Even though March is “Women’s History Month,” we want to take this opportunity to look forward rather than backward. Understanding how women relate to investing and financial advisors may be key to growing your practice now and in the future, according to research studies.

 

A recent article in Investment News says the number of women controlling assets and making financial decisions is growing:

Twenty years ago, investing was more of a man’s game and though the number of female advisers is meager (only 14%), the number of female investors has skyrocketed, with American women projected to control upwards of $22 trillion by the year 2020. These days, there is a very good chance that a woman will be the primary decision maker in the household regarding finances.

The Center for Talent Innovations found that:

• Women control $11.2 trillion, or 39% of the nation’s investable assets as decision makers, not just influencers
• 53% of women do not have financial advisors
• 67% of women feel misunderstood by their financial advisor

According to CNBC, the financial industry is moving slowly when it comes to appealing to women:

Reaching and retaining female clients is a challenge that has vexed the financial services industry for years…progress has been slow.

“Seventy percent of women leave their advisors within a year of their husband’s death”, David Bach, author of “Smart Women Finish Rich” and vice chair of Edelman Financial, told attendees [of TD Ameritrade’s advisor conference in 2015]. “In most cases we’re still ignoring the wife,” he said, “and that has to change.”

So what do women want in a financial advisor? According to Investment News:

Fidelity’s 2015 “Money Fit Women’s Study” confirmed that women are looking for an educator, someone to explain the complicated idiosyncrasies of the investment world without making them feel stupid. Advisers will benefit by simply switching from a “talking at” strategy that concentrates on selling and closing the deal, to asking questions and listening carefully. Women are looking for active dialogue, a give and take in conversation that creates an atmosphere ripe for question asking.

And Investment News makes this important point about women when it comes to loyalty, client retention and referrals:

Acquiring a woman’s business may be more difficult, but once you do, they often become loyal advocates of your services. A 2016 marketing study conducted by Christine Corelli stated that women make 26 referrals a year on average, while their male counterparts only make 11 referrals. At the end of the day, the future is female.

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For more consumer insights and personal development ideas to help grow your financial advisory practice, call Shurwest at 800.440.1088.

Sources:
1 InvestmentNews.com, “What women want from financial advisers.” http://www.investmentnews.com/article/20170508/BLOG09/170509934/what-women-want-from-financial-advisers (accessed March 20, 2018).
2 Center for Talent Innovations, “Harnessing the Power of the Purse: Female Investors and Global Opportunities for Growth.” http://www.talentinnovation.org/assets/HarnessingThePowerOfThePurse_ExecSumm-CTI-CONFIDENTIAL.pdf (accessed March 20, 2018).
3 CNBC “Why do advisors have such a hard time reaching women?” https://www.cnbc.com/2015/02/02/sors-have-such-a-hard-time-reaching-women.html (accessed March 20, 2018).
4 Fidelity Investments “MONEY FIT WOMEN STUDY: Executive Summary.” https://www.fidelity.com/bin-public/060_www_fidelity_com/documents/women-fit-money-study.pdf (accessed March 20, 2018).