YouGov Research: More than Half of Women Haven't Started Saving for Retirement

  • Main financial concern for 44% of women is not having enough money in retirement
  • However, 56% of pre-retirement women haven't started saving for retirement yet
  • Only 17% of women have ever invested in capital markets
  • Two out of three women say they don’t have sufficient financial knowledge to invest

London, 6 March 2017 Research conducted by YouGov on behalf of digital investment manager, Scalable Capital, in the UK and in Germany, has revealed that not having enough money to fund a comfortable retirement was the main financial concern for over two fifths (44%) of both men and women in the UK. This reflects the fact that the UK pension gap stands at £311 billion per year, according to research by Aviva, implying that, for example, a 40-year-old has to put aside £4,100 each year to secure an adequate standard of living in retirement. However, 56% of the pre-retirement women surveyed haven’t started to save for their retirement at all, compared to 49% of the men.

Both Men and Women Scared of High Losses

Only 17% of all women surveyed are currently or have previously invested in capital markets, compared to 31% of men. Almost two-thirds of women (62%) said they do not have sufficient financial knowledge to feel comfortable with investing, compared to less than half (48%) of men. Both men and women were afraid of unexpectedly high losses, with 23% (women) and 22% (men) citing this as a barrier to investing.

"Our results did not confirm the preconception that women are more risk-averse than men when it comes to investing. The reasons for the different investment behavior of men and women are the unequal financial resources at their disposal and the - at least perceived - lack of financial knowledge of women. As a result, women aren't adequately preparing for their retirement and miss out on the long-term growth potential offered by investing in capital markets," said Dr. Ella Rabener, UK Founder and Chief Marketing Officer at Scalable Capital. "Financial service providers need to better address the needs of women so as to substantially lower the hurdle for investing in capital markets, for example by offering affordable discretionary services from lower minimums.”

Wealth Managers Should Aim for a Better Understanding of Risk

When asked what would make them more likely to invest in capital markets in the future, most women mentioned greater transparency around fees and performance, as well as a better understanding of risk, both selected by 17% of respondents. Women were less cost-conscious than men, with only 13% citing lower fees as a motivation to invest more, compared to 19% of men.

“Wealth managers need to help investors better understand investment risk. For example, at Scalable Capital we ask clients to select, in percentage terms, how much they are prepared to lose in a bad year. Our technology-driven approach means every portfolio is customised to the risk suitable for each investor and is managed to keep the level of risk stable over time, limiting unexpected fluctuations. By providing a professional, transparent, low-cost investment service, we can overcome some of the concerns women have about capital market investments and can help them achieve their financial goals”, said Adam French, Founder & CEO of Scalable Capital.

more than half of women

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Note to editors

The YouGov survey was conducted in the UK and Germany in February 2017, with a sample size of more than 2,000 adults in each market.

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size for the UK was 2,085 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 3rd - 6th February 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

About Scalable Capital

A year after launch, Scalable Capital is the fastest growing digital wealth manager in Europe. It already manages more than £150m in assets for over 4,000 clients. It is growing at a rate of £5m – £7m each week and operates in three countries.

Scalable Capital has fundamentally changed investing by using technology at the heart of its service. Unlike other offerings, Scalable Capital uses a technology-driven, data-led investment approach to deliver three key customer outcomes.

  • Better understanding of risk. Its technology allows them to drop vague risk labels like “high-risk” or “conservative”. Instead, it provides clients with a percentage number which quantifies the potential downside in a bad year. No more guessing.
  • Better risk-adjusted returns. By focussing specifically on the risks in a client’s portfolio it aims to capitalise on markets where risk is rewarded, and limit exposure to excess risk in more volatile conditions where it doesn’t get rewarded with better returns.
  • Less emotional stress. By keeping risk stable in all market conditions, Scalable Capital helps clients stay invested in capital markets for longer so they can grow their wealth in the long term.
    Built by a team of 45 experts spanning the financial, technology and academic worlds, Scalable Capital has created a service, which not only makes investment management cheaper, more accessible and more convenient but better as well. All by using technology at every step of the process.

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