Investor Omnibus: Women Investors Have Knowledge But Lack Confidence

Jake GammonHead of Omnibus, US
August 31, 2016, 5:29 PM GMT+0

Men have far more confidence in their investments knowledge and abilities than women who are actively investing. One in five male investors (20%) are confident that they are very knowledgeable about investments compared to only 7% of female investors. Only 32% of men compared to 61% of women admit to not being knowledgeable about the investment process.

However, when provided with technical descriptions of bonds and mutual funds women were almost as likely to be able to identify the descriptions (Bonds M 83% W 80%, Mutual Funds M85% W82%). Women seemed less secure in their understanding of common stock – a still high but significantly lower 78% recognized a standard description of stocks compared to 88% of men.

A large number of current investors admit to being at sea in the world of finance. 20% of male investors and a much larger 38% of women admit to having either no idea at all or are not sure how much there are paying in fees. Half (49% ) of men surveyed think that they know exactly how much they pay out in fees, compared to only a third (33%) of women.


Men who are current investors are generally much more engaged with the investment process than women. More than half (51%) of male investors check the value of their holdings once a week or more compared to just over a quarter (27%) of women.

They are also much more active traders (16% once a week or more compared to only 4% of women).

Research and Investment Strategies.

Women who are investors are much more likely to take advice from friends and family about their choice of investment company (49% compared to 38% of men). Men are more likely to make their choice by attempting to optimize transactions costs (41% compared to 28% for women).

Women investors are also more likely to take investment tips from family or friends involved in the field (27% compared to 18%). Men are more confident to make their choices based on their own research, making decisions based on reading general business news (43% compared to 29%) or investment related news (47% compared to 30%).

For those who use investment media for research, the Wall Street Journal (38%) is the top destination, followed by Yahoo Finance (30%) and Motley Fool (26%).

The men surveyed are more likely to invest in a broad range of industries to spread their risk (45% compared to 34%). They are also more likely to invest in a small number of chosen companies in an attempt to increase profits (26% compared to 15%).