July 09, 2012 10:26 ET

SEI Quick Poll: Female Breadwinners Twice as Likely to Feel Tension From Partner on Financial Decisions

OAKS, PA--(Marketwire - Jul 9, 2012) - Wealthy families may have more money than most, but they are not immune to the stresses that accompany family financial decisions, according to a poll released today by SEI (NASDAQ: SEIC). While an overwhelming majority of those polled said their spouse/partner is comfortable with how financial decisions are made, 1 in 5 said that they feel their spouse/partner is stressed by their lead or participation in the process, with several notable differences between male and female respondents.

Women who identified themselves as the primary financial contributors were more likely to experience tension with their partners than their male counterparts. In fact, almost a third of female financial leads polled (29 percent) said they believe their partner feels stressed by their role in financial decision making, while only a fraction of the males polled (14 percent) said they feel tension from their partner. What's less clear are the underlying issues related to these questions. For example, are women simply more likely to recognize tension in their relationship? Or do both parties truly feel less stress if the man is both the breadwinner and primary financial decision maker?

"When you're dealing with relationships and money, stress is a given, and when a woman is the primary wealth creator the survey shows it's even greater," said Michael Farrell, Managing Director for SEI Private Wealth Management. "But no matter who the primary contributor is, open and honest discussions go a long way toward reducing stress and creating healthier financial dynamics. That's why it's vital to have a discovery process where both partners work together to understand and agree on a common set of goals and priorities. That kind of open dialogue is essential to increasing communication and in turn, the likelihood long-term success."

The poll, conducted in partnership with independent research firm Phoenix Marketing International, had more than 500 respondents (with various segments containing 100 respondents) representing individuals or families with more than $1 million of investable assets. Of those respondents feeling stress, spending and investment decisions were the most likely causes. More than half of those who experience stress (58 percent) said spending decisions were the cause, while more than a third of that group (34 percent) said investment decisions were their source of tension. Savings decisions were identified as a top source of stress by another third of those polled (33 percent). Nearly three-quarters of those who said they were comfortable with their role in financial decisions (72 percent) pointed to discussions with their spouse/partner as the reason.

Other top sources of tension in wealthy households include income level (29 percent), money given to children (21 percent), control (21 percent), and giving/charity (20 percent). Perhaps surprisingly, the topic identified as the least likely source of added tension was money given to other family members (14 percent).

About SEI Private Wealth Management
SEI Private Wealth Management provides clarity into the complex issues faced by wealthy individuals and families so they can make better decisions for themselves, their families, and their communities. In September 2011, SEI Private Wealth Management, formerly the SEI Wealth Network, was named to the National Association of Board Certified Advisory Practices' (NABCAP) Premier Advisor list, published by the Philadelphia Business Journal. SEI Private Wealth Management is an umbrella name for various life and wealth advisory services provided by SEI Investments Management Corporation (SIMC). SIMC is a subsidiary of SEI. For more information about SEI Private Wealth Management, visit

About SEI
SEI (NASDAQ: SEIC) is a leading global provider of investment processing, fund processing, and investment management business outsourcing solutions that help corporations, financial institutions, financial advisors, and ultra-high-net-worth families create and manage wealth. As of March 31, 2012, through its subsidiaries and partnerships in which the company has a significant interest, SEI manages or administers $428 billion in mutual fund and pooled or separately managed assets, including $189 billion in assets under management and $239 billion in client assets under administration. For more information, visit