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Canadian ‘women of means’: a force to be reckoned with

Winnipeg, MB – March 26, 2012: A significant majority (86 per cent) of Canadian working women in a married or common law relationship say their income is necessary to maintain the couple’s lifestyle. More than one-quarter (26 per cent) of working women are the sole or primary income earners in their households. New research also reveals that women like the breadwinning role.

According to the latest poll from Investors Group, the majority (61 per cent) of Canadian working women in relationships feel accomplished in their ability to earn good money and more than half (51 per cent) say they are personally fulfilled by their work.

“Household economics may be shifting as the earning influence of women becomes more significant,” says Jane Olshewski, Financial Life Planning expert at Investors Group. “Along with elevated earning power comes an elevated responsibility, presenting new opportunities to be actively engaged in personal finance management.”

With great power comes great responsibility

Sixty-three per cent of women whose income is required to maintain the household lifestyle say they feel pressured to maintain this salary and 67 per cent feel responsible for the long term financial well-being of their family.

Half of the working women who are in a married or common law relationship (51 per cent) feel they share joint responsibility in making decisions and forty-four per cent feel more involved than their partner in investment and retirement planning decisions.  A majority of women (58 per cent) say they are more involved in household budgeting than their partner.

“In an age where dual income households are the status quo, it’s no surprise that breadwinning is a priority for women,” says Olshewski. “They have an equal vested interest in taking their role in money management seriously.”

Women may need a confidence boost

Forty-three per cent of working women believe they are more knowledgeable than their partner about personal finance and investing topics. Men are more likely to take the primary responsibility for personal finance and investing matters (46 per cent compared to 38 per cent of women).

Confidence in dealing with financial decisions may be a contributing factor.  Less than half of women (46 per cent) feel confident in their knowledge and ability to make saving and investing decisions compared with 58 per cent of men.

It is interesting to note that women who work with an advisor display more confidence (68 per cent) in their ability to manage their personal and household finances than those who do not seek expert advice (44 per cent).

“The knowledge and confidence to guide decisions in long-term financial planning are necessary for all investors,” says Jane. “Clearly, those who work with a financial advisor feel better about their personal financial management knowledge and ability.”

About the Survey Methodology

This poll was conducted by Harris/Decima, online, between February 29 and March 6th 2012 among 1,000 adults (aged 18 and over) who currently have a job. Figures were weighted by gender and region to reflect Canada’s labour force population.

About Investors Group

Investors Group, founded in 1926, is a national leader in delivering personalized financial solutions to Canadians through a network of approximately 4,600 Consultants located throughout Canada. In addition to an exclusive family of mutual funds and other investment vehicles, Investors Group offers a wide range of insurance, securities, mortgage and other financial services. Investors Group is a member of the IGM Financial Inc. (TSX: IGM) group of companies. IGM Financial is one of Canada’s premier financial services companies with over $124 billion as of February 29, 2012 in total assets under management.