The influence of women in the high-net-worth (HNW) space is expected to increase even further on the back of more wealth creation from the millennial generation.
Research suggests that by 2020 women are expected to control 32% of all wealth, amounting to approximately $72 trillion – up from $51 trillion in 2015.
What’s more, younger women born between the millennial ages 37 and 18 are entering the highest circles of asset ownership faster than women born earlier.
These findings emerge from a new research commissioned by RBC Wealth Management and conducted by The Economist Intelligence Unit.
About 1,051 HNW individuals comprising of 502 women and 549 men located in Asia, Canada, the US, and the UK, were interviewed for the study.
Among which 11% are millennials, 40% are generation X (1965-1980), 39% are baby boomers (1946-1964) and 11% are the silent generation (1945 0r earlier).
The survey found that although there are more HNW men than women, the proportion of the wealthiest women to men those with $5 million or more in assets is roughly the same—27% men and 22% women.
Half of millennial women said they gained their wealth through business, while half said they had inherited the money. By contrast, about 56% of baby boomer women said they inherited money, while only 37% gained their wealth through business.
Examining opportunities, younger women place more emphasis on resources that help them start successful businesses. Baby boomers, however, said opportunities in the workplace is key to wealth generation.
When it comes to legacy planning 41% of millennial women said their spouse has the most influence over their wealth planning, compared to 54% of baby boomers. Furthermore, children become more important influencers as women age: 11% of boomers cited them, compared with 7% of millennials.
What’s more, almost half of boomer women cited financial planners also as important influences, compared with 37% of millennials.
The research also found that 61% of boomer women agreeing that the society has become more inclusive, while 72% of younger women and 61% of men say the same.
Two-thirds of women believe they have more opportunity to tackle societal issues through impact investing.
Women in Asia
In Asia, the survey interviewed HNW women in Hong Kong, Mainland China and Singapore. Seventy-five percent surveyed across the three markets believe that society has become more inclusive.
Singapore, however, fell slightly below this level, with 69% of all respondents agreeing that society has become more inclusive. Some 76% also felt they have an obligation to pass on wealth to the next generation.
'We are not surprised to find so many HNWIs in Singapore believe that society has become more inclusive,' said Janice Park, director of client and business development, RBC Wealth Management Asia.
'This higher level of inclusion is borne out by anecdotal evidence in our daily work with clients, where we see an increasing number of women participating in discussions over wealth planning and how to prepare for wealth transfer.'
Furthermore, HNWIs across the three markets agree that impact investing can be a form of philanthropy, with 47% of respondents indicating that they align their investments with giving goals.
'As more women start businesses and grow wealth across Singapore, Hong Kong and Mainland China, wealth managers have an opportunity and duty to understand and serve the distinct needs of this client segment,' said Peter Corry, head of RBC Wealth Management Asia.
'Whether it’s providing the products and solutions they desire or helping them plan for the transfer of their wealth and values, it’s clear that women, and their legacies, will become increasingly important to Asia’s investment landscape.'