Women are powering ahead in the race for riches

Telegraph, London
Filed: 22/04/2005
By Sarah Womack, Social Affairs Correspondent

Female millionaires will outnumber their male counterparts across all age groups within 20 years, says research published today. It describes women as the "financial powerhouses" of Britain.

The study predicts that women will own 60 per cent of the nation's personal wealth by 2025, with many using their professional and personal skills to extraordinary financial effect.

At present, women millionaires between the ages of 18-44, and over the age of 65, outnumber male millionaires, the report says. They own 48 per cent of the nation's personal wealth.

But significant change will occur as a result of the rise in "financially sophisticated younger women", who will swell the numbers of those who inherit their wealth.

Many more women will own property - property ownership has helped to catapult women in business - and girls are performing better than boys at school, obtaining traditionally male, high-powered jobs. Women are also living longer and are more likely to inherit. Then there are those who marry - and divorce - "well".

Women are increasingly using their business wiles to gain financial rewards from their private lives. In America they are classified as Boomers (those who have inherited their husband's wealth) and Sarahs (Single And Rich And Happy) who have made their cash through clever wrangling in the divorce courts. Claire Symonds, a spokesman for Coutts Bank, said: "Women are benefiting from enormous divorce settlements, commonly leaving them 50 per cent of all marital assets, and wising up to their financial rights."

The research, carried out by the Centre for Economics and Business Research, for the Liverpool Victoria friendly society said there were 47,355 women millionaires aged between 18 and 44 compared with 37,935 men.

In the over-65 group, women millionaires outnumber their male counterparts by 71,369 to 67,865. Although men still earn more on average than women, the pattern is changing.

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