Investments, SMSF

Female engagement underestimated

AUSIEX SMSF Female investors women investors Trade Brett Grant

Female SMSF investors are likely to be more engaged and active than currently perceived, with the role of advice key in expanding their behaviour.

The perception female SMSF investors are more reluctant to trade than their male counterparts is an inaccurate stereotype, according to new research by a trading platform, which also found advised investors had more diverse portfolios.

The research into the trading habits of users of wholesale trading platform Ausiex, carried out by the firm, found that while female SMSF clients traded less than male SMSF clients in 2023, and also traded fewer security types, their average trade size was 1.3 per cent larger than that of their male peers.

Ausiex also said that on a per account basis, the monthly account balance of female SMSF clients was 3.5 per cent larger than accounts held by male SMSF clients throughout 2022 and 2023.

The platform also found a correlation between those female SMSF clients who received advice and portfolio diversification, noting the average advised account traded ordinary shares (49.12 per cent of total trades), exchange-traded funds (ETF) (19.73 per cent) and local call options (10.8 per cent).

“This was also markedly different to their self-directed (non-advised) female SMSF counterparts, who showed a significantly stronger preference for trading ordinary shares only, with ETFs making up a much smaller proportion of total trades,” it stated.

“Advised female SMSF accounts also had the highest allocation to hybrid securities (7.6 per cent) across all accounts (SMSF/non-SMSF and self-directed and advised).”

Ausiex head of product, customer experience and marketing Brett Grant said the number of female SMSF investors using an adviser was still low at 19.6 per cent and represented an opportunity for financial planners.

“A powerful combination of increased financial independence and longevity means more females are likely to need advice than ever before in the coming decades,” Grant said.

“Simplistic gender assumptions will likely prove insufficient for advisers seeking to build female clientele. The answer instead lies in data which enables advisers to pinpoint the real motivations of female investors – and hence what they need to know from an adviser to reach their goals.

“The question for advisers as the intergenerational wealth transfer takes place is how to gain new female clients and maintain existing ones too.

“It is wrong to simply assume widows or divorced women will retain their services when single or post-inheritance, as research suggests a large majority will consider seeking a new adviser.”

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