Our Mission UBS Investor Watch: women and their finances

The UBS Investor Watch study shows that women rarely take long-term financial decisions, despite having every reason to do so.

In Switzerland, women live four years longer than men on average. Higher life expectancy brings financial challenges, especially with regard to retirement planning. This emerges from the UBS Investor Watch study conducted in 2018. For example, three out of four women mention retirement planning as their most important long-term financial need. In order to maintain the desired standard of living, even in old age, women have to deal with their financial planning at an early stage.

In seven out of ten households, the man takes care of financial matters

Yet many women do not deal with long-term financial decisions, instead letting their partners take care of major financial issues. In seven out of ten couples, the man assumes responsibility for long-term financial decisions. Only one in ten couples makes joint decisions. The participants in the study are much more involved in short-term finances. 87% take charge of managing daily expenses and 83% deal with paying bills.

Women assume that the partner has greater financial know-how

These differences can be explained by various factors. 79% of women claim that their partnership works according to a clear division of labor. In other words, the couple divides things up: each partner takes on the tasks that he or she is likely to do best. Four out of five women state that their husbands can make better financial decisions because they know more about financial issues than they do. In addition, 68% of women believe that a good investment decision requires a high level of knowledge. Last but not least, 78% of the study participants indicate that their husband is the main breadwinner in the family.

Joint financial decisions bring more advantages

However, the study also shows that women who make long-term financial decisions with their partners not only increase their chances of financial security, but also have a more positive view of the future. Nine out of ten women interviewed say that fewer errors are made when both partners are involved in financial decisions. Moreover, more than 80% worry less about their financial future and their joint finances if both partners participate.

Advice from women for women

We asked the study participants what advice they would give other women about their finances:

  • 55% encourage other women to insist on full transparency in all accounts.
  • 54% advise other women to talk more about financial matters with their spouse.
  • 59% recommend that other women should broaden their knowledge of financial matters.

At the UBS Women’s Wealth Academy, we offer assistance with this last point in particular. We provide content and tools that make it easier to deal with the topic of finance.

Women's Wealth Academy

Women who participate actively in financial decisions early on increase their chances of financial security and worry less about their future.