Women’s financial goals 52% smaller than men’s – survey

A new poll looks at how Canadian men and women differ in their saving and investing behaviour

Women’s financial goals 52% smaller than men’s – survey

Montreal-based fintech Mylo Financial Technologies has released a report looking at the saving and investing behaviours of Canadians. Based on an anonymized sample of more than 30,000 users of their app, the company has found a gender gap when it comes to financial goal-setting and behaviour.

“[W]e recognize that, when it comes to money, there isn't a level playing field for men and women in this country,” Mylo CEO and founder Philip Barrar said in a statement.

Looking at their users’ dollar targets for different financial goals — including items such as travel, wedding expenses, vehicle purchases, and savings — the company found that women set an average financial goal of $24,842. That’s just 52% of the average for men, which was $47,810. Women’s goals were higher than men’s in only three categories: education (5% higher), health (28% higher) and wedding expenses (6% higher).

The report clarified that the disparity in goal setting may reflect a tendency for men to set more ambitious — or less realistic — financial goals. Alternatively, it said, it could be “a reflection of the widely reported gender wage gap.”

There was also a gap between the two group’s self-assessments of their investment knowledge. Half of the women surveyed said they “don’t know anything” about investing, as compared to 28% of men. On the other hand, 8% of women said they are “knowledgeable” or “an expert” at investing, while 25% of men were comfortable making the same statements.

Finally, the survey found a lower risk tolerance among women. Overall, they were half as likely as men to favour high risk, and twice as likely to choose loss-avoidance strategies. When asked what they would do if their investments declined in value, 26% of women said they would either sell some or all of their investments, while only 16% of male respondents said they’d do the same. Buying the dip was also less popular among women (15%) than men (33%).

“We've long known that Canadian women earn less money and are less likely to invest than men," said Amelia Young, financial thought leader and founder of Upside Consulting. “What Mylo's data makes clear is that Canadian women lack confidence in their investment knowledge and in their ability to achieve financial goals at the same level as men.”