Pigeon-holing wealthy women as being warier of taking chances than their male counterparts could lead to “wealth destruction,” a high net worth financial adviser warns.
Salisbury House Wealth quoted Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs figures when it said women now make up 47% of all cash millionaires in the United Kingdom, with 53,000 women worth more than £1 million ($1.2 million) compared to 59,000 men.
However, the Leicester based firm highlighted that the value of assets owned by male millionaires in the UK is £222 billion ($272 billion), which is £93 billion more than the £128 billion owned by women millionaires.
The closing gender wealth gap was also illustrated by the 2016 HSBC Private Bank report titled The Essence of Enterprise. The report found almost half of today's entrepreneurs under the age of 35 are women, based on an online survey of more than 2,800 business owners.
An average of 47% entrepreneurs under the age of 35 are women, the report showed, compared with 26% of entrepreneurs aged 55 or over.
In some countries, the contrast between generations was greater still. In the UK, the survey found that 59% of entrepreneurs under the age of 35 are female, compared with just 16% of those over the age of 55.
Salisbury House Wealth said while the difference in wealth levels between men and women among the very richest remained stark there were positive signs the gender wealth gap was closing among the mass affluent.
Tim Holmes, Managing Director of Salisbury House Wealth, said some high net worth women were poorly served in terms of financial advice.
“There is an outdated stereotype in some parts of the financial services industry that women are more risk averse than men which leads to women being put in extremely low yielding investments,” Holmes said.
“This can lead to wealth destruction as inflation eats at their returns.
“The wealth accrued by UK millionaires comes from a huge variety of sources. However, nearly all of them need good quality financial advice that matches their portfolio to their risk appetite.”
Holmes said one of the most significant risks to investment performance in the zero-rate environment was of the value of savings being eroded by inflation.
“If old-fashioned advisers push women towards overly risk-averse portfolios that underperform there is a risk that the ‘gender investment gap’ will increase.”