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Women Underestimate Saving and Investing Strengths

Even though Fidelity Investments found women are more successful than men at saving and investing, women still desire financial help.

By Rebecca Moore | May 18, 2017
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If you think men have greater success than women when it comes to saving and investing one’s money, a study from Fidelity may surprise you.

When asked who they believed made the better investor this past year, even women thought they would not outperform men, with only 9% choosing women. But an analysis of more than eight million clients from Fidelity shows women actually tend to outperform men when it comes to generating a return on their investments.           

Regardless of education levels, personal or professional achievements, many women still have doubts about their ability to invest effectively. When asked what financial life skills they wished they learned earlier, the number one answer was “how to invest and make the most of my money.”

But findings show women have learned far more than they realize. Fidelity Investments client data analysis shows on average, women performed better than men when it comes to investing by 40 basis points, or 0.4%. At first glance this may appear to be a minor difference, but can have a significant impact over time.

Fidelity’s analysis also found that when comparing annual savings rates, women come out on top. Looking specifically at workplace retirement accounts, women consistently saved a higher percentage of their paychecks than their male counterparts at every salary level. Women saved an annual average of 9% of their paychecks, compared to an average of 8.6% saved by their male counterparts. Looking at accounts outside of workplace savings, such as IRAs and brokerage, the data showed that in proportion to their account balances, women saved more. Women added an average of 12.4% to their account balance, compared to 11.6% for men.

Over the past three years, Fidelity has seen the number of women investing their money with the firm grow significantly—by 19%, to more than 12 million.

NEXT: Women’s skills and strengths