Monday 16 May 2016 12:01 am

Forget the gender pay gap – it's the gender investment gap you really have to worry about

It's not just the gap in pay that women need to worry about, as a study out today shows they are also getting a raw deal on their investments.

The research by investment provider Radius Equity found that men make an average of £3,794 per year from their investments, which is 57 per cent more than women's average of £2,422.

Ladies in London are even worse off, with men in the capital pocketing £6,386 on average per year from their investments, which is 90 per cent higher than women's average of £3,353.


Although the gender pay gap is partly to blame, as it means women have less disposable income to pour into investments in the first place, the study found that the fairer sex are often pushed towards lower-return vehicles, as it is assumed that they have less of an appetite for risk.

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For example, men are 20 per cent more likely to stash their cash in a stock and shares Isa, with women more likely to opt for the cash-only variety of the tax efficient savings product.

"For those with smaller savings and investment pots in particular, it could be argued that maximising value is as important as protecting it," said Gary Robins, director at Radius Equity. "Excessive caution could actually prove a risky strategy, particularly over the long-term. The fact that women's returns from their investments are falling well short of men’s has major implications.

"Given the continuing gender pay gap and women's longer life expectancy, women's income both while in work and in retirement need to stretch much further. Investments need to work harder, and with interest rates so low for so long, leaving large sums of cash in poorly performing bank accounts is not a viable option."

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A survey published last month by Canada Life Group Insurance discovered that just under a quarter (23 per cent) of employees had been left with no option but to head back to the drawing board for their retirement plans after low interest rates resulted in them not having enough saved up to enable them to give up the day job when they wanted to. 

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