Women need to be up to speed on stocks for bourses to survive: survey

Bloomberg

Japan Exchange Group Inc., the operator of the largest stock exchange outside the U.S. by value, needs to attract more female investors, according to a report released Wednesday based on a survey of 10,000 people.

Men outnumber women by about 2-to-1 among people claiming to have knowledge about equities, according to the results of the survey conducted by NTT Data Institute of Management Consulting Inc. on behalf of the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Female respondents said they don’t invest because the risks look very high, they don’t feel they have the knowledge and they believe investing is speculative or only for rich people, the survey, commissioned in March, showed.

The research comes as Japanese stocks enjoy the strongest rally in 30 years amid expectations Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the Bank of Japan will beat 15 years of deflation and spur an economic recovery.

Women between 30 and 40 years old have higher-than-average savings and it’s vital to increase their awareness and familiarity with investing, the report says.

“There has been so much about the rise in the Japanese stock markets in the media, yet awareness about stocks remains very low,” NTT Data said via a media release accompanying the survey. “The fact that women aged 30-40, who have the means, have low awareness of stocks is a concern.”

Females make up about 40 percent of people with financial assets between ¥5 million and ¥10 million, according to the survey. Households had ¥848.2 trillion in cash and deposits at the end of March, according to BOJ flow of funds figures released in June.

About 22 percent of the population invest in stocks, compared with about 50 percent in the U.S., the survey said. That compares with about 24.4 percent when the survey was last conducted in September.

“The number of stock investors hasn’t increased much in the past six months,” the report said. “This shows that the mountain of individual investors hasn’t spread but rather that existing individual investors have increased the frequency of their trades as the market improved.”