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More Brits would rather jump out of a plane than invest

11 July, 2017

Although images of Theresa May, Arlene Foster and Angela Merkel dominate the papers today, and female leadership (well, attempted leadership but let’s not start that) is a fact of life, there is one area where a massive gender gap persists. And that’s investing.

We know that just 11% of women have stocks and shares ISAs ( compared to 17% of blokes. And collectively we are much more likely to stick with cash (, hesitant to get into the risky waters of shares. We’ve conducted some research ( for Alliance Trust Savings and found that some of the old gender clichés are still true when it comes to money.

Women are more likely to seek others’ opinions. We’re collaborative. 34% would ask their partner and 40% ask friends and family about money. Just 20% of men ask their partner and 23% seek help from friends and family. And men tend to feel that they’re in the financial driving seat. Nearly 6 out of 10 men say they have the main responsibility for the household finances but their partners have a different view – 5 in 10 women tell us they are equally responsible for the family finances. Go figure.

As for the outlook for the UK economy, women are markedly more pessimistic – both in general and also when it comes to their own personal finances. But it’s not just women who feel uneasy with the world of investing.

Big South African brand Investec ( (you know – the zebra lot) published research this week which shows that more Brits would rather jump out of a plane than commit to a long-term financial investment. That’s just bonkers! 75% of people wouldn’t even consider investing if they received a sudden windfall of £10,000. Why? The risk of losing money and a lack of understanding due to jargon use.

One trend we’re seeing which could encourage more hesitant cash savers to stick a toe in the stock market waters is the massive growth of online investment solutions which do the heavy lifting for us. On Tuesday this week Investec became the latest brand to launch a ‘robo adviser (’ – Click & Invest ( This takes customers with £10,000 or more and allocates them a blended portfolio of funds. All-in fees are circa 1.3% a year -the dummy portfolio I set up would cost me £133.13 a year all-in for a £10,000 portfolio. Anyone can have a play around and take their 13 question risk profiler quiz which leads to a personalised investment proposal document.