UBS Investor Watch: Own your worth

For our latest Investor Watch, we researched extensively into how women worldwide engage with their finances.

We wanted to know: How do women around the world approach their financial well-being? Are they fully engaged in the financial decisions that affect them? And if not, why not?

Look more closely at the findings

Here's what we discovered…

Current situation

Women are realizing their long-term financial needs are more important…

Lifespans are increasing worldwide – and many women expect to live a long life. For example, 68% predict they will outlive their spouse. Knowing they may live longer, women feel their long-term financial needs are more important.

Women are aware they may live a long life

… but they aren’t getting involved in making long-term financial decisions

While most German women (75%) feel very positive about their current financial situation, they focus largely on short-term decisions about finances. Most (86%) are responsible for daily expenses and large purchases (84%). However, 60% of German women say they opt out of long-term financial decisions, which can do much more for their future than budgeting daily.

Many women in Germany don’t get involved in decisions on long-term finances

Role in long-term investment and financial planning decisions

Why do so many women focus on their short-term finances and not their long-term needs?

Learn more about the situation right now

Find your voice

Start a conversation with your partner

Some couples feel uncomfortable talking about money. But ask yourself, if you found yourself alone tomorrow, what steps would you take to make sure you were financially secure? Even if you’re single, talking openly with a friend or financial advisor you trust could change your life for the better.

Are you ready to own your worth?

Talk to your UBS client advisor.

Reasons why

Many women lack the confidence to take control of long-term finances

There are many reasons why women leave decisions on investing and planning finances to their spouses. But there’s also an underlying lack of confidence. More than two thirds (68%) of married women in Germany think they need a high level of knowledge to make good investment decisions. Yet just 46% believe they have that knowledge.

There are many different reasons why women leave long-term financial decisions to their spouse…

Percentage of women in Germany who state the following as reasons for not getting involved

… most women lack confidence in managing long-term finances

Percentage of women in Germany who agree

Why is failing to plan for the future so risky?

How do the reasons differ worldwide?

Get started

Life can be full of surprises. Women often delegate major financial decisions although they know they are important for their future. They underestimate their own abilities and overestimate what it takes to be involved in those decisions. Getting involved doesn't mean you need to be an expert. It just means becoming more aware and being prepared for life's eventualities.

Are you ready to own your worth?

Talk to your UBS client advisor.


Many women regret not getting involved earlier in major financial decisions

Women often don’t realize the risks of not getting involved in major financial decisions until they divorce or their spouse dies. 79% of German widows or divorcees were surprised about finances after they divorced or their spouse passed away. Over half (51%) found their spouse had taken money from a joint account without them knowing. The same proportion discovered their spouse didn’t have a Will. Around half (47%) found their spouse had invested in riskier assets than they knew about.

With these insights in mind, most widows and divorcees in Germany urge other women to get more involved in their finances.

The main financial surprises after marriages end…

Percentage of German widows and divorcees that discovered these surprises

… that lead them to recommend married women take control of their finances

Percentage of German widows and divorcees that recommend the following to married women

What does Édéenne advise?

The founder and CEO of Maison Édéenne had a hard time learning how to deal with her finances when she divorced. Watch the video.

How do younger women plan their finances?

Own your worth

Know where you stand today and what you want for the future

Take the time to add up your assets and liabilities like loans, credit and other debts, and ask your partner to be clear about them.

Ask yourself some questions to better understand your needs

What do you want to accomplish in life?
Who are the people who matter most to you?
What do you want your legacy to be?
What are you most worried about?
How do you plan to achieve your goals?

Are you ready to own your worth?

Talk to your UBS client advisor.

About the survey: As women’s life expectancies increase and divorce rates remain high, more women may find themselves solely responsible for their own finances. UBS Global Wealth Management embarked on research to gauge women’s level of and satisfaction with their financial involvement. From September 2017 to January 2019, UBS surveyed 3,652 women. Of these women, 2,251 were married with at least $1m in investable assets. Others (1,401) were either divorced or widowed. These women had at least $250k in investable assets. UBS also conducted in-depth interviews with 71 female respondents. The entire global sample was split across nine markets: Brazil, Germany, Hong Kong, Mexico, Singapore, Switzerland, Italy, the UK and the US.