BELLEVUE, Wash., April 4 /PRNewswire/ -- When it comes to personal
finances, many women are worried about their financial future, but are
either unwilling or unable to take action to improve their situation,
according to a new survey conducted by Harris Interactive for ShareBuilder
Securities Corp. The ShareBuilder 2007 Women & Investing survey reveals
that this theme of "worry outweighing action" manifests itself in
everything from women's participation in retirement plans, to having a
brokerage account, to whether or not they have a financial game plan in
Comparing men and women, the second annual ShareBuilder Women &
Investing survey examines the factors that shape American's saving and
investing practices, how they make investing decisions, their confidence
levels and whether they believe they are adequately addressing their future
financial needs. New this year, the survey also looks at the impact
relationships have on women's finances.
"We're seeing a fairly significant 'financial disconnect' between what
women are concerned about, what they envision their own retirement will
look like, and the steps they are taking -- or not taking -- to ensure that
their vision meets with reality," said Jeff Seely, Chairman and CEO of
Financial Disconnect By the Numbers
Underscoring the financial disconnect is the fact that 36 percent of
women say they worry about retirement "all the time" (compared to 29
percent of men); conversely, 48 percent of men say they are well prepared
for retirement, compared to only 36 percent of women. In terms of saving in
general, nearly half of the women surveyed (49 percent) say they saved less
than 5 percent of their total income last year. Half as many women as men
save more than 10 percent of their annual income.
At a broader level, only 40 percent of the women surveyed say they have
any kind of "financial game plan" at all (compared to 55 percent of men).
In addition, the survey revealed that nearly one quarter (23 percent)
of the women surveyed who have a retirement plan available to them at work
do not participate at all in that plan (compared to only 17 percent of
men). This, despite the fact that 24 percent of women envision tougher
times in their retirement, characterized by "coupon clipping" and
"downsizing my home" (compared to only 15 percent of men).
Yet when it comes to spending patterns, women are reluctant to cut back
on some discretionary expenses in order to better their financial future.
For example, thirty-four percent of women said they spend more money on
dining out than they do on clothes, electronics, entertainment, sporting
events and travel, but are least willing to cut back on dining out in order
to save for retirement.
The survey reveals a similar pattern when it comes to personal
investing. Women are much less likely than men to have a brokerage account
(41 percent versus 55 percent) and women feel more "intimidated" and
"overwhelmed" then men do when it comes to investing in general.
"When it comes to saving and investing, it would appear that there is a
hesitancy that prevents women from taking action as early as they should,
despite their acknowledgement that they should be doing more than they
are," Seely said. "The good news is that at ShareBuilder, we recognize this
and are continually looking for ways to break down barriers and make
investing easier in order to help women achieve their financial goals."
On a positive note, the survey indicates that women feel more
comfortable about investing as they age. While only 39 percent of women
under 30 described themselves as knowledgeable about investing, that figure
jumps to 54 percent for women 51-60. By contrast, men's knowledge of
investing changes very little with age. Sixty seven percent of men under 30
consider themselves knowledgeable. This figure increases only three percent
for men aged 51-60.
Interestingly, about the same number of women and men (40 percent) say
they carry no credit card debt.
About This Survey
The 2007 ShareBuilder Women & Investing Survey is the company's second
annual survey conducted to evaluate women's saving and investing knowledge,
attitudes, trends, and behaviors. Data for the survey was collected online
within the United States by the Harris Interactive Service Bureau on behalf
of ShareBuilder in March 2007. The results were analyzed and compiled by an
independent research firm. Respondents included 967 women and 1057 men aged
21 and older. The subsets of men and women surveyed have an average
sampling error of not more than +/- 2%.
ShareBuilder (www.sharebuilder.com) is an online brokerage designed to
make investing in the stock market easy for long-term investors.
ShareBuilder does not require any account or investment minimums, offers
low fees on transactions and automatic, dollar-based investing programs.
ShareBuilder also offers a flexible and affordable 401(k) plan for small
business owners with fewer than 50 employees (www.sharebuilder401k.com).
ShareBuilder Securities Corporation, a subsidiary of ShareBuilder
Corporation, is a registered broker-dealer and member NASD/SIPC. See
www.sharebuilder.com for complete brokerage information, including full fee
schedule. ShareBuilder Advisors, LLC, a subsidiary of ShareBuilder
Corporation, is a registered investment advisor.
A complete copy of the 2007 ShareBuilder Women & Investing survey is
available upon request by contacting Eric Walter, DDB Public Relations at
206.447.1213 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kathy Schanno, ShareBuilder Eric Walter, DDB Public Relations
425.467.7469 / 206.447.1213 /