Quebecker women play it safe: Survey

Low-risk investment could compromise the financial security of female retirees in Quebec.

Women in Quebec may live longer, but not wealthier, according to an online survey, released Monday.

Citing female investors as overly cautious, the Desjardins Wealth Management survey, suggests that – despite having a longer life expectancy than men and more time to enjoy the glory years – their conservative investment decisions won’t reap the same monetary rewards, and may even compromise their financial stability.

Looking at the numbers, 61 per cent of Quebec women with savings and investments have a conservative or moderate investor profile, compared to 46 per cent of men, while just seven per cent of female savers are aggressive or dynamic investors, versus 19 per cent of men, revealed the survey.

Meanwhile, 74 per cent of female respondents have investments or savings and two out of three intend to contribute to an RRSP or TFSA this year, despite earning less than men, on average. Furthermore, one-third of women investing in an RRSP were reluctant to take risks with their money.

 “The biggest challenge with women is they are intimidated and suspicious, and lack engagement with the financial industry,” Karin Mizgala, CEO of Money Coaches Canada, told WP back in October. “It’s hard to gain their trust into the world of investing. Even with the best of intentions and a sincere desire on behalf of the advisor to reach out and help, it’s going to take a lot of time.”

Additionally, the survey revealed that 69 per cent of female respondents know very little or nothing about investing, while 78 per cent say they work with a financial advisor. Despite this, only 15 per cent of women in Quebec indicate having a written financial plan.

“An advisor needs to be committed to trying to understand what a woman’s needs are,” said Mizgala, who focuses specifically on female investors. “They don’t need pink. They need to be listened to and to be understood.”

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