At a time when women make up about half the U.S. workforce and have been encouraged to take charge and “lean in,” more than two out of five working married affluent women (44%) between the ages of 40 and 69 report that they earn about the same (20%) or more (24%) than their spouses, according to a new Wells Fargo Affluent Women Retirement Survey (NYSE:WFC). The telephone survey, conducted by Koski Research of 600 women with a median of $455,000 in investable assets and $145,000 in household income, examined affluent women and their perception of wealth, investing and retirement.
As affluent women gain wealth, two-thirds say having more money has made them “thriftier” and 58% describe themselves as “savers.” Yet, having wealth and strong savings values do not translate into women who also feel very confident in their investing ability. Two in five affluent women (41%) say they are “not at all” confident in their ability to invest.
“Today’s affluent women are financially savvy working women, but investing confidence doesn’t follow hand in hand with increased wealth,” said Karen Wimbish, director of Retail Retirement at Wells Fargo. “Through our research, we see that investing confidence seems to be the linchpin to so many other positive behaviors that would provide an opportunity for women to grow their savings and to build a solid foundation in retirement.”
Affluent Women and Investing in the Stock Market
According to the survey, 41% of all affluent women do not believe the stock market is the best way to grow savings, versus 52% who do. About a third of affluent women (34%) say that the stock market is “too risky” for them. In fact, as affluent women have built wealth, 64% say they have become more risk-averse. Fifty-eight percent of affluent women say they are not interested in learning more about how to invest in the stock market.