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Women control about 30% of all wealth in North America, says Julie Barker-Merz, president of BMO InvestorLine.

Read: Majority of women are breadwinners

Yet, a recent BMO study finds only 68% of those surveyed feel confident when making investment decisions, compared to 83% of men.

However, “women are taking a larger role [when it comes to] the management of their own finances,” says Barker-Merz, “so we must work to understand and support…their needs.”

Read: Stereotypes wreck KYC

On the bright side, one third of women (30%) already depend on advice when making investing decisions, compared to only 15% of men. Additionally, women are more likely to welcome education and guidance before committing to financial decisions.

When asked about financial goals, the women surveyed said they prefer safe investments (60%, compared to 44% of men) and that they strive to avoid major losses (51%, compared to 42% of men).

“Female investors tend to be more…focused on looking at the big picture and planning for the future,” says Barker-Merz. “However, there’s a distinction between being risk-averse and simply risk-aware,” so advisors need to discern which group their clients fall into during the discovery process.

Read: Rethinking risk aversion

Regional breakdown of results

Region % of women who are confident investors % of men who are confident investors % of Canadians who say investing has traditionally been a role for men % of women who depend on advice % of men who depend on advice
National 68 83 83 28 15
Atlantic 59 77 82 27 17
Quebec 71 85 86 40 19
Ontario 71 83 83 21 14
Prairies 69 87 80 37 16
Alberta 63 80 86 23 13
B.C. 63 83 80 30 14

Originally published on Advisor.ca

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