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 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.

Women are aware they may live a long life


… but they are opting out of long-term financial planning decisions

Married women in the UK tend to focus on short-term financial responsibilities, such as managing cash and paying bills, despite knowing how living longer might affect their finances. Many women in the UK (62%) are not getting involved in longer-term financial planning decisions that affect their future and financial freedom – and defer those decisions to their spouse.

Many women in the UK 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 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 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 they mention one main barrier: a lack of confidence. Nearly three quarters (73%) of married women in the UK think they need a high level of knowledge to make good investment decisions and achieve their financial goals. However, only 48% believe they have that necessary financial education.

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

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

Investing Decisions

… and it’s all mainly driven by a lack of confidence about getting involved in long-term financial management

Percentage of women in the UK who agree

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 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. Half of UK widows and divorcees admit they were disappointed to discover spending their spouse had hidden from them. Many also discovered more assets than expected (46%) and accounts they were unaware of (45%).

Women’s empowerment appears to be important. Most British widows and divorcees (81%) urge other women to get more involved in their financial planning. To avoid shocks and surprises later, four in five (80%) advise women to insist on everyone being open and clear about financial matters.

The main financial surprises after marriages end…

Percentage of British widows and divorcees that discovered these surprises

Financial Engagement

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

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

Shared Decisions

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 other regions?

Find out more

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Answering your questions

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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.