BMO Financial Group

BMO Financial Group

September 16, 2014 06:00 ET

BMO InvestorLine Study Reveals Men Are More Confident Investors than Women

- Sixty-eight per cent of women feel confident when investing, versus 83 per cent of men

- Almost 60 per cent of Canadians believe society supports men over women with respect to investing

- Women tend to make more informed decisions and report being more conservative investors than men

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Sept. 16, 2014) - BMO InvestorLine today issued a new study which examines the confidence levels and different investing styles and priorities of Canadian women and men. The study found that 68 per cent of women feel confident when making investment decisions, compared to 83 per cent of men.

When Canadians were asked why women might lack confidence when investing, the study found that:

  • Eighty-three per cent believe that investing has traditionally been viewed as a role for men.
  • Fifty-eight per cent report that society is not as supportive of women investing as they are of men.
  • Forty-eight per cent contend that women are intimidated by investing.

"History and society have not viewed men and women equally with respect to investing," said Julie Barker-Merz, President, BMO InvestorLine. "However the times are changing; women currently control one third of all wealth in North America and this is increasing by eight per cent annually. We need to adjust our thinking accordingly. Women are taking a larger role with the management of their own finances and we must work to understand and support the different approach that they take to investing and adjust to meet their needs."

Ms. Barker-Merz noted that the study found that one third of women depend on advice when making investing decisions, compared to only 15 per cent of men. Additionally, women are more likely to seek education and guidance to learn the options available to them before committing to an investment decision.

To help Canadians who are seeking more guidance when investing, BMO InvestorLine introduced adviceDirect in 2012. adviceDirect acts as a virtual investment advisor, providing buy and sell recommendations based on an investor's profile that is tailored specifically for an individual's goals, time frame and risk tolerance. adviceDirect is an ideal platform for female investors looking for some direction and assistance when investing while staying in control of their investment decisions. It also helps meet the needs of the time-strapped investor who wants to make decisions on their schedule, not someone else's. InvestorLine has a long-standing commitment to helping educate both their self-directed and adviceDirect clients through a variety of resources such as newsletters, tutorials, seminars and webcasts in order to help them make informed decisions, invest with confidence and make it easier for them to be successful online investors.

Women Taking the Conservative Route to Achieving Financial Goals

When asked what concerns them most when investing, the study revealed that women are focused primarily on putting their money into safe investments (60 per cent vs. 44 per cent of men) and avoiding big losses (51 per cent vs. 42 per cent of men). Men, on the other hand, tend to focus on building and accumulating their wealth (35 per cent vs. 26 per cent of women).

"In general, female investors tend to be more reserved and much more focused on looking at the big picture and planning for the future than their male counterparts," said Ms. Barker-Merz. "However, there is a clear distinction between being risk-averse and simply risk-aware and this is what we are learning about women and how to better support their journey."

Ms. Barker-Merz concluded by issuing a challenge to women and the financial services industry in Canada: "It's incumbent on women to take on more responsibility to become more educated and confident investors. The financial services industry also has a role to play in this by helping women get the support they need to fulfill their financial goals. We need to stop making assumptions and do a better job listening and learning."

Regional Breakdown

Region % of women who are confident investors % of men who are confident investors % of Canadians who believe believe that investing has traditionally been a role for men % of women who depend on advice % of men who depend on advice
National 68 83 83 28 15
Atlantic 59 77 82 27 17
Quebec 71 85 86 40 19
Ontario 71 83 83 21 14
Prairies 69 87 80 37 16
Alberta 63 80 86 23 13
B.C. 63 83 80 30 14

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The BMO Investment Survey was conducted by Pollara between September 3rd and 4th, 2014, with an online sample of 1308 adult Canadians. Data has been weighted using the latest Canadian census information to be representative in terms of age, gender and region. The margin of error for a probability sample size of 1308 is ± 2.7%, 19 times out of 20.

About BMO InvestorLine

BMO InvestorLine is an online investing service that provides clients with two ways to invest online. Clients can choose from BMO InvestorLine's top ranked Self-Directed service that provides tools to help investors make independent decisions on how to invest. BMO InvestorLine's other service, adviceDirect™ provides investors with online advice and investment recommendations for their portfolios. Clients have access to trading, quotes and account information 24 hours a day through a website. BMO InvestorLine also provides users with third party research, along with leading edge tools that are informative and easy to use. As an all-in-one investment source, it is a constantly evolving, cost-efficient platform that is fully compatible with tablets.

BMO InvestorLine Inc. and BMO Ligne D'action Inc. provide this commentary to clients for informational purposes only. The information contained herein is based on sources that we believe to be reliable, but is not guaranteed by us, may be incomplete or may change without notice. The comments included in this document are general in nature, and professional advice regarding an individual's particular position should be obtained.

An adviceDirect account is a non-discretionary fee based account which offers investment recommendations. adviceDirect does not provide portfolio management by a portfolio manager. The client makes their own investment decisions and manages their own investment portfolio. adviceDirect does not offer discretionary, managed accounts.

BMO InvestorLine Inc. is a member of BMO Financial Group.

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