Outdated perceptions women have lower risk appetites when it comes to investment could be partly to blame for the growing 'gender investment gap', according to Salisbury House Wealth.
Research by the financial advice firm has found that women accounted for 54.2% of cash ISA subscriptions - up from 53.8% last year - but only 43.3% of subscriptions to stocks and shares ISAs. This is down from 44.3% last year. Overall, there are 11.1 million women UK ISA holders versus 10.6 million men.
In the long term, Salisbury House Wealth warned, this trend could leave women at a disadvantage and seriously hinder their ability to save enough for key life milestones, such as buying a house or retirement.
The firm also suggested stereotyping by some financial advisers could be leading them to encourage women to have an overly cautious approach to investment, thereby jeopardising performance in the long term.
Salisbury House Wealth managing director Tim Holmes said: "More needs to be done to ensure such old fashioned views do not interfere with determining an individual's appetite for risk, as this could continue to leave women lagging financially behind men.
"People shy away from investments they do not understand. So advisers need to do a better job of ensuring their clients fully understand how they can make their money work, within their risk profile."
Holmes added: "If this continues, women are in danger of falling far behind their male counterparts as the gender investment gap grows."
The government's independent state pension age reviewer John Cridland, published a report last week that considered whether a "more personalised" retirement age is needed that takes into account the varying socioeconomic circumstances of the individual retiree.
Part of the report looked at this from a gender perspective, highlighting that across all working groups men on average enjoy approximately £3,000 more retirement income per year than women. Consistently higher earnings by men, as well as more women taking time out of the labour market to raise a family were seen as key contributors here.
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