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Women and investing: Statistics and facts

Find out how women are investing.

There are more women investing now than ever, and data tells us they can be better investors than their male counterparts. To find out more, we've rounded up important statistics from recent studies into investing that build a profile of female investors.

Data has been gathered from the ASX Australian Investor Study 2020 and the Fidelity Investments 2021 Women and Investments Study.

Key statistics

  • In 2020, 42% of Australian investors were female.
  • The highest proportion of Australian female investors viewed their portfolio monthly (21%) compared to weekly for male investors (28%).
  • Only 1 in 3 Australian female investors are aware of exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
  • 50% of American women say they are more interested in investing since the start of the pandemic.

How women invest in Australia

Asset classFemaleMale
Australian shares held directly53%59%
Residential investment property37%39%
Term deposits31%25%
International shares held directly12%15%
Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)11%17%
Listed investment companies (LIC)7%10%
Investment properties8%11%

More women are investing for higher returns

  • In 2020, over half of the Australians who said they were intending to invest in the future (51%) were female.
  • 50% of women in the US say they are more interested in investing since the start of the pandemic.
  • The majority of women investing in the US outside of retirement (71%) were millennials.
  • An analysis of 5 million Fidelity customers over a 10-year period found that on average women outperformed men by 10 basis points.
Investor typeFemaleMale
New investors in the last 12 months45%55%
New investors 5–10 years ago31%69%
Intending to invest in the next 12 months51%49%

Investment options and challenges

  • Only one third of American women see themselves as investors.
  • Australian female investors tend to be more risk-averse, with 20% preferring guaranteed returns compared with 14% of men.
  • Only 45% of Australian female investors describe their portfolio as "diversified" compared to 61% of men.
  • Only one-third (34%) of Australian female investors were aware of ETFs, compared to 55% of male investors.
  • 70% of American women say to invest they would need to know more about picking individual stocks.
ChallengeFemaleMale
Market volatility/risk35%36%
Fear of investment underperformance34%27%
Fear of hidden fees32%22%
Information overload, don't know who to trust30%25%
Difficult to identify the best companies30%27%
Not knowing what investments to select29%21%

The future of female investors

  • 45% of Australians who began investing in the last 12 months were female, an increase from 31% among those who started 5–10 years ago.
  • 62% of American women plan to increase their understanding of financial planning and investing over the next 12 months.
  • If given $25,000 to invest in the stock market, 47% of American women would know what steps to take to do so.

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