Women Co. Owners Ready to Assume Investment Risk

May 1, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A new survey has found that women who own their own companies are willing to consider accumulation strategies that are fairly involved and that they have a high risk tolerance.

A news release from OppenheimerFunds said its latest survey of women business owners found that 85% said they were willing to take above average risks if they could expect above average returns.

According to the survey, the women business owners agree that office and household finances require different financial products and services. The female executives listed retirement plans and retirement planning as the two areas they would like their financial advisor to address at their companies.

Respondents also said business expansion and succession planning were important for business needs, while wealth/estate planning and children’s education were important for household needs.

Overall, according to the news release, a higher percentage of respondents (72%) said they use a financial advisor for their household investments versus business investments (60%) and many of the women surveyed (40%) consciously use the same financial advisor for both.

Most women business owners looked to their accountants (36%) to make financial advisor recommendations for their business financial affairs. Half of women rely on financial advisors to make investment decisions for their business, followed by business associates (40%) and accountants (30%).

“Women business owners are savvy about making financial decisions and are interested in learning and trying new things,” said Lauren Coulston, Assistant Vice President, Advocacy and Training Manager at OppenheimerFunds, in the news release. “However, they are also pressed for time and rely on their financial advisors to help keep them on top of their finances. We will continue to provide advisors with educational tools tailored to women investors.”

Qualified to Invest

Just as many women business owners do not feel qualified to make investment decisions as those who do (40% each), and the majority (65%) agree that they need help managing their financial affairs. Half of the women surveyed said they enjoy investing and most think they are doing a good job managing their money (59%). Thirty-five percent of women business owners use two financial advisors for their household compared to nearly half who use two financial advisors for their business.

Sixty percent of the women surveyed agree that the Internet is a good tool for getting financial information, while only 13% said it is not a good tool.

The same number of respondents (60%) agree that they consider corporate support for women’s entrepreneurship as a factor in their business purchase decisions.

The survey was answered by 150 members of the Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), a non-profit membership organization which consists of female entrepreneurs at the million and multi-million dollar sales level ($2 million in gross annual sales or $1 million for service-based business), regarding their financial management practices.