Fidelity sees 50% increase in women investing outside of retirement

What would you like to know

  • While two-thirds of women report investing outside of retirement accounts and emergency funds, many keep significant savings in cash or bank accounts.
  • Although half of the women said they were more interested in investing, only 41% said they were comfortable with their investment knowledge.
  • Yet, female self-directed investors outperform their male counterparts, according to Fidelity’s analysis of 5.2 million accounts.

Two-thirds of women in new study say they now invest their savings outside retirement accounts and stock exchange emergency funds, a 50% increase from 2018, Fidelity Investments reported Friday.

At the same time, many women can still keep large savings in cash or bank accounts, earn minimal interest and therefore miss out on thousands of dollars in potential earnings, the study found.

CMI Research conducted a survey in July of 1,200 American women and 1,200 American men, all aged 21 or older, with personal income of at least $ 50,000, who actively contribute to a savings plan. retirement to work, such as a 401 (k) or 403 (b) plan. Fidelity has not been identified as the sponsor of this study.

More and more proactive

Fidelity said there was already a noticeable increase in 2018 in women managing their finances more, and that momentum has continued as the pandemic has disproportionately affected women.

In fact, he said, the events of the past 18 months have prompted even more women to make their finances a priority, building up emergency savings, creating or updating financial plans and moving from saver to investor.

Yet there are still plenty of opportunities for those who are not yet investing, as well as for those who may still have significant savings aside. Taking proactive steps can bode well for the future, Fidelity said.

An analysis of the investment behavior of its retail clients, comparing the annualized return on assets of 5.2 million self-directed retail accounts from January 2011 to December 2020, showed that, on average, women not only made positive returns on their investments, but also outperformed their male counterparts by 40 basis points.

Over the past year, Fidelity said, its own clients have also seen a growing commitment to saving and investing for the future:

  • Women opening new retail investment accounts rose 43% year-on-year as of June 30.
  • On average, 9.2% of women contribute to workplace savings accounts, based on a Fidelity analysis of 23,600 corporate CD plans and 19.8 million participants as of June 30.
  • The number of women receiving advice from Fidelity increased by 37% between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020.

Fidelity expects this momentum to continue, as 9 in 10 women say they plan to take additional steps to become more engaged in the next 12 months. But women will need additional support and education to help them reframe the way they invest, he said.

Although half of the women in the study said they were more interested in investing since the start of the pandemic and 42% said they now have more to invest, only 41% said they were comfortable with their investing knowledge.

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