BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, women continue to report historic levels of stress surrounding their finances, job security and long-term savings. New research from Fidelity Investments® finds that 79% of women are currently feeling the weight of that stress, up from 67% last fall1. In response, Fidelity is celebrating Women’s History Month by kicking off a Women Talk Money virtual pop-up experience, featuring 31 days of special events and activities and two live marquee events all designed to help women take a fresh look at their finances and connect with the guidance they need to build a healthier financial future.
The experience is free and available to everyone, and more than 15,000 companies across the country are collaborating with Fidelity to invite their employees to take part, making financial guidance more accessible to 10 million+ women.
The launch comes at an ideal time, as Fidelity’s newly released Financial Sentiment Survey finds seven out of ten (71%) women want to take steps in the next six months to better manage their finances2. The research shows women are looking to address both short-term priorities such as paying down debt and reviewing budgets to better control expenses, to longer term goals including increasing retirement savings and starting to invest outside of retirement.
“Perhaps one silver lining from the events of the past year is the desire of so many women to take greater control over their financial lives. We saw this first-hand as annual retail account openings by women grew by an unprecedented 41%3,” said Kathleen Murphy, president of personal investing at Fidelity Investments. “We want to keep building on this momentum, continuing to inspire and support the 14.5 million women we now serve by helping them further harness their economic power.”
Survey Shows Guidance Can Help Transform Intention into Action
Despite the desire to take new steps with their money, many women indicate they need help to turn intent into action. Fifty-eight percent of women are asking for more guidance to get started4. Among the goals for which women are looking for help: retirement planning, investing outside of retirement, and creating legacy documents such as wills and health care proxies.
Providing that help can be a game changer. Fidelity started the Women Talk Money program last spring to create a live interactive forum to address women’s most pressing questions and challenges. The response has been tremendous, with thousands joining in the weekly discussion series from across the country. Since the start of the program, the firm has seen a 34% increase in women taking advantage of Fidelity guidance5, including calls with financial consultants and use of online planning tools across both workplace and retail customers.
Women Talk Money Pop-Up Focuses on Game Changing Steps to Improve Financial Wellness
Fidelity’s pop-up experience is designed to address the very tasks women are looking to accomplish in the next six months and where they are asking for more help.
Two Women Talk Money live marquee events will open up important conversations about building a healthier financial future while tackling the amplified stress and responsibilities that have become the new normal.
- March 10: Improving financial wellness to harness our own economic power. With tips for becoming more mindful and reducing the amplified stress we’ve all been living with this past year. Special guests: Jean Chatzky, financial journalist and founder of HerMoney, and Dr. Romie Mushtag, neurologist and founder of BrainSHIFT.
- March 24: The power of healthy money habits. With tips on managing work and life in today’s world, rethinking traditional gender roles and responsibilities, addressing “invisible work,” and making time for what’s most important. Special guests: Tiffany Dufu, founder and CEO of the Cru™ and author of Drop the Ball, and Eve Rodsky, New York Times best-selling author and founder of Fair Play.
“This month is about celebrating women and how much we accomplish every day, yet also recognizing that we’re all a work in progress, especially right now,” said Lorna Kapusta, head of women investors at Fidelity. “Our goal is to shine a light on simple steps you can take no matter where you may be on your financial journey, that can have a game-changing impact on progress toward financial goals, and your peace of mind.”
Once registered, participants have access to weekly learning activities and action steps addressing topics women ask about most, from resetting your financial foundation, to setting goals and creating money habits that stick, to a focus on retirement planning and investing for other goals, making your money work as hard as you do. Each week’s activities are accompanied by easy-to-use tools and action plans, and access to 1:1 help as needed. Other programming highlights:
- Impact of Gender on Financial Planning: video series and resource guides providing an overview of the key factors that make financial planning unique for women.
- Women Talk Money Office Hours: sign up for smaller group Q&A sessions with Fidelity planning professionals where they’ll answer viewer questions in real time.
- Money & Life Resource Center: Tools and checklists to help plan for or manage through major life moments – both expected and unexpected.
In addition to the Women Talk Money pop up, Fidelity and MSCI will be co-hosting the This is Bullish Speaker Series, a three-part panel event taking an investment lens to the economic power of women and gender diversity. Featuring female leaders driving change across the financial services industry to support women, the series will delve into research making the investment case for companies prioritizing female leadership and development (March 8), the innovative investment products designed to invest in companies focused on gender diversity (March 17), and the opportunity to empower all women as investors to achieve their financial wellbeing (March 30). Visit here to register and learn more about this free series.
- For employers, Fidelity shares tools kits providing insights on the challenges facing women and caregivers in their workforce and how to help, including: How the gender gap impacts retirement, Blazing pathways to women’s financial wellness, The decision many employees are facing in their careers – should I stay or should I go? and The financial realities of being a woman.
- Fidelity Viewpoints publishes new insights and education weekly. Recent articles aligned with this month’s pop up programming: How to stop feeling guilty about money, 7 investing myths and realities about stocks, The hidden costs of caregiving.
- For those who want more hands-on help, Fidelity representatives are available at no cost to answer questions 24/7 at 1-800-FIDELITY, or online at Fidelity.com.
About the Fidelity Investments Financial Sentiment Survey
This study presents findings from a national online survey of 2,007 U.S. adults 18 and older (1003 women and 1004 men). This CARAVAN® survey was fielded February 3-7, 2021 by Engine Insights, an independent research firm not affiliated with Fidelity Investments. The results of this survey may not be representative of all adults meeting the same criteria as those surveyed for this study.
About Fidelity Investments
Fidelity’s mission is to inspire better futures and deliver better outcomes for the customers and businesses we serve. With assets under administration of $9.9 trillion, including discretionary assets of $3.8 trillion as of January 31, 2021, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers: helping more than 35 million people invest their own life savings, 22,000 businesses manage employee benefit programs, as well as providing more than 13,500 institutions with investment and technology solutions to invest their own clients’ money. Privately held for more than 70 years, Fidelity employs more than 47,000 associates who are focused on the long-term success of our customers. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit http://www.fidelity.com/about-fidelity/our-company.
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Fidelity does not provide legal or tax advice. The information herein is general in nature and should not be considered legal or tax advice. Consult an attorney or tax professional regarding your specific situation.
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1 Fidelity Investments 2021 Financial Resolutions Study, October 2020.
2 Fidelity Investments Financial Sentiment Survey, February 2021
3 Fidelity customer data, representing year-over-year percentage increase in new retail accounts opened by women in 2020, compared to 2019.
4 Fidelity Investments Financial Sentiment Survey, February 2021
5 Fidelity customer data, representing year-over-year percentage increase in women taking advantage of guidance interactions in 2020, compared to 2019.