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

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. 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 are opting out of long-term financial decisions

While married women in Italy know how living longer might affect their finances, they largely focus on short-term financial matters. They are mostly responsible for funding college education (91%), paying bills (90%) and managing daily expenses (89%). When it comes to long-term decisions, this figure falls dramatically, with 52% Italian women leaving those decisions to their spouse.

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

Role in long-term investment and financial planning decisions

Long Term Finances

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 fall into traditional gender roles

There are many reasons why women leave decisions on investing and planning finances to their spouses. But one main reason for women in Italy is that they’re focused on other matters that fall into traditional gender roles. Almost three quarters (73%) think they need a high level of knowledge to make good investment decisions. If they become single, many turn to professionals for support and advice, rather than friends and family.

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

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

Investing Decisions

… and many turn to others for help when they suddenly become single

Percentage Women

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.

Need a personal financial compass?

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. 58% of Italian widows and divorcees were surprised about finances after they divorced or their spouse passed away. 39% admit they were surprised to discover their spouse had supported someone else financially, and spending their spouse had hidden from them (36%). Four in ten discovered more assets than they expected (41%).

With this in mind, nine in ten widows and divorcees (88%) in Italy advise other women to get involved in their household finances. A similar percentage (86%) also recommend women educate themselves about finances to prepare for all possibilities.

The main financial surprises after marriages end…

Percentage of Italian widows and divorcees that discovered these surprises

Financial Engagement

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

Percentage of Italian widows and divorcees who recommend the following to married women

Shared Decisions

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.

Want to know more about the findings in other regions?

If you want to know more

Come and see us so we can find out more about what matters to you.

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.