BMO: Women less confident about retirement

Female investors are typically less aggressive—but also less impulsive—than their male counterparts, according to the results of a new BMO study.

The BMO Women & Wealth Study found that only 16% of Canadian women polled consider themselves aggressive investors, compared with 30% of men. Also, just 13% of women respondents think they are impulsive in investing, compared with 21% of men.

“Women typically have different approaches to investing than men,” said Viki Lazaris, president and CEO of BMO InvestorLine, during a panel hosted by BMO this week. “Female investors tend to be more conservative and risk-averse. They often seek out advice, prefer a more collaborative relationship and are more open to assistance.”

Lazaris commented that education is important to help women become more engaged and confident investors.

The panel also discussed the need for women to establish a financial plan that includes saving for retirement. According to the survey, 59% of Canadians have a financial plan, but more men than women (64% versus 55%) say they have such a plan. Also, while 74% of all Canadians are confident they will be able to save enough to fund their desired retirement lifestyle, more men than women (79% versus 70%).

“Women have unique challenges not always faced by men,” said Caroline Dabu, vice-president and head of BMO’s Wealth Planning Group. “On average, women live longer than men, and they have lower earnings over their lifetime. This means that women need to ensure they have the established plans in place for more savings that take into account a longer time spent in retirement. Healthcare costs are also a key consideration for women as they think about retirement plans.”