Female financial confidence is growing – but significant knowledge gaps remain
New research, launched today by independent financial education platform SmartPurse, has discovered that while female financial confidence is growing, significant gaps in their knowledge remain, hindering many from building secure financial futures.
The Women’s Financial Wellness Barometer research, conducted by SmartPurse among over 2500 international respondents, found that a well over half (54%) of women in the UK consider their financial plans for retirement to be below average or poor.
Almost half of the British women surveyed (47%) rate their ‘safety plan’ for emergencies or unexpected life events as below average or poor. Some 48% overall rated themselves as similarly below average to poor when it comes to being prepared for bigger life events and having basic documents such as insurances or a will in place.
Almost two-thirds (60%) of UK women consider their financial planning to be poor or average when it comes to planning ahead for the next 12 months, five years, or decade. In fact, over two-fifths of those surveyed (48%) consider their understanding of major financial concepts such as risk, compounding and diversification to be below par, while almost two thirds rate their comprehension of investment options such as stocks, bonds, ETFs or robo-advisors as below average.
Despite these findings, most women rate their financial knowledge as ‘average’, while almost one in eight (77%) have a clear understanding of how much their work is worth and how much they possess, and have confident conversations with family and friends about finances (73%) – a figure which has increased over the last year.
Women also want their money to make a difference and are ready to act: more than half of those surveyed (57%) rate themselves as good to very good when it comes to wanting to make a difference with their money.
Released to mark the launch of its innovative new financial education app, the SmartPurse research also found that over half of respondents (55%) are unaware how financial services providers could help them, or how products are priced, while more concerningly, 62% stated they don’t know how to find a professional advisor they trust.
Commenting on the research, Olga Miler, SmartPurse co-founder, stated, “The Pandemic and its uncertainties have led to a number of women becoming much more confident with their finances, but the rest of the survey shows just how important education is to women when it comes to maximising their financial futures.
“As a practical introduction to the world of investment or even just planning for retirement, existing methods aren’t helping women who want to learn. Our services aim to change that by mixing inspiration from leading and accessible experts in various financial products, alongside practical and fun ways that women can learn more about how to make the most of their money.”
The SmartPurse platform offers women access to a bespoke financial coaching and learning toolbox to help them take control of their financial future and achieve financial independence. Now available as an app, its money school features provide accessible and manageable ways for users to learn more about their financial options through 80+ short 3-7 min lessons, and fit their financial knowledge building around busy lives.
SmartPurse currently delivers a range of educational modules, all co-created by women, on themes such as retirement, investment and saving. Members also have access to a variety of in-person sessions and courses, and can choose to learn on the app, or via the web platform.
Users can find and connect with credible financial advisors who understand women’s lives first-hand, and access a growing, diverse community via forums and events. Members can tailor their SmartPurse experience to their individual needs and goals, customising which modules and other services they use. The ‘freemium’ model means educational resources are available free of charge for women who do not wish to sign-up to the full proposition.