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Financial literacy survey finds women tend to have less money knowledge than men in NZ

A new survey assessing financial literacy has prompted fears that women's lack of knowledge in the subject could see them fall behind later in life. 

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A Commission for Financial Capability survey tested thousands on their understanding of basic financial concepts. Source: Breakfast

A Commission for Financial Capability survey tested 3000 Kiwis on their understanding of basic financial concepts, including interest, inflation and risk diversification. 

It found half as many female respondents as men answered all questions correctly, and only 22 per cent of all respondents answered all questions correctly. 

The survey also found the gap in financial literacy widened with age. Only the scores of those aged 18 to 34 - the youngest age group in the survey - were equal between men and women. 

Retirement Commissioner Jane Wrightson said education programmes in schools would help address the issue. 

“Many women have a disconnect between not valuing money per se, and appreciating what money can achieve for them,” Wrightson said in a statement today.

“They rate making money lower than caring for others, yet it is money that will enable them to look after their children and wider whānau."

She said the results are consistent with other OECD surveys in which women score lower on financial literacy tests than men, and show they are more risk averse when it comes to investing.

“Yet we also know that women are, on average, better than men at managing money in the short term, and when they do invest, are on average more successful than men.”

The Commission for Financial Capability is set to launch a Sorted Women course, which will see women teach other women about money in workplaces and out in the community. The commission also runs a Sorted in Schools programme and offers resources on Sorted.org.nz.

Results showed respondents had a good understanding of inflation, interest and risk and return. But, respondents struggled with concepts like compound interest and risk diversification. 

The survey was conducted between January to June this year.