Women & Investing

Posted 02 Jun 2015 by Patricia Bell, PFP

Would it surprise you to learn that in Canada, women influence over $1.3 trillion of investable assets? Not only that:

  • One in three Canadian women earn more than their husbands;
  • Women represent nearly half the labour force and are earning the majority of undergraduate and graduate degrees;
  • 4 out of 5 of new businesses are started by women.

Despite all this encouraging data, only 12% of women feel financially ‘very successful’. Could this be because only 3 in 10 women have a plan to address their financial needs?

The average retirement age for Canadian women is 58, while our life expectancy is now averaging 83. 41% of traditional marriages end in divorce before their 30th anniversary and with our longer life expectancy, it’s likely that 9 out of 10 women will be left with sole responsibility for their finances at some point in their lives.1

Building and maintaining a financial plan requires attention to these three keys:

  1. Managing the taxation of your investments and income;
  2. Investing soundly, with good advice;
  3. Starting early and having time for your assets to grow.


How can women manage our wealth better?

As with other things we procrastinate on, often we simply don’t know where to begin. Talk to women whose opinions you value. Do they have a financial plan? Who do they trust with their wealth management? What makes them comfortable about working with their financial advisor? Some women like lots of details and like to ‘drill down’ into the nitty-gritty specifics of what makes a particular investment, whether it be mutual funds, stocks, etc., suitable for them. Others like to develop the client-advisor relationship more and want a higher level overview of why an investing strategy will work well for them.

A good advisor can adapt to the needs of both types of clients. Once you’ve collected a few potential names, ask for an introduction.  Make the first meeting with your potential advisor about getting to know each other, not specifics about investing. Like any long term relationship, if it’s going to succeed you not only have to respect each other, you have to like each other too.


1 Sources: Boston Consulting Group (BCG) / TD Study. 2012 TD Investors Poll