SOURCE: BMO Private Bank

BMO Private Bank

May 10, 2013 15:10 ET

BMO Private Bank Mother's Day Study: Women in Missouri Are Equal Partners in Family's Long-Term Financial Planning -- Or So They Say

KANSAS CITY, MO and ST. LOUIS, MO--(Marketwired - May 10, 2013) -

  • Sixty percent of Missouri women report equal involvement in decisions on saving, investing and retirement planning, but a huge discrepancy exists in perceptions of who is the primary decision maker.
  • Missouri women are less confident than men in their ability to manage their own investments, and nearly two-thirds of Missouri women do not have a financial advisor.
  • When it comes to the most important traits in a financial advisor, women value advisors who listen to them and who explain concepts in plain English, while men place higher value advisors who outperform the market.

A Mother's Day study released today by BMO Private Bank has revealed that the majority women in Missouri (60 percent) believe they share equal ownership of decisions related to savings, investing and retirement planning with their spouse or partner. However, only 23 percent of Missouri men see it that way.

According to the study:

  • Seventy-four percent of Missouri's women indicate they own or share decisions about long-term financial planning -- including saving, investing and retirement planning -- equally with their spouse or partner, below the national average of 84 percent. Only 14 percent report themselves as the primary decision maker, compared to 36 percent of women nationally.
  • A discrepancy exists in perceptions of who is the primary financial decision maker. Sixty percent of Missouri women see themselves as equally involved in the long-term financial planning and decision making, while only 23 percent of Missouri men credit their partners with equal involvement in long-term financial decision making.
  • Fifty percent of Missouri men view themselves as the primary decision maker, while only 18% of Missouri women see their spouses as primary decision maker.
  • While Missouri women are more likely than Missouri men to view themselves as the primary decision-makers regarding day-to-day budgeting and spending decisions (60% to 47% respectively), they trail the national average of 71 percent of women.

"Women in America are taking an increased role in their families' financial decisions, especially when it comes to long-term financial planning," said Dr. Kim Bridges, Financial Planner, BMO Private Bank. "As they take on more responsibility, it will become important that they align themselves with an experienced financial advisor to help them achieve their financial goals."

Despite their involvement in the family's financial decisions, women in the Show Me State lack confidence in their decision-making abilities and fail to seek professional financial advice. The study noted that:

  • Twenty-one percent of Missouri women reported are not with a financial advisor because they are confident in their abilities to manage their own investments, compared to 35 percent of men.
  • Nearly two-thirds of men and women in Missouri do not have a financial or investment advisor (64 percent women vs. 65 percent men). This exceeds the national average of those without a financial advisor (58 percent women vs. 50 percent men).

When it comes to the most important traits in a financial advisor, both men and women indicate honesty and trustworthiness as the most important trait. In addition, women place higher value on advisors who listen to them and who explain concepts free of financial jargon, while men value advisors who outperform the market.

  • Forty-four percent of Missouri women and 42 percent of men indicated the trait of honesty and trustworthiness as being most important in an investment advisor.
  • Eighteen percent of Missouri men place highest priority on the ability to deliver strong returns, while only six percent of women do.
  • Seven percent of women and 2 percent of men place highest priority on an advisor's ability to explain things in easy-to-understand language.

"As an industry, we need to improve how we listen to women so that we can better respond to their unique and evolving needs," said Dr. Bridges. "With women across the United States taking more control of the household purse, financial advisors are in a pivotal position to help them plan for their family's financial future."

About BMO Private Bank, a Part of BMO Financial Group:
BMO Private Bank is a brand name used in the United States by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. Not all products and services are available in every state and/or location.

BMO and BMO Financial Group are trade names used by Bank of Montreal.

All results come from a Pollara survey fielded online with 1,500 Americans between April 26th and May 1st, 2013. The margin of error for a probability sample of this size would be +/- 2.5%, 19 times out of 20. The survey included an oversample of 200 Missouri residents.

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