UBS Investor Watch: Own your worth

As we begin not just another year but a new decade, UBS decided to look at how investors globally are preparing for the future.

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

For financial advice that makes sense, talk to your UBS client advisor.

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, so may need to make a fresh start. Knowing they may live longer, women feel their long-term financial needs are more important in areas such as planning for retirement, long-term care and insurance.

Women are aware they may live a long life

Women's top long-term financial planning needs

Percentage of women who cite each as highly important

… but many women focus more on short-term financial tasks

While women know how living longer might affect their finances, they tend to deal more with short-term financial tasks, such as managing the household’s daily expenses and paying bills. Only 23% of women lead the way on long-term financial planning decisions like investing and insurance – which can do much more for their future and financial freedom than budgeting daily.

Many women 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 financial management 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, getting some simple financial education or seeking financial advice from an advisor you trust could change your life for the better.

Are you ready to own your worth?

For plain-speaking financial advice, talk to your UBS client advisor.

Reasons why

Many women think men know more about investing and planning finances

There are many reasons why women leave decisions on investing and planning finances to their spouses. These include wanting to deal with other tasks, not being interested, lacking the necessary financial education or even that their partners discourage them. But the main reason is a lack of confidence about tackling long-term finances that could help them achieve their financial goals.

Reasons why women leave long-term financial planning and investing decisions to their spouse

Percentage of women who cite the following as reasons they defer to their spouse

Why is failing to plan for the future and get involved in financial management so risky?

How do the reasons differ worldwide?

Get started

Life can be full of surprises. Women often delegate major decisions about money although they know they are important for achieving their financial goals. They underestimate their own abilities and overestimate what it takes to be involved in those decisions. But ideas like this can risk your financial freedom. Getting involved doesn't mean you need to be an expert. It just means gaining a little financial education and being prepared for life's eventualities. Isn’t it time you made a fresh start with your finances?

Need a personal financial compass?

Are you ready to own your worth?

For plain-speaking financial advice, 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 long-term financial management decisions until they divorce or their spouse dies. Some were surprised to discover debts they didn’t know about and savings that weren’t enough to live comfortably on. Women’s empowerment appears to be important. Looking back, 76% of widows and divorcees wish they had been more involved, while 77% urge others to do so.

Widows and divorcees encourage others to get more involved in their financial planning

Women who share decisions equally with their spouses enjoy some important benefits

Women who work with their spouses on long-term financial management decisions are more likely to be financially secure and feel more positive about the future. For example, nine in ten women who decide jointly with their spouses feel more confident about their finances.

The benefits of sharing decisions

Percentage of women who share in long-term financial planning decisions agree

What does Édéenne advise?

When it comes to gaining financial freedom, a little knowledge can go a very long way. The founder and CEO of Maison Édéenne had a hard time learning how to make a fresh start 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 financial goals?

Are you ready to own your worth?

For plain-speaking financial advice, talk to your UBS client advisor.

Want to know more about the findings in each region?

If you want to know more

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.