Ninety-two per cent of Canadian women with investment portfolios are primarily or equally in charge of household financial decisions, found a CIBC poll released March 10. However, only half said they feel confident or knowledgeable about investing.

"Women are leaning in and making major decisions on wealth and financial planning for themselves and their family,” said Sarah Widmeyer, Managing Director and Head of Wealth Strategies for CIBC. “However, our poll findings clearly show there is more work to be done to help women build confidence. A conversation only about investment returns isn't enough for most women. They want to know how an investment strategy will help them achieve their goals."

Do not talk about investing

Forty-six per cent of women said they are in charge of household investment decisions, while 46 per cent said they share the task. Seven per cent defer the task to someone else. The poll also found women start investing, on average, at age 29. The majority of women (73 per cent) do not talk about investing regularly with friends or family.

Women do not take as many risks with investments, says the poll. Seventy-two per cent consider “safety” very important when investing, while 58 per cent look for growth, and 33 per cent value liquidity. The poll also found millennials to be “confused” when it comes to investing.

Closing the confidence gap

These factors point to a “confidence gap” among women investors. CIBC suggest to close it, women should educate themselves, “keep cool” when investing, set clear financial goals, create an investing plan, diversify their portfolios, and talk to financial experts and advisors.