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So why do more men have wealth creation investments?

The most powerful person in finance is a woman. Actually, she might be your mother. And she is too humble.

In honour of International Women’s Day on March 8, Loans Canada surveyed 2,373 Canadians to find out their opinion on money. The results show that women are the financial superstars in real life. 

Nearly 1 In 5 People Trust Their Mother For Financial Education

Nearly 19.46% of women and 19.83% of men turn to their mothers first for financial education.

While fathers are trusted, they fall further down the list of first approaches from their daughters and sons. In fact, they fall to 3rd place with sons (13.05%) and 4th overall for daughters (11.07%).

So why do mothers play such a strong financial role for both men and women? It could be that raising children is often led by the mother. However, it also might have to do with family dynamics when it comes to money. As we see later, women do the budgeting for households.

Women Trust Women While Men Trust Men Or Mom

The first person people turned to for financial information is their mom. Nearly 20% of the women who answered turned to their mom first, and then a female friend. 

Similarly, almost 20% of men looked to their moms first and then their male friend for financial opinion and education. 

While women consistently choose females, with the exception of their father, men flip flop between influential male and female influences. 

Who Were The Top 5 People Women Turned To FIrst For Financial Education? 

Of the female respondents, these were to people women turned to first:

  1. Mother: 19.46%
  2. Friend – Woman: 18.51%
  3. Friend – Man: 14.19%
  4. Father: 11.07%
  5. Sister: 8.13%

Who Were The Top 5 People Men Turned To First For Financial Education? 

Of the male respondents, these were the people men turned to first:

  1. Friend – Man: 19.83% 
  2. Mother: 19.83%
  3. Father: 13.05%
  4. Friend – Woman: 8.98%
  5. Brother: 7.63%

70% Of Women Are Financially Self Confident

69.64% of women who responded reported confidence in their ability to make good financial decisions. 74.07% of the men report confidence. So if the men report more confidence, why do they hand the budgeting to the women?

20.42% Rely On Women To Handle The Finances in Relationships

It is the women, regardless of the type of couple, who handle the budgets in relationships. Of those who were married or had a common-law partner, 20.42% relied on their female spouse, whereas only 10.80% relied on their male spouse. 

Approximately 83.91% of women rely on themselves to budget as opposed to 77.03% of the men who turn to someone else. 

Women, it seems, might under-report their feelings of confidence or men over-report it. 

The Women Who Know About Stocks, Mutual Funds and ETFs Are More Financially Confident Than The Men

So is that the reason that men gravitate toward women’s financial opinions? Consider this: Of the women who have stocks, mutual funds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), 81.38% are confident in their ability to make financial decisions. Men are slightly lower at 79.38%.

However, confidence might not look the same for women as it does for men.

Most Women Are Financially Less-Invested Than Men 

However, there is an important gap between men and women when it comes to wealth creation. Despite high levels of financial decision-making confidence, women trail behind men in terms of investment.

Women who responded to the survey had fewer investment products for themselves than the men. So while they are confident in their financial abilities, they are less invested than their male counterparts in stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs. 

Another measure of women’s financial conservatism shows up in terms of the Tax-Free Savings Account. 21.06% more women than men had TFSAs. It isn’t clear if they use their TFSA for investing or as a high-interest, and safe, bank account.

Unbanked Women Are Reversing the Investment Trend  

Women as well as men are getting less tied to traditional banks and it also shows a shift in their investment philosophy.

9.73% of the people who answered the survey reported being unbanked, meaning that they don’t have a traditional chequing or savings account. More men (51.95%) are unbanked than women (44.59%), but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have credit cards, personal loans, car loans and other financial products to meet their financial needs. It just means that they rejected traditional, and maybe less interest-bearing, bank accounts.

Interestingly, unbanked women have more invested assets than their male counterparts in terms of owning stocks, mutual funds, and ETFs.

100% of the ETF accounts reported by unbanked respondents belonged to women. The investing trend doesn’t stop there. 57.14% of the stock accounts belonged to unbanked women vs. 42.86% to unbanked men, while 62.50% of the mutual funds accounts belonged to the women instead of the men (37.50%).

International-womens-day-infographic

Loans Canada conducted an email survey of 2,373 Canadians in English and in French between February 16 and 20, 2023.

Stefani Balinsky avatar on Loans Canada
Stefani Balinsky

Stefani Balinsky is the Head of Content Strategy at Loans Canada. Her work and her commentary have appeared in major media including the Toronto Star, Financial Post, and Bell Media. She is a creative and analytical thinker with a way with words. Direct, empathetic and funny, she makes convincing and coherent sense out of complex ideas. She has many years of leadership experience in marketing, writing, mentoring, and fintech.

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