A study has found that women still represent only a fifth of Australian online investors despite the number of women doubling over the last five years.
Research from Investment Trends has shown female online investors have been on the up, going from 76,000 in 2013 to 150,000 last year.
The data also shows ESG factors tend to be prioritised more by women in comparison with men.
When it comes to their investment selection process, 29 per cent of women said it is ‘very important’ that their portfolio contains companies that have good and ethical ESG standards, compared with 19 per cent for male investors.
The research comes as Fidelity International, Australia has published a report that has found women are investing less.
Suzie Toohey, global head of client service and sales at Investment Trends, said that while the rise shows that more women are building their wealth and moving towards an independently secured financial future, more still needs to be done.
“While females are joining the active online investor population in Australia at increasing rates, there’s a very long way to go before we reach parity, as women still represent only 20 per cent of Australia’s online investors,” Ms Toohey said.
“The wealth management industry must continually increase its focus on delivering products and services that work for women, and work for them at every stage of their life.”
The proportion of female online investors placing money behind ETFs increased over the five-year period from 7 per cent to 25 per cent.
“The ability of ETFs to provide convenient, low cost access to a diversified investment portfolio resonates strongly with female investors across Australia, giving them an efficient way to build a core portfolio without needing to pick individual stocks,” Ms Toohey said.
There is also a gender gap heading towards retirement.
Only 22 per cent of people aged over 40 say they feel confident they can fund the lifestyle they seek in retirement and the proportion is lower among women at 14 per cent.
Ms Toohey said it is vital to lift financial literacy levels and retirement readiness, considering the challenges for Australians in building their wealth while planning for their retirement.
“While more women are investing and taking control of their financial future than ever before, the gap between the independent financial security of men and women remains too large,” Ms Toohey added.
“Australians have access to a vast range of online tools and resources to learn about investing and money matters, but time and time again, our research shows they want more support to take control of their financial wellbeing.”
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