Women More Risk Averse ? Or More Honest?

October 11, 2001 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Affluent women are more risk averse than their male counterparts, but both sexes lack knowledge on retirement investment alternatives for conservative investors, a survey by Nationwide Financial finds.

Results of the survey reveal that, in 2001:

  • three-fifths of men were willing to take substantial financial risk for possible substantial gain, compared to 57% in 2000,
  • while only 36% of women were willing to do so, compared to 40% in 2000

Both men and women were less knowledgeable about many protection products, such as fixed annuities. Only 22% of respondents were very knowledgeable about fixed annuities. This percentage did not vary by sex.

Women also report that they are less knowledgeable about key financial products than their male peers. In fact,

  • while 70% of men reported being very knowledgeable about mutual funds,
  • only 51% of women describe themselves that way, and
  • while stocks were very familiar to 65% of men,
  • they were familiar to only 50% of women surveyed

The 2001 Nationwide Financial High Income Survey questioned 500 people younger than age 60 with annual incomes greater than $150,000 per year.

– Camilla Klein              editors@plansponsor.com