BOSTON – With the end of Daylight Saving Time approaching this Sunday, November 2, many will enjoy the luxury of an additional hour of sleep, as we "fall back." After getting that extra rest this weekend, it's also worth considering other productive ways to spend an hour, like improving one's finances. To that end, Fidelity asked women what they would do if they had 60 more minutes to dedicate solely to their financial future. The top three answers (also available in this infographic (PDF)):
- Work on a budget to reduce debt or find new ways to save (42 percent)
- Learn how to become a better investor (24 percent); and
- Develop a financial plan and investment strategy (13 percent).
Unfortunately, for many women finding time is a challenge. Managing finances and long-term planning are just a small piece of a large pie of priorities women are responsible for, and while many place it on their "to do" list, other priorities often take precedence. As a result, many women have been unable to make financial planning a priority and fit it into their busy lives.
In fact, nearly one-in-four women report they don’t take part in financial decision making at all. Given the probability that a majority of women will need to be solely responsible for the finances at some point in their lives — due to divorce or outliving a spouse — it's imperative they take their financial futures into their own hands.
"Many women don't realize the same attributes that have made them dedicated savers can also make them great investors, and making improvements to a financial plan is easier than they think," said Kristen Robinson, senior vice president, Fidelity Investments. "It's critically important that women get more engaged in their finances now, and we're encouraging all women to use the hour we gain this weekend to get started, to ensure the money they work so hard to earn is working just as hard for them."
How do women view their approach to finances? Perhaps the answer to that question can best be expressed in song. Forty-five percent of respondents named "Independent Woman" as their financial theme song, indicating they feel confident in handling their financial portfolio on their own. Another 23 percent selected "I Turn to You," meaning they rely on the help of a financial advisor, spouse or other family members. Most concerning is the 12 percent of women who selected "S.O.S (Rescue Me)," stating they need serious help with their investments.
Commit 60 Minutes to Your Finances
Fidelity is encouraging women to accept the #TakeAnHour Challenge and share online how they will use an hour to tackle their financial to-do list. Whether it's building a budget to save more; reviewing investment accounts, balances and next steps to assess retirement readiness; or picking up the phone to connect with a financial professional, dedicating 60 minutes to their finances is a great start for women to take more ownership of their current financial situation, and help them achieve long-term goals. To get started, Fidelity has developed a quiz (PDF) to provide women with tips to navigate each of these financial priorities, many of which can be addressed in 60 minutes or less.
Get started today by accepting the #TakeAnHour Challenge. To participate, share how you will spend your hour addressing your finances by posting to Twitter or Facebook with hashtag #TakeAnHour. Follow Fidelity on Twitter (@Fidelity) and Facebook, and visit fidelity.com/viewpoints for additional tools and resources to better manage your financial future. View in a separate window (PDF).
About the Survey
Results of this survey are based on an online omnibus conducted among a demographically representative U.S. sample of 1,003 adults comprising 503 men and 500 women 18 years of age and older. The survey was completed during the period October 20-22, 2014 by Infogroup/ORC not affiliated with Fidelity Investments. The results of this survey may not be representative of all adults meeting the same criteria as those surveyed for this study.
About Fidelity Investments
Fidelity's goal is to make financial expertise broadly accessible and effective in helping people live the lives they want. With assets under administration of $4.9 trillion, including managed assets of $2.0 trillion as of September 30, 2014, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers: helping 23 million people investing their own life savings, 20,000 businesses to manage their employee benefit programs, as well as providing 10,000 advisors and brokers with technology solutions to invest their own clients' money. Privately held for nearly 70 years, Fidelity employs 41,000 associates who are focused on the long-term success of our customers. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit www.fidelity.com.