The wealth management industry has been operating on certain assumptions about the typical client for many years: that “typical client” is a married man, anywhere from his 30s to 60s, with a traditional family.
This man is the family’s financial decision maker, and probably plays golf and drinks martinis. And he favors a particular style of advice and wants products that will maximize his returns.
This might be the “typical assumption,” but it’s hardly consistent with the world we live in today. Families come painted in many different strokes, and many financial decision makers are women. Many women may opt not to marry, and those who do are likely to outlive a male spouse. They’re single longer, and their earning power is increasing. However, the current model often is often not the best option for meeting their financial needs or serving their interests.
Research shows that women are 6 percent less likely to trust their financial advisor, and 6 percent less likely to be satisfied with the advice they receive. Seven in 10 women using an advisor are likely to consider firing the advisor within three years of a spouse’s death. Women are expecting more (as are clients in general), and they want services that are customized to reflect their needs.
So what are the common patterns shared within this population? Accenture found that female clients dislike product-pushing, and want financial advice based on how it will impact their expectations for their futures. Consequently, advisors need to communicate better and be more interactive. Research found that only 52% of women are confident in their ability to invest, and they’re not afraid to admit what they don’t know. Therefore, advisors who are willing to educate as well as inform will have an edge in empowering these clients.
For more on learning how to engage with women and tailor services to focus on their specific needs, please see:
Why the Wealth Management Model Fails Women | Wealth Management