But there is some research that is painting a different picture.
According to a survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit, of which 220 respondents were female, had US$1 million or more in assets, and lived in Hong Kong, mainland China or Singapore, female wealth is on the rise. In another study by Merrill Lynch, women’s earnings grew by 75% compared to only 5% for men between 1970 and 2015.
The changing face of wealth management also supports this – it isn’t what it was a generation ago. Thanks to technology, and the smartphones in our pockets, more self-created, Asian women are investing. In fact, 43% of the customer base on LU Global is female.
Upon closer inspection we also discovered that women investing in Asia are actually ahead of their counterparts in the US. This motivated us to research comparisons between Asian and US female investors, here are 4 things we discovered:
1. More women in Asia are generating their own wealth
According to Harvard Business Review (HBR), 59% of women in India are generating their own wealth, with only 20% deriving it from their spouse and 21% inheriting it. These figures are consistent across China, Hong Kong and Singapore and it’s also reported that women in these countries expect their assets to significantly increase. In China, the number of women that are generating their own wealth skyrockets to 68%, with only 16% deriving it from their spouse or inheriting it.
2. Asian women have a stronger desire to pass on financial legacies
In the study by the Economist Intelligence Unit, it was found that 76% of female, Asian, high-nett-worth individuals (HNWIs) think they have an obligation to transfer wealth to the next generation, compared with 61% in the West.
3. Openness to risk is as common among women in Asia as men
While it’s commonly reported that women are more risk averse than men, the report by HBR, shows that women in Hong Kong and Singapore are as equally aggressive with their portfolios as men are. The report shows this differs greatly in the US where 36% of women are choosing a more risk averse portfolio.
4. Advanced financial knowledge and confidence is seen in Asian women
Other statistics by HBR, show a contrary view when looking at the traditional male dominated gender gap. They report Chinese women outnumber men in advisory teams by three to two, and 89% and 71% of women in India and China rate themselves as knowledgeable on finance. This is shockingly higher than western counterparts which rate themselves as low as 19% in the US and 41% in the UK.
In the US, HBR claims men are 79% more likely than women to express confidence in their financial know-how. In contrast, the report says Chinese women are virtually as confident in their financial acumen as Chinese men, 64% versus 71%.
These findings show that women in Asia are less constrained by traditional gender roles than what is commonly perceived.
The rise in women investing can be attributed to Asia’s economic boom and rising female wealth
To us it seems today’s business and tech savvy women are well equipped to make financial and investment decisions.
The best news is that this is a positive step forward for the economy. It’s been reported by McKinsey and Co that women are critical to boosting global economic conditions. In Asia-Pacific alone, they estimate that advancing women’s equality would raise annual collective GDP by $4.5 trillion in 2025, a 12% increase of the business-as-usual trajectory.
In fact, the number of women generating their own wealth and controlling their own assets is not something we expect to change anytime soon. We have no doubt it will continue to surge. But as it magnifies what women need is more hours in the day, not basic financial literacy 101.
While LU Global can’t create more hours in the day, what we can provide is a flexible investment tool that offers today’s female investor convenience as they juggle work, life, family, and the endless list of errands each day entails. Women, like men, want their wealth to be an agent to living their desired lifestyle, but traditional wealth management hasn’t kept up. Burdened by high-fees, long tenor lock-in periods, highest investment buy-ins and inconvenient onboarding and portfolio restructuring processes, more and more investors are seeking flexible wealth management services. That’s the service LU Global sets out to provide.
“From a personal wealth management perspective, trying to grow without flexible investing is like fighting with one hand tied behind your back. At LU Global we are proud to offer an app that offers 100% online account opening process, short tenor lock ins and low minimum buy-ins to give women more flexibility in their investments.” – Joanna Tang, Head of Business Development, Partnership & Marketing | LU Global