On Friday, ING Luxembourg published the results of the 2019 ING International Survey (IIS), which analyses the different views of men and women on investing.
The ING study showed that men and women act differently when it comes to investing, saving or using their money. One of the main differences was that fewer women invest than men. According to the 2019 IIS study, only 69% of women reported that they had investments, compared to 80% of men. Furthermore, when these women do invest, the amounts tend to be smaller than those of men.
According to the study, this trend can be explained by the fact that women generally have less savings than men. For instance, 11% of women said that the total amount of their savings was less than a month’s salary, compared to only 6% of men.
Concerning the gender gap, the study looked at Eurostat figures which show that women in Luxembourg are still paid less than men (about 5% less). They also take longer career breaks (maternity breaks, for example) and are more likely to work part-time. The consequences of this cumulative gap between men and women can be significant. as time goes on. This may explain why 45% of women in Luxembourg feared lacking financial security by the end of their life.
Turning to the best investment strategy for a woman, the IIS study first stressed that more women still think that they lack financial education compared to men. Although this trend is headed towards more equality, women still tend to believe that their male counterparts have, on average, a better knowledge of financial matters. This perception of lower financial literacy among women reportedly impacts their self-confidence and leads them to invest less of their assets than men. Slightly more women though that they should know more before investing more, according to the study.
Nevertheless, ING Luxembourg stressed that investment is a tool that allows for building long-term financial future. For a long term investment (more than 10 years), women in Luxembourg tend to invest as follows: 71% in real estate; 29% in pension plans; 11% in funds of a financial institution; and 8% in shares (they can also invest in more than one product). ING added that the important thing is not the distribution of investments but rather to start investing and to do it consistently.
In addition to differences in wealth accumulation and income, which impacts their capacity to save and invest, the study also showed that women and men have different behaviours which results in different investment and savings strategies. On average, women invest a smaller portion of their wealth than men: 21% for women versus 29% for men. Furthermore, when they receive an important sum of money, women are less likely to say that they will invest it in the financial markets: 24% of women versus 42% of men.
In the context of the IIS, the ING Group surveyed a thousand residents (500 in Luxembourg) in thirteen European countries (as well as Australia and the USA) about their attitude and expected standard of living on retirement. It is apparent from this survey that a care-free retirement seems financially beyond the reach of a number of Luxembourg residents.