News + Insight

Taking financial control - do women lose out?

26 May 2017

When it comes to investing, are women missing out on opportunities to secure their financial future?

Women’s reluctance to invest is apparent across the world, a survey conducted by IP Global and YouGov in March 2017 reveals. Across all markets surveyed (UK, UAE, China, Hong Kong and Singapore), women were 10-15% less likely than men to invest in the next 12 months.

IP Global’s global distribution manager Shelley Wren remarked, “Women are less likely to invest than men, which demonstrates a lack of financial confidence that is widespread. In the UK and overseas there is a lot that could and should be done, not just to encourage women to invest alongside their male counterparts, but to welcome them into the financial services industry.”


According to the survey, women in the UK are 10% less likely to invest than men in the next 12 months with just 12% making plans for their finances. China had the biggest gender gap with women 15% less likely to invest in the next 12 months than men.

The survey further revealed that only 5% of UK women plan to invest in stocks and shares. This is compared to 35% of women in Singapore, 19% of women in the UAE, 62% of women in Hong Kong and 36% of those in China. Other intangible assets included in the survey were stocks and shares, bonds, art, antiques and FX products.


In the 25-34 age group, men were more willing to invest than women in every asset class; namely stocks, shares or bonds, commodities, property in the UK, property abroad, foreign exchange products, art and antiques.

Across the five markets, women aged 25-34 are most likely to make investments, while women aged over 55 are the most averse to making investments over the next 12 months. “Most young people wanting to invest in tangible assets such as housing is not surprising,” Wren continued. “In the UK, there is little education provided for our young people on how to make stock market investments or how to manage their long-term finances.”

In the 18-24 age group, women were most likely to invest in property in the UK (6.2%) followed by stocks, shares and bonds (4.1%). This is compared to men of which 10% plan to invest in UK property and 14.5% plan to invest in stocks, shares or bonds.


According to Wren and confirmed by FT Advisor’s Simoney Kyriakou, a likely explanation for this is the overuse of jargon. “There are a lot of acronyms used and specialist terms, which is confusing and can put people off, particularly those who haven’t invested before. Removing the mystery that surrounds investment technology and the language used would be a great step forward in encouraging women to invest,” Wren said. 

Women investment


The total sample size of survey participants was 6,007 adults, of whom 2,000 were from the UK, 1,000 from UAE, 1,000 from Singapore, 1,006 from Hong Kong and 1,001 from mainland China. Fieldwork was undertaken in late February to early March 2017, and carried out online. Quota sampling was used to ensure that the sample was representative of all online adults (aged 18+) in each country.


IP Global

Written by IP Global

IP Global’s full-service approach is built on extensive market research and analysis combined with a significant financial commitment to every investment we offer. We are able to manage the entire investment process end-to-end, from sourcing, financing, and management to those all important exit strategies, making investment in real estate as straightforward as investing in more traditional asset classes. Our expertise, experience and strong record have produced over USD2.8 billion in international real estate investments in over 30 markets worldwide.