Per the study, only 66 percent of women said they had general knowledge regarding stocks, bonds and mutual funds, compared to 85 percent of the men surveyed. More telling still, just 34 percent of women surveyed said they felt confident that their investments were allocated appropriately between stocks, bonds and cash. The figure for men was 49 percent. The result is often an overly conservative investing strategy that can hurt the growth of retirement savings.
"Women may be more conservative because they consider how investment losses can change their life," said certified financial planner Lazetta Braxton, CEO of fee-only wealth management firm Financial Fountains. "Some may just have a lack of exposure to investments and markets, and when you're not sure about something, you'll be more conservative."
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Cathy Curtis, a certified financial planner who focuses on "savvy women and their families," said most of the women she works with have taken the lead on finances for themselves and their families and are ready for the financial-planning process.
Nevertheless, she, too, sees a conservative bent in many of her clients.
"The women who hire me aren't ignorant of investing principles, but I do see a conservative streak in many of them," said Curtis, founder and owner of Curtis Financial Planning. "I need to help make sure they get invested into stocks."