Research published by the Swedish Investment Fund Association (Fondbolagens förening) suggests that while the majority of women and men feel that they have sufficient knowledge to handle personal finances, when it comes to savings and investments, many women feel that they lack sufficient knowledge.
The results stand out in the third annual Kantar Sifo Prospera survey, which has also found a change in the ratio of women who feel that low risk is the most important factor when considering savings and investments. However, the overall findings show that there is a persistent gender gap, as in previous years' surveys.
Compare to previous years, there has been an increase in the number who feel that they have a handle on their personal finances Some 31% of men said that their knowledge is better than average, while 15% of women feel this is the case. Compared to previous years, there are fewer men and women who answered that they felt their knowledge was lower than the average.
On the question whether they have sufficient knowledge to handle and influence personal finances, some 89% of men and 78% of women answered that they feel they do.
More women, 11%, than men, 6%, said that they do not have sufficient knowledge.
On the question whether respondents have sufficient knowledge to influence savings and investments, some 73% of men and 46% of women answered that they do. Compared to the question on knowledge of personal finances generally, more answered that they lack sufficient knowledge to this question, 19% of men and 35% of women.
On the question whether low risk is the most important factor when considering savings and investments, there was a shift noted in the answers from women; fewer said that it was compared to previous years. This year, some 44% of women said that they could consider higher risk to access higher return, compared to 42% lst year. The big difference, however, is that compared to last year, there was a significant change in the number of women who said that low risk is most important; 33% this year versus 43% last year.
As to who is responsible for personal finances in the household, more men thyan women say that they are mainly responsible. Some 38% of men said that they have the main responsibility for personal finances in the household, against 24% of women. The majority said that responsibility is shared; some 54% of men and 66% of women answered this way.
Gustav Sjöholm, savings economist at the Association, said: "It is of course positive that Swedes' financial knowledge is increasing. As in earlier years, women do not value their knowledge as highly as men. More should be done to improve women's self confidence."
"An important tool for influencing one's long term personal finances is to save and invest. Therefore it is disheartening that women to a significant degree feel that they lack sufficient knowlege to handle their savings, both compared to men but also cmpared to their experienced knowledge in handling and influencing their personal finances."
"This year there are signfiicantly fewer women who say that low risk is the most important factor. What risk level is suitable depends on when one expects to need one's savings, but clearly savings with higehr risk offer opportunities to better returns in the long term, for example, in pensions savings or saving for children."