Vienna Stock Exchange News

International Women's Day: Study reveals large gap in private pension provision

(Vienna)  On the occasion of International Women's Day, the Vienna Stock Exchange will once again "Ring the Bell for Gender Equality". The event on 8 March – part of an initiative involving around 120 stock exchanges worldwide – aims to raise awareness of women's economic participation and equality. Financial education is a key topic in this regard, as the "Aktienbarometer" – a study by Aktienforum, the Federation of Austrian Industries (IV) and the Vienna Stock Exchange – shows. Although there is an urgent need for financial education in society as a whole, the survey found that women have a particularly high need to catch up when it comes to financial knowledge.

Securities ownership: education as a key factor

According to the "Aktienbarometer”, women rate their financial knowledge as significantly less profound than men. 77% of the women surveyed stated that they refrain from investing in securities due to a lack of financial literacy. By comparison, men also require training and further education, although the proportion of those rating their financial expertise as inadequate is clearly lower at 61%. This also reflects in securities ownership, as while 19% of women use securities for long-term wealth accumulation, almost twice as many men do so at 36%.

Andrea Herrmann, CFO of Wiener Börse, emphasises: "In order to close the gender pension gap, we need to foster private pension provision. By empowering women with the necessary financial knowledge and skills, we can encourage them to make informed decisions about their finances and take their financial future into their own hands."

In any case, the study illustrates that securities ownership correlates strongly with the level of education. The proportion of investors with a compulsory (14%, 2023: 11%) or technical college degree (24%, 2023: 22%) has increased compared to the last survey. Nevertheless, the majority of security holders have a university degree (45%) or at least a high level diploma (39%). In addition to financial knowledge, the available financial resources also affect the willingness to invest in securities. Many are of the opinion that they do not have enough money to make investing in securities worthwhile – among women, this is the second most common reason for not investing (73%).

"Even small amounts invested regularly can make a big difference in the long term. Many people underestimate the enormous impact of the compound interest effect or are not even aware of it," explains Angelika Sommer-Hemetsberger. Deputy Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board of the Vienna Stock Exchange. 

The compound interest unfolds its effect above all by taking into account an important investment principle: the long term. Investors in a savings plan who, for example, have invested EUR 30 per month in an ATX Total Return portfolio since the start of the calculation in 1991, held EUR 41,608 (before deduction of fees and taxes) as at 29 February 2024 – with a deposit amount of EUR 11,970. 

Vienna Stock Exchange takes active measures to improve financial education

The Vienna Stock Exchange has been taking measures to strengthen financial education for many years and actively supports the "National Financial Literacy Strategy". For example, teaching materials are provided to teachers and school lectures are held. The “Wiener Börse Akademie” also offers a comprehensive programme in cooperation with the WIFI Management Forum. The academy offers seminars and workshops for every level of expertise - from stock exchange novices to qualified securities traders. The training programme is constantly being expanded and adapted to demand and current trends. For example, an introductory seminar is also offered specifically for women.

Aktienbarometer 2024 – Security ownership continues to rise

The Austrian Aktienbarometer is an annual survey commissioned by Aktienforum, Federation of Austrian Industries (IV), and the Vienna Stock Exchange and provides a detailed insight into securities ownership in Austria. In addition to the unbroken need for financial education, the recent study also highlights a positive development: securities ownership among the Austrian population has increased compared to the previous year. While 25% of those surveyed in 2023 stated that they owned securities, this figure had already risen to 27% in the current study. In absolute figures, this corresponds to an increase of 200,000 people within one year.

Details on the Aktienbarometer 2024
Info graphics
Photos on the „Ring the Bell for Gender Equality" event


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As the central infrastructure provider in the region, Wiener Börse AG opens doors to global markets. It operates the stock exchanges in Vienna and Prague. Listed companies benefit from maximum liquidity there, and as the market leader it offers investors fast and inexpensive trading. Wiener Börse collects and distributes price data and calculates the most important indices for a dozen markets in the region. Thanks to its unique know-how, the national exchanges in Budapest, Ljubljana and Zagreb also rely on the IT services of the Vienna Stock Exchange. In addition, it is involved in other energy exchanges and clearing houses in the region.


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