Women & Wealth

Women & Wealth

Why Women Need To Take Note by Poppy Fox

Traditionally as women, we tend to leave many of the significant financial decisions to the men in our lives, which can undoubtedly have repercussions, particularly in divorce.

However, we really must sit up and take note when it comes to our finances and investing. Research from The WealthiHer Network Report 2019 predicts that by 2025 over 60% of UK wealth will be in the hands of women, yet it also shows that 70% of women are not engaging with finance.

The gender pay gap is well publicised, but there are also other areas to consider. The ‘Motherhood Penalty’ shows that working mothers earn 20% less than fathers ten years after the birth of their first child (Social Market Foundation Research), and very few new parents opt to take shared parental leave. This leads onto the ‘Childcare Penalty’ with the ONS showing that in couples, 65% of mothers are in work compared with 93% of fathers. It is little wonder that many parents don’t choose to work part-time with the absorbent cost of childcare, but it is disappointing that it is the women that tend to put their career second. And if that wasn’t enough, there is also the ‘Good Daughter’ penalty with many informal caring roles in families carried out by women.

Women tend to be more cautious when investing and less willing to take risks with their finances, coupled with women often earning a lower salary means we end up with less in the pot! If we then sit on this pot and keep it in cash, it isn’t working as hard as it should be or needs to be. Given that women overall tend to live longer, it is essential to grow our assets when it comes to pensions, as it is hard to imagine thriving in retirement on the state pension of £179.60 per week. That certainly won’t keep you in Jimmy Choo’s!

I am aware this blog might sound somewhat negative so far, and the way out of this is by taking control of your finances. Most women can achieve this by doing their research, increasing their financial knowledge and well-being, or working with a financial adviser and/or investment manager.


A financial adviser can help you put strategies in place and develop a financial plan that will be beneficial in the long term and help you make the most of the assets you have. Having a financial plan can be particularly important, especially during divorce when you have to rethink where you are and what you have financially. An adviser will also work with you on an ongoing basis because, as we know, life doesn’t stand still, and we need to be flexible in responding to unexpected events. The recent pandemic has undoubtedly highlighted this.

Once you have a plan in place, we can then think about investing and how this might help you. If you do receive a lump sum, it is vital to consider what to do with this, particularly regarding your living and lifestyle needs and the timeframes involved. With interest rates at historically low levels, it might not be prudent to deposit a lump sum of cash because it might not keep pace with inflation, so in real terms, the value of your money will fall. For example, if you have £100 and leave it in a low-interest bank account for ten years, the rate of inflation will likely outpace that of your account’s interest, resulting in you not being able to buy as much in ten years with that money as you could have done today.

An investment manager can help you work out how best to approach investing your money, and together we can come up with a mandate that suits your circumstances, time frame, and potential income needs. Working with a professional will ease the pressure of making your own decisions and allowing you to get on with the next stage of your life.

Contact Poppy Fox here to find out how you can begin to take control of your wealth.

Poppy Fox is an Investment Director at Quilter Cheviot. Her primary role is the management of private client, trust and pension portfolios working with both intermediaries and direct clients.