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Women’s ‘safe’ choices hinder future funds

Posted October 15, 2013
WA researchers have discovered that women tend to choose lower-risk superannuation investment options than men, further compounding the factors that impact their capacity to accrue sufficient savings for their retirement.

Women’s ‘safe’ choices hinder future funds
In general, females chose investment options with the lowest risks, which Prof Speelman says return less than high risk investments long term. Credit: SalFalco

Published in the Journal of Family and Economic Issues, the study, led by Craig Speelman from ECU’s School of Psychology and Social Science, analysed the investment strategy choices of members from four, large, not-for-profit Australian superannuation funds, with a focus on demographic differences in investment behaviours.

“The superannuation system has undergone structural changes such that investors are encouraged to move away from default plans and defined contribution schemes, to making decisions regarding their investments and contributions,” Professor Speelman says.

“Both of these could result in increased risk.

“Previous research had indicated some association between one’s gender and age, and the level of risk in investment choices.

“Much of this research was limited in number and types of people examined, and some results were contradictory.

“Our research, based on four superannuation funds covering a range of industry types, was designed to examine these associations with a larger, more representative sample.”

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