Investing in Women and for Women: Women and Wealth Management

Many women have a neverending to-do list running in their head. It might include necessary household maintenance and crucial medical appointments, but it often leaves out planning for their financial future. “You might be able to defer a lot of things in life,” says Ingrid Macintosh. “But deferring your financial plan is dangerous to your financial health.”

By 2026, it’s estimated that women will hold more than half the personal wealth in Canada.1 At some point, nine in ten Canadian women will be the sole financial decision-makers for their families. Inheritance, divorce or widowhood―statistically, female baby boomers will outlive their partners by at least a decade―can all impact a woman’s financial picture, often suddenly.

Many women don’t feel prepared for these momentous shifts. According to Macintosh, who’s a passionate advocate for helping women understand and engage with their finances, only 31 per cent of women consider themselves to be financially knowledgeable.2

“They’re intelligent, they’re educated and they’re competent,” Macintosh says. They might be handling the day-to-day tasks of banking and bill-paying, but they haven’t looked into the larger, long-term issues of saving, investment and wealth management.

“Systemically, the financial journey is more difficult for women,” Macintosh points out. “Just in terms of building wealth, women tend to be out of the workforce for periods, between childcare and eldercare. They are more likely to be in part-time work without pensions. And we can’t forget the all-in earnings gap.” For these reasons, it’s even more important for women to build their financial literacy as early as possible and develop a financial plan.

“At the same time, we have an industry that is not always woman-friendly,” Macintosh explains. “Seventy-three per cent of women have said they’re unhappy with the financial services industry,3 which is understandable when we consider that for generations, the industry was a male-dominated environment that was less connected and focused on women, even subconsciously.”

Ingrid Macintosh, Vice President TD Wealth, Head of Sales Enablement, Marketing and Communications, and Digital Strategy


And these subconscious biases persist, despite the earnest efforts made by financial institutions and advisors to break down gender stereotypes. A study conducted using eye-tracking technology found that when meeting with heterosexual couples, both male and female financial advisors made eye contact with their male client more than 60 per cent of the time.4

The long history of women being underserved and misunderstood by financial service institutions could be a contributing factor to why many women don’t feel financially knowledgeable, Macintosh says, which impacts their financial confidence and preparedness. “TD Wealth recently conducted a survey5 asking Canadians about their financial planning, and a majority of Canadians―83 per cent of men and 75 per cent of women―said they have a financial plan, which is great. But for women aged 45 to 55, only about 40 per cent in that critical pre-retirement period said they have a written financial plan.”

That’s why TD is working to create a connected, differentiated experience for women, with advisors trained to identify and address women’s specific financial concerns and challenges. TD’s Wealth for Women website offers on-demand financial resources for women ranging from money management, investing considerations and techniques for developing financial literacy, as well as financial checklists for women recently divorced or widowed.

Often all it takes for women to feel more engaged and informed is that first conversation with a financial advisor who focuses on getting to know them and their individual needs. “Once you get women thinking about money and building that literacy and competence and engagement, it’s powerful,” Macintosh states. And like any good investment, “it’s power that just compounds over time.”

Once women feel informed, connected and confident, they can be actually better than men with market volatility, she points out, and calmer at navigating turbulent economic times. Macintosh rejects the common trope that women are “risk averse.” In her experience, women are “risk aware” and prefer to make informed, educated decisions.

But there are certain ingrained preconceptions that can sabotage people’s thinking around money, especially women who’ve had to grapple with stereotypical biases about who should manage money in the household. Sometimes women have been made to feel that wealth management is the responsibility of other people in their lives or that it’s too late to substantially change their financial picture. The belief that “there’s not enough time, not enough knowledge, not enough money―that’s the trifecta of things that trips people up,” Macintosh believes.

That’s why TD Wealth is ready to meet women wherever they are in their financial journey, with experience, knowledge, resources and advice. As Macintosh says, “No matter what amount of money you have or how ‘late’ in life you’ve started to take charge of your financial journey, you just need to start. Your future self will thank you.”

Visit the TD Wealth for Women website to learn more or to get connected with a TD Wealth advisor.


1Investor Economics, Household Balance Sheet Report, 2017.

2Investor Economics, Household Balance Sheet Report, 2017

3Statistics Canada, Gender differences in the financial knowledge of Canadians, 2016.

4Merrill Lynch, Seeing the Unseen – The role gender plays in wealth management, 2020.

5TD Wealth, 2022 survey conducted by Leger, February 2022.