• The majority of short-term financial investment decisions are taken by women
  • In Switzerland, 69 percent of women leave long-term financial decisions to their partners
  • In order to avoid financial surprises, women must take an active role in planning their long-term finances

Zurich, 06 March 2019 – The majority (58 percent) of women worldwide leave long-term financial decisions to their partners. Here at home in Switzerland, the figure is even higher at 69 percent. However, when it comes to short-term financial planning, a different picture emerges, with 87 percent of married women in Switzerland focusing on managing day-to-day spending. In contrast, fewer than one quarter of these women (22 percent) take responsibility for their long-term financial planning. This is shown in the latest edition of UBS Investor Watch, a recurring global study of wealthy investors.

Despite low involvement in long-term financial decisions, women do place great importance on the necessity of long-term financial planning to secure their financial future. 76 percent of the women surveyed in Switzerland consider retirement planning to be their most important long-term financial requirement. A similar proportion (75 percent) see long-term care planning as the most urgent issue.

In the case of financial matters, women focus predominantly on the short term

“Women must play a more active role in planning their long-term finances, not least because they have a longer life expectancy than men and are often confronted with income gaps as a result of part-time work or career breaks,” explains Sandra Huber-Schütz, Head of Women's Wealth, UBS Wealth Management Switzerland. “They already take care of many short-term family financial matters, but they still too often leave long-term investment decisions to their partners. To be well equipped for future events, women must understand their long-term financial situation and take an active role in planning for it. Financial service providers should also play their part by supporting women through their different life stages and the financial challenges these bring.”

The majority of the women surveyed cite a lack of financial expertise as one of the main reasons for delegating financial decisions to their partners. Indeed, 81 percent of women believe that their partners have a better grasp of long-term financial matters, while 68 percent are of the opinion that a high degree of knowledge is required to make good investment decisions.

Financial surprises are common

Following a divorce or the death of their partner, 91 percent of the Swiss women surveyed experienced financial surprises. As a result, 70 percent of widows and divorcees wished that they had been more involved in long-term financial decisions during their relationships.

That leads 62 percent of the Swiss widows and divorcees surveyed to encourage others to take a more active role in financial matters, while 55 percent recommend that married women demand full transparency when it comes to family finances. 59 percent also urgently advise other women to expand their knowledge regarding financial matters, while 54 percent advice to talk about finances with their partners.

In addition to the results for Switzerland, the key results for all nine countries can also be found on the UBS Investor Watch website:

Notes to Editors:

About the survey

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. 228 women took part in the survey in Switzerland.

UBS Group AG

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