Decision-Making Women Prefer Adviser Help

Women are increasingly making their own decisions about how to invest money, and are more likely to use advisers than men, according to Mintel, a market research firm. 

Mintel’s data show 39% of female investors say their primary source of investment ideas are their investment advisers, compared to only about a quarter (27%) of males. Women are also slightly more likely to solicit ideas from friends and family members (29% of females versus 22% of males).

Men on the other hand are most likely to look to financial Web sites and blogs (38%), or the investment companies’ Web sites (31%). They are also much more likely than women to look to newspapers or magazines for inspiration; 27% of males like to read financial newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal (either print or online), while only 17% of females claim the same.

“Basically, women are much more likely to rely on personal interaction to get ideas, while men are more likely to look to published or televised sources of information, such as websites, newspapers or television programs,” said Susan Menke, vice president and behavioral economist at Mintel. “What this means is that because quite often both men and women are involved in the household investment decision making, financial services companies need to use a variety of channels, including advisers, to appeal to all of the members of the household,” she added.

Mintel’s data confirmed that women are becoming increasingly involved in financial decision-making. The number of women who say they have a self-directed investment account is not significantly different from the number of men who say the same (30% of women and 36% of men).  This is particularly true for women who report a household income higher than $75,000—almost half of this group (46%) describes themselves as self-directed investors.