• Confidence without a strong foundation
  • Couple dynamics and behaviors
  • Relationships for success

Confidence without a strong foundation

Confidence without a strong foundation

We see that women who let their relationship partners handle long-term financial decision making feel a sense of complacency in the near term; they are as confident as other women in the savings and investment decisions they are making. However, women who let their partners handle these decisions are also most likely to say they will think about retirement when they get there (34%). In the near term, it might feel fine to get into the habit of being disengaged with investing while someone else handles it, but eventually renouncing responsibility can lead to a shock if and when women have to start making decisions themselves.

  • Confident they are making the right savings and investment decisions

    Partner makes decisions and informs woman
    53% Woman makes decisions and informs partner
    49% Partners work together
    50%
  • Tend to second-guess their investment decisions*

    Partner makes decisions and informs woman
    42% Woman makes decisions and informs partner
    36% Partners work together
    29%
  • Worry they are not doing enough with their investments*

    Partner makes decisions and informs woman
    63% Woman makes decisions and informs partner
    61% Partners work together
    43%
  • Say they will think about retirement when they get there

    Partner makes decisions and informs woman
    34% Woman makes decisions and informs partner
    23% Partners work together
    17%

*base is investors with at least $100K.

Couple dynamics and behaviors

Couple dynamics and behaviors

Women who let their partners make financial decisions for them might see disengagement as a way to avoid arguments, but these women are less likely to be regularly contributing to long-term savings and investments. It might seem daunting at first, but a woman’s involvement with long-term financial decisions tangibly improves investing behaviors.

  • Long-term financial planning decisions cause arguments

    Partner makes decisions and informs woman
    6% Woman makes decisions and informs partner
    16% Partners work together
    5%
  • Make long-term financial planning one of their most important priorities

    Partner makes decisions and informs woman
    8% Woman makes decisions and informs partner
    10% Partners work together
    20%
  • Contribute regularly to long-term savings or investments

    Partner makes decisions and informs woman
    20% Woman makes decisions and informs partner
    30% Partners work together
    30%

Relationships for success

Relationships for success

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to financial health, but there are some decision making profiles that tend to produce successful outcomes for women. Within couples, women who are engaged with making long-term financial decisions and make financial decision making an important priority feel better about their financial futures and are also demonstrably in a better place financially. The increased comfort these women have with making investment-related decisions will serve them well if they are unable to rely on their partner at some point.

  • % comfortable making investment decisions

    When woman is highly engaged in financial decision-making*
    53% Total women in partnerships
    36%
  • Knowledgeable about financial products and services

    When woman is highly engaged in financial decision-making*
    61% Total women in partnerships
    46%
  • Contribute regularly to long-term savings or investments

    When woman is highly engaged in financial decision-making*
    43% Total women in partnerships
    23%

*Engaged women are those who either work together with their partner to make long-term financial decisions or who take the lead in financial decision making AND who also make long-term financial planning decisions one of the most important priorities in their relationship.

And what about women who aren’t in partnerships?

The same relationship between being engaged with financial planning and positive financial behaviors is observed in single, divorced and widowed women as well. Women outside a relationship who agree that they take financial planning seriously are much more likely to be on the right track than women who don’t do so. Disengagement with long-term financial decisions doesn’t work any better when women can’t tell themselves that someone else is taking care of it.

Investor engagement within a household shouldn’t be a last-minute shift

Women who rely on their partners to make long-term financial decisions might feel like they are avoiding arguments in the short-term, but women’s disengagement while wealth is being built can lead to them not understanding how to manage investments when the person they have relied on starts to slow down.

Taking Action

01.
Understand the Full Financial Picture

There might be a more traditional division of labor in your household when it comes to financial matters. It’s important to make it your business to understand the full financial picture for your household. Use our resources to get your financial house in order.

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02.
Define Your Goals

A successful investing strategy begins with a goal. A good way to get started on your path as a smart investor is to think about your future and what it is that you are looking to achieve – whether with a partner or on your own. Use our Financial Goal-Setting Worksheet to get started.

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03.
Get Engaged with Investing

Bonds are the foundation for a diversified portfolio and play a critical role in periods of heightened volatility. Is your bond strategy built for 2016?

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