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-TD Waterhouse releases first Women's Online Investing Poll-

-Competitive pricing, real-time tools and wide range of investment products are most important-

-50% of respondents plan to increase investments with their online brokerage-


TORONTO, July 18, 2011 /CNW/ - Women do-it-yourself (DIY) investors are thriving online, finds the first TD Waterhouse Women's Online Investing Poll. The survey found that the number of women who invest online is increasing, with 66% signing up in the last five years. Additionally, 50% of women plan on increasing the portion of their portfolio with their online brokerage.

Why women are taking the DIY approach

Almost half (45%) say being in control of and managing their investments is the top advantage of online investing. Another 16% enjoy being involved in researching and making investment decisions, while 13% say it's more cost effective.

Over two-thirds (70%) of women online investors are planning for retirement online through accounts such as retirement savings plans and retirement income funds. "While there's no one approach to investing for women, it's great to see so many taking charge of their financial futures and being proactive in planning for retirement," says Patricia Lovett-Reid, Senior Vice President, TD Waterhouse. "Investing for ourselves gives us the control and flexibility to create, oversee and adjust our investment plans as we see fit."

What women want in an online brokerage

The top features women look for in an online brokerage are competitive pricing (93%), the ability to track portfolios in real time (92%), and a wide range of investment products (90%). They also look for fast and easy to use online platforms (89%) and a comprehensive selection of free research tools (88%).

"Online investors aren't simply placing trades. To build and execute a long-term plan, it's important that an online brokerage offers a comprehensive range of cost-effective products and services as well as tools to research, monitor and track progress towards our goals," says Lovett-Reid.

Considering making the trade to online investing? Consider the following advice from women who invest online:

1. The number one tip from women online investors: be willing to do your research (78%).

"As an online investor, you make the decisions, so you need to be willing to do the leg work. Start by putting pen to paper to define your financial plan, then do the research to find the desired asset mix and individual investments that will help you reach your goals," says Lovett-Reid. "Stay informed of the economy and market movements, and monitor your progress to ensure you remain on track."

2. Don't be afraid to ask for help (58%).

"Investing online doesn't mean that you're on your own," adds Lovett-Reid. "A good online brokerage should provide services that support you, such as free research reports, seminars and educational workshops, and 24/7 support from qualified investment representatives in your language."

3. Start small and work your way up once you are comfortable (56%).

"Managing your portfolio online isn't an all or nothing choice - many investors manage a portion of their investments and also work with a financial advisor. If you're new to online investing, start at a level you're comfortable with and build from there," offers Lovett-Reid.

Additional advice from women online investors polled includes: ensure you have a well-balanced portfolio (51%), be disciplined in your investment approach so your investments match your objectives (49%), and take advantage of opportunities provided by your online brokerage including seminars and research (38%).

About the TD Waterhouse Women's Online Investing Poll

The results for the TD Waterhouse Women's Online Investing Poll were collected through a custom, online survey conducted by Environics Research Group between June 4 to June 8, 2011. A total of 500 completed surveys were collected from women investors who currently use an online brokerage account to manage some or all of their investments.

About TD Bank Group

The Toronto-Dominion Bank and its subsidiaries are collectively known as TD Bank Group (TD). TD is the sixth largest bank in North America by branches and serves more than 19 million customers in four key businesses operating in a number of locations in key financial centres around the globe: Canadian Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Canada Trust and TD Insurance; Wealth Management, including TD Waterhouse and an investment in TD Ameritrade; U.S. Personal and Commercial Banking, including TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank; and Wholesale Banking, including TD Securities. TD also ranks among the world's leading online financial services firms, with approximately 7 million online customers. TD had CDN$630 billion in assets on April 30, 2011. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades under the symbol "TD" on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges.

TD Waterhouse represents the products and services offered by TD Waterhouse Canada Inc. (Member - Canadian Investor Protection Fund), TD Waterhouse Private Investment Counsel Inc., TD Waterhouse Insurance Services Inc., TD Waterhouse Private Banking (offered by The Toronto-Dominion Bank) and TD Waterhouse Private Trust (offered by The Canada Trust Company).

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