The financial advisory industry is a male-dominated profession with only 23 percent female Certified Financial Planners™ and only 9% of firms being women-owned. You might say that, as a woman CFP® and firm owner, I am somewhat of a unicorn. Unfortunately, the lack of women in this profession has had a significant negative impact. Firsthand accounts and numerous studies, like that of New York Life Investments, tell us that women remain misunderstood and underserved when it comes to financial advice. Many financial advisors assume the man is the decision-maker when dealing with traditional couples, and conversations are directed more towards him.
-Half of the women surveyed said their financial advisor is incapable of connecting with them, personally, by taking time to understand their specific needs.
-Forty percent of women surveyed said advisors treat women differently, often ignoring or dismissing what they have to say.
-Sixty-two percent of women said they have unique investment needs, and financial advisors do not understand those needs.
Women are sometimes not heard in the financial planning and investment process, and at certain times blatantly ignored. Given that the female half of the relationship is not fully engaged, it is no surprise that, according to the Spectrum Group, 80% of widows and divorcees move on to find a new advisor.
In my experience as a woman and a CFP professional, I can vouch for the fact that women are just as interested in financial security and peace of mind as men. Women want to understand their financial picture and are very willing to broach the topic of money with the right person, and they want to work with a financial advisor whom they trust and who will listen to and hear them. Women are also much more likely to ask questions about money management and investigate their investment options, increasing their financial knowledge along the way– especially when the person they are talking to is not condescending and avoids speaking in jargon. The question is not about defining what women want, it is whether the financial advisory industry will listen to us!
If you feel you’re not being heard by your current financial advisor, please contact Francis Financial.