The Female Financial Paradox

Richer Sex - Time Magazine

This week’s TIME cover feature explores an amazing phenomenon: Women could soon outpace men as the primary household earners. 

What they’ve missed is the powerful, but sadder story within this trend:

Female breadwinners may be on the rise, but most women are not poised to become “The Richer $ex,” as TIME’s cover boasts. Far too many women are stuck in a financial time warp where managing money means being frugal, not building wealth.

A DailyWorth survey last month of more than 10,000 women captures the disconnect between women’s view of themselves as financial decision-makers—and their lack of financial confidence.

Call it the female financial paradox.

While 90% of the respondents to our survey identify themselves as the chief bill-payer and purchaser, and 76% say they’re the primary retirement planner, a full 60% admit their investing and planning skills are below average.

Worse, less than half of the responding women actively seek out financial resources for assistance.

We’d love to say that these results are a fluke, or somehow unusual, but they’re not. In fact, our findings echo many other similar surveys about women and wealth-building. 

While women could be the richer sex, thanks to the economic gains and societal changes called out in TIME’s story, we still have a ways to go. It’s time for women to shift focus from budgeting and couponing to building net worth. It’s time to stop viewing Wall Street as a bastion of male success, somehow off-limits to women.

Case in point: TIME’s cover image is strange, yet strangely accurate: it’s the familiar women’s bathroom icon, clothed in $1 bills. Next time $100s.