Today, many women are the primary breadwinners in their households. According to 2018 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 30 percent of American women in dual-income marriages earn more than their husbands. (In 1987, only 18 percent of wives claimed breadwinner status in marriages where both partners worked.) And women are also starting to control more of their families’ wealth. By 2028, women will control 75 percent of discretionary spending around the world, according to data from EY Global Wealth & Asset Management.
Moreover, women often live longer, are paid less, have children and sometimes need to take a break from work to raise their kids; they also are usually the main caregivers of the family. Because of these social, economic and health challenges, women have different needs when it comes to financial planning — and as such, they need their advisors to take a different approach.
In today’s blog post, we’ll be examining the key essentials that executive women want most when they’re working with financial advisors:
It’s important to remember women are not a “niche;” this thought pattern promotes an unfair bias. Women don’t want to be treated just as female clients; they want to be treated as individuals. When you’re looking for an advisor, make sure to find someone who truly understands your specific, unique concerns and values — someone who is curious and asks questions about your needs, as an individual, in non-generic and personal terms.
A mere 43 percent of women report feeling secure in their investments for the future. With nearly 70 percent of married women believing they’ll outlive their spouses, according to a 2018 UBS InvestorWatch survey, they want to make sure their investments are secure and will last and grow.
It’s important to find a credentialed advisor who upholds the fiduciary standard of care to keep your best interests first and foremost when making recommendations for your financial future. This helps to ensure that your advisor is developing an investment strategy that reflects your needs, goals, values, risk tolerance and time horizon — not a strategy that reflects their business interests. Sites like the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and the Financial Planning Association (FPA) can be great resources for finding knowledgeable financial professionals you can trust.
As CFA Institute writes, “Women aren’t risk averse; they are risk aware.” A woman investor “might take more time to make an investment decision, but that’s because she does her homework. Once she has delved into the details to her satisfaction, she will take calculated risks and invest.”
Advisors should avoid rushing women investors or trying to pressure them into making decisions right away — and likewise, women investors should steer clear of advisors who exhibit those characteristics. Advisors should provide women investors with space to consider their suggestions and listen to their questions without judgment, too. If women investors know that they can express concerns openly, they’ll have an easier time deciding what they want to do, and how they want to move forward on their investment journey.
All clients want to feel heard when they sit down with a financial advisor. One study found that 24 percent of women have a financial advisor or have worked with one in the past. But 60 percent of these women felt that the advisor treated their husband as the primary financial decision-maker, even when they earned more than their husbands.
Financial advisors should make sure they listen to both partners equally and take time to understand both perspectives. If you’re sitting in a meeting with your financial advisor and feeling like your voice and true needs aren’t being heard, then it’s time to begin your search for a new partner to help guide your financial future.
Any advisor who works with women investors should be sure to keep this financial wellness wishlist in mind. And all women investors should take this list and expand it to make it their own, including their specific needs, values, goals and other details that clarify what they want out of an advisory relationship.
Are you a woman investor in search of a new financial advisor? Are you an advisor who wants to better serve the female demographic? Reach out to our team today.
Garrison Point Advisors, LLC (“GPA”) is an investment advisor in Walnut Creek, CA. The GPA entity is registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Registration of an investment advisor does not imply any specific level of skill or training and does not constitute an endorsement of the firm by the Commission. GPA only transacts business in states in which it is properly registered or is excluded or exempted from registration. A copy of GPA’s current written disclosure brochures, Form ADV Part 1 and Part 2A, filed with the SEC which discusses among other things, GPA’s business practices, services and fees, is available through the SEC’s website at: www.adviserinfo.sec.gov.
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