make their own investment decisions due to their husband’s death or divorce.

Only 30% of women who made their own investment decisions did so because they themselves decided to.

The survey also showed that husbands (40%) play a bigger role in introducing women to investing than their fathers (27%).

40% men on the other hand were introduced to investing by their father, followed by their colleagues (35%).

Goal orientation

The study found that the top goals for men and women are similar: child’s education, dream home, child’s marriage, debt free life and a higher standard of living. Women are slightly more inclined towards child oriented goals than men (2 of their top 3 goals include child’s education & marriage: 34% & 29%, vs 31% & 26% for men).

More men aim to start their own venture & planned for retirement than women (26% & 23% for men, vs 23% & 20% for women).

A surprise finding that came out was that even while single women think of planning for a future child’s goals (22% & 23% of single women were planning for a child’s education & marriage. These figures were only 16% & 12% for single men respectively).

The study found that men dominate when it comes to decision making while investing or buying a car or house. Women on the other hand, have a larger role while buying gold /jewellery, day to day household purchases and durables.

A key finding from this segment was that only 12% women said it was 100% their decision when investing in market-based instruments (stocks, equity MFs etc) vs 31% men – a figure 2.6 times lower! On the other end, 28% women said it was entirely their decision when buying gold/ jewellery vs 17% men.

Investment minus savings equal to expenses

It was interesting to note that a large number of women claimed to have an invest-first mentality. 39% women said they planned investments first and only then adjusted monthly expenses accordingly (compared to 33% men). What most men and women associated the word money with, was similar: fulfilling dreams, a better life, necessity, success and better health. However, a striking association that emerged was that a large proportion of married, working women without kids associated money with ‘power’.

Financial advise

From those who consulted someone to make investment decisions, only 42% women consulted a professional financial advisor (for men, the comparable figure was higher, at 46%). Most men (42%) and women (50%) said they were gender neutral when it came to considering financial advisors, while the second largest preference was for male advisors, by both men (55%) and women (31%).

When it came to female financial advisors, 6 times more women preferred them than men (19% women vs 3% men). Another key finding was that the qualifications/ education level of a financial advisor was the top parameter considered while choosing a financial advisor (47% among women, 50% among men).

Your age and investing

An encouraging observation was that 65% respondents said they started investing before they turned 25. A larger number (76%) felt it was ideal if one started investing before 25. As far as their children were concerned, most respondents believed children should start taking investment decisions at an early age- while in college or when they just start working. In fact, 65% respondents said they felt children should be taught about investing before they turn 20.

Span of coverage

The DSP Winvestor Pulse 2019 Survey is in association with research agency Nielsen, highlighting the investment behavior among women and men and their involvement in investment and inheritance. The survey covered 4,013 women and men across 8 cities to understand their goals and views on money. The survey covered 4 metros: Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bangalore, and 4 non-metros: Indore, Kochi, Ludhiana and Guwahati.

The study captures responses from 1853 men and 2160 women who have been involved in investment decision-making, from the age group 25 – 60. Fieldwork for the survey was done from January to February 2019. The participants include those who are currently working or have worked for at least 2 years in the past, whether they were single, married without kids or married with kids.

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