TD 2010 Female Investor Poll:
Mothers not teaching daughters about budgeting,
credit, and investing

Jana Schilder

Daughters learn many life lessons from their mothers, but investing is not necessarily one of those lessons. In fact, three-quarters of Canadian women feel that they are savvier investors than their mothers were at the same age.

This is according to the 10th annual TD Waterhouse Female Investor Poll which surveyed women aged 45 to 64 who share in the responsibility of their household's finances.

When asked, “what was the best financial advice you received from your mother,” the top answer was “no advice” (28%). The second most popular answer was “save as much as you can for the future” (20%), followed by “don't spend what you don't have” (9%) and “pay cash and avoid credit” (9%). Only 7% said that their mother told them to set a budget and only 4% told their daughters to invest.

“Financial know-how is an important life lesson and women can gain many valuable insights from their mothers,” says Patricia Lovett-Reid, Senior Vice-President, TD Waterhouse.

“The best financial advice that my mother gave me when I was young was to ensure that I had the information and knowledge to step in and take on the household's financial responsibilities at any time,” says Ms. Lovett-Reid.

“The reality is, while no one wants to think about a future without their spouse, women tend to live longer than men, leaving them likely to find themselves in charge of their personal finances at some point,” says Ms. Lovett-Reid.

Financial independence is essential for women today

Only 5% of mothers told their daughters to be independent and have their own investments and bank accounts. Contrast that to today, 69% of women have savings and investments in their own name. Of women who are married (or common-law), 30% have completely separate bank accounts from their partner and 43% have a joint account as well as separate accounts. The remaining 27% have only joint accounts with their partner.

Only three-in-ten women have a financial plan. Women who feel content with their investments (35%) are more likely to have a financial plan than those who feel worried (16%).

Patricia Lovett-Reid
Senior Vice-President, TD Waterhouse

“It should come as no surprise that those with a financial plan feel more content with their investments,” says Ms. Lovett-Reid. “Working with a trusted financial adviser will help you clearly articulate your personal financial goals. Together you can lay out an action plan of how you can build a financially secure tomorrow, while continuing to enjoy your today.”

Nearly half (47%) of women say that their mother shared some of the responsibility for investment decisions with their father while another 36% say their mother was not involved and 17% say that their mother was solely responsible. Those more likely to say that their mother was solely responsible include those that are solely responsible themselves more than those who share it jointly (20% versus 13%).

About the TD Waterhouse Female Investor Poll

The TD Waterhouse Female Investor Poll surveyed 1,010 adult women aged 45-64 who share in the responsibility of planning the finances for their households. Results for this study were collected through an online survey of Canadian women investors by Environics Research Group, conducted between August 20-27, 2010.