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Allianz Logo The Allianz Women, Money, and Power Study

Over the past several decades, women have shattered barriers in politics, the workforce, and family roles. However, the picture is far more mixed in the financial world. Women represent half of all stock-market investors, control 48% of estates worth more than $5 million, and by 2010 women will control 60% of the wealth in the United States. In 2003, almost two million women earned over $100,000, a four-fold increase in just a decade. No longer playing the role of secondary earner, 60% of women with business degrees and 75% of executive women working for Fortune 500 companies out-earn their husbands. Yet, at the same time, poverty rates among women remain far higher than men among all age groups. Despite great strides in almost every other arena, finance and investments have remained largely a male domain.

In fact, money and investing is in many ways the last—and perhaps the most important—frontier in gender equality. In the largest-ever study of women and money, Allianz Life Insurance Company engaged Age Wave in 2006 to design a landmark research initiative, The Allianz Women, Money, and Power Study, to better understand women’s relationship with money and investing. The study included a survey of over 3,000 women and men conducted by Harris Interactive. Some key findings:

  • The security and freedom money brings is 15-20 times more important to women than the status and respect it affords.
  • Only 10% of women say they feel extremely financially secure, and half say they fear losing everything they have and becoming a “bag lady” living on the streets.
  • Money is almost twenty times more likely than sex to be the biggest source of conflict in their marriages.
  • One in five women report having a "secret stash" of savings their husbands don’t know about.
  • The study also revealed 5 distinct types of relationships between women and money:
    • The Alpha Female. Eighteen percent of women see themselves as an alpha female. Confident, optimistic and pro-active, she feels like she must take care of herself and those she cares about financially – in part because she’s often had to.
    • The Perceptive Planner. Thirty-five percent of women fall into this personality. A thorough researcher who weighs all options before making financial decisions.
    • The Power Partner. Twenty-four percent of women identified themselves as a power partner. For her, it is all about sharing financial power on an equal basis with her life partner.
    • The Uncertain Searcher. Eleven percent of women say they fall into this personality style. Confused about money and all the complex financial choices facing her, she’s worried about her financial situation but avoids making financial decisions because of her lack of financial knowledge and experience.
    • The Supportive Traditionalist. The smallest group of women—only 8 percent identify with this personality type. Comfortable with someone else making the major financial decisions in her life, this is the model that most women have followed for generations before women en masse gained the right to earn and control their own money.