The investment gender divide - and why it’s important for women, especially, to overcome it

Video: Personal Finance Editor Simon Read talks to Fidelity’s Maike Currie about why women may be making a mistake by being too safe with their savings

There’s a gender divide when it comes to investing: research suggests that women are less aggressive investors and tend to take less risk than men.

But is that a good thing? Maike Currie of Fidelity Personal Investing things not. She warns that focusing on keeping your savings safe can mean losing out on better returns, which can be essential to meet your long-term financial goals.

“Women can be so focused on capital preservation – looking after their savings – that they may find that their savings aren’t growing enough,” she warns.

“The key thing is to decide investment goals and decide how much risk you’re prepared to take to achieve those investment goals,” says Maike.

She points out that at the moment the safer investments, such as cash and bonds, are not paying a high enough return to help most people’s saving grow enough.

“It is important to remember that you are planning for a life after 65. Depending on your tolerance for risk, make sure that you are not being too conservative with your asset allocation,” Maike advises.

That’s especially true if you have, say, another 20 years – or longer - ahead of you to benefit from the potential gains from your investment choices.

The fact is most of us underestimate how long we will live for. But you may do well to hold higher returning, more risky assets to ensure your pension pot enjoys sufficient growth so that you do not run out of money prematurely, she says.

Of course, there are no easy answers. But it is important to think about your choices and work to ensure that your savings are working hard for you. If you have a deposit account or shares or funds outside an Isa, for instance, you’re losing out on a valuable tax benefit.

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