Married women aged 45 and under are twice as likely as older married women to make financial decisions in their families, according to a new report from Merrill Lynch Wealth Management.
The report covered 4,000 women of all ages.
He revealed that more women, regardless of their martial status, are taking control of their money: 75% of women under 45 say they manage their money on their own, compared to 50% of women over 55.
Part of the difference is because women marry at an older age than their parents’ generation, says Kirstin Hill, COO of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. When they marry later, it is common for both partners to continue to manage at least some of their finances and investments separately.
Women are also more educated than ever and are more often the main sources of income for their families. This increases their confidence in handling money.
“Younger women are probably on the shoulders of generations of women before them and are now seizing the opportunity to take control of their finances,” says Hill.
Young women also actively educate themselves about financial matters and are more comfortable talking about their finances with others, says Hill.
Another part of the study measured unconscious bias in the financial advisory industry. It has been found that while most advisers have ‘good intentions’, they are still more likely to assume that a woman does not have much investment knowledge (even if she makes the decisions in her family. ) or they assume that women are inherently risk averse, which is not always the case.
To demonstrate unconscious bias, researchers at Merrill Lynch used live eye tracking technology to measure how much time a financial advisor spent making eye contact with each partner of a heterosexual couple in the same meeting. It was found that counselors, regardless of gender, spent 60% of the meeting focusing on the male partner.
Women investors are aware of this bias and are more likely than men to do something:
35% of women say they would change advisors after such an experience, compared to 30% of men.
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It shows that women today are more comfortable taking control of their finances than previous generations were, says Hill.
“They feel comfortable talking about money, they are comfortable making decisions about their money, they are comfortable asking questions and making decisions on the advice they receive.” , he said.
In the future, more women are expected to take control of financial decision-making.
“This is the momentum it can be worth, and I think that would be wonderful,” he said.
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