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Number of female investors below that of male investors

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The number of female retail investors is at levels well below that of their male counterparts, according to new research from Duncan Lawrie Private Bank.

A recent study estimates there are 8.4 million adult men in the UK that have an investment portfolio, compared to just 5.8 million women.
 
Of those women that do not have an investment portfolio, almost one in five (17 per cent) said that the thought of investing is too worrying and they don’t want to lose any money, while a similar amount (18 per cent) said that they did not have enough confidence in their knowledge and understanding of investments to start a portfolio.
 
However, despite the low numbers, women who do invest are much more likely to seek advice from a financial adviser or bank to help manage their investments with over half (54 per cent) of those with a portfolio saying that they seek the majority of their advice from these sources, compared to just 36 per cent of men.
 
Richard Boyd, chartered financial planner at Duncan Lawrie Private Bank, says: “Female investors have traditionally been at lower levels than men due to pay discrepancies and social imbalance. However, with women increasingly earning more and taking control over household finances, there really is no excuse for such a divide any more.
 
“Cash is no longer king and this is presenting a real challenge for savers. Investment portfolios are one of the few effective ways in which people can make their money work harder for them. Clearly, many women are still put off by a perceived lack of knowledge and understanding, but with a good financial planner or investment manager, these fears can be overcome very easily.”
 
The private bank’s research also found that, as a nation, 78 per cent of people do not have an investment portfolio, with one of the leading reasons for this being trust. Almost one in five (19 per cent) of these people cited a lack of trust in bankers and the economy as a reason for not investing.
 
Boyd, says: “Individuals must be able to put their faith in institutions and know that their wealth and prosperity is being put first. While the economy is on a road to recovery the mind-set of many individuals is still heavily tainted due to events of the past. Recent regulation may have attempted to open up the world of investing to more consumers, but it does not seem to have had the desired effect.
 
“Investment portfolios should not be daunting and to ignore them in the current economic climate and simply rely on cash could be costly. There is a lot more we can all do to help those people considering investing, including providing the right levels of education and advice to engender trust and a culture of long-term investing for the future.”

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