Genders split on investments, retirement

By John Powell | November 1, 2010 | Last updated on November 1, 2010
2 min read

Men are not only from Mars and women are from Venus but the two sexes apparently live into two different timelines as well: the future and the present.

According to a study conducted by BlackRock’s iShares business in Canada, Male investors live for the present while cautious female investors are looking ahead to the future. 59% of female respondents feel they have to supplement their pension plans and 65% believe maintaining their lifestyle in retirement were important reasons to generate income from their investments. That is compared to 44% and 49% of men.

In the case of their retirement portfolios, women were more likely to hold onto conservative investments and almost entirely shied away from equities.

Men, on the other hand, were drawn to including gold, foreign currency and dividend paying stocks in their portfolios.

Both males and females though were unlikely to see ETFs as income generation investments. Only 6% of the overall respondents held ETFs in their RRSP portfolio.

“We were surprised that only a small number of investors included ETFs in their retirement plans. ETFs offer a host of benefits for the long-term investor: they generate regular income, preserve capital and cost less in management fees than mutual funds,” said Mary Anne Wiley, managing director, Head of iShares Distribution, BlackRock Asset Management Canada Limited. “To ensure that investors get the most from their retirement plans, they should seek additional sources of information or talk with their financial advisor to develop a retirement strategy that includes ETFs.”

Both men (34%) and women (24%) agreed that government, public pension plans will not remain viable for the future and alternative ways, methods must be found.

“In contrast to men, women rely on other sources of income to reach their retirement goals – it’s no longer enough to depend on public and private pension plans for retirement income,” explained Wiley.

Despite making advances in many different areas, women still only make up a smaller portion of the investment community weighing in at only 37%. However, 75% of the women surveyed relied on a financial advisor or broker versus only 58% of the men.

The ‘2010 iShares Individual Investors’ study was based on an online survey conducted by The Gandalf Group. Canadian investors across the country with at least $50,000 invested in the stock market, in bonds or in mutual funds were polled.

John Powell