Report: Malaysian women are more likely to invest than men

by S BIRRUNTHA / pic TMR File

MALAYSIAN women are more likely to invest consistently at 1.22 times over 20 months compared to men, according to wealth management platform StashAway.

The platform highlighted that, since making their first investment, women in Malaysia and Singapore were, on average, 1.1 times more likely than men to invest each month.

“However, in the Middle East, where our platform has been live for a little over a year, we see the opposite trend: Men were, on average, 1.3 times more likely to invest consistently compared to women,” it said in a recent report titled “StashAway Insights 2022 — Bridging the Gender Investing Gap”.

StashAway also pointed out that women choose lower-risk portfolios compared to men.

It said across all regions, male investors are more likely to invest in portfolios with a higher StashAway Risk Index, of which higher-risk portfolios are more likely to be met with short-term volatility.

“However, women are more likely to follow through with their commitment to investing.

“For instance, in Malaysia, 44% of women who signed up have invested on our platform, compared to 32% of men,” it noted.

Meanwhile, StashAway revealed that in Malaysia, women are more likely to stay invested 1.18 times more than their male counterparts.

The platform said its data shows that women are more likely to stay invested and less likely to withdraw their investments and close their accounts.  

It added that investors may close their accounts for a number of reasons: They may be dissatisfied with returns, worried about the markets or they may simply have reached their investment goal.

Additionally, StashAway also believes that women are less reactionary and anxious about their investments after making a decision than men. Hence, they do not check their investments constantly.

It noted that generally, men check their investments 1.5 times more often than women.

“In Malaysia, men are more likely than women to log in in their first 30 days of making an investment,” it said.

While women are more likely to invest consistently over the long term, StashAway said statistics show that they are not investing enough.   

The platform said this is despite the fact that women, on average, have higher life expectancies than men, and therefore more retirement years to plan for.

Commenting in the report, StashAway co-founder and group CEO Michele Ferrario (picture) and Group COO Nandini Joshi said in an environment where the wealth gap continues to grow, access to high-quality, affordable and intuitive wealth management has never been more important.  

They added that one area that the platform is paying close attention to is the gender investing gap.

“Almost 60% of women aren’t engaged in investing or retirement planning and 58% defer their long-term financial planning to their partners.   

“It’s imperative that women take charge of their financial wellbeing, as women are more likely to live longer and take time off work to look after their families,” they said.

Ferrario and Joshi also emphasised that since launch, StashAway has been striving to bring free personal finance education to everyone, including focused courses for women, to democratise financial education and narrow the gender investing gap.

They hoped that the report could inspire more women to take charge of their personal finances, spark a conversation at home around the importance of financial planning and promote stronger financial literacy among the public.

StashAway Insights 2022 observes gender investing behaviours since the platform’s launch in Singapore in 2017.  

The results of the report were based on data from the platform’s global client base in Malaysia, Singapore, the Middle East, Hong Kong and Thailand.