Last month, we noted that women are expected to control about 50% of wealth in Canada over the next five years. However, services from the wealth management industry are still underserved. Today, I’ll explain how understanding the financial industry’s efforts to move away from its “Old Boys Club” roots can help women receive better service.
Just before the pandemic, I met a recently widowed successful businesswoman (I call her “Carla”). When Carla went to see her late husband’s adviser, she described the experience as “spoken.” He thought her wealth came from her husband. he was wrong It turns out that she was financially successful on her own and that she was smart too. The next week she was talking to another financial advisor. Right after she came to my office.
“70% of women leave their advisors within 18 months of losing their spouse.”
I have heard similar complaints from many female clients over the years. “He thinks I don’t understand or isn’t interested.” “I don’t think he cares about me, but he only cares about money.” I could go on!
Women are Unleashing Economic Power
Some say the key issue is related to the fact that 85% of financial advisors are men, and female advisors are more sensitive to current demographic changes. But the reality is that society is changing so quickly that the industry as a whole hasn’t been able to adapt quickly enough.
Investors are not waiting. A woman sat quietly at a meeting with her husband and his advisor, and then she came to see me. “I may have seemed uninterested in details,” she said. “But really, I was assessing whether I could trust him.” Her conclusion was no.
Few people realize the extent to which women hold purse strings even though men are generally seen as the primary financial decision makers.In fact, 70% of women left an advisor within 18 months of losing a spouse due to a lack of trust in the relationship.
stereotypes for women
One step a female investor with a male financial advisor can take is to speak up. Many financial experts believe the stereotype that women are at a disadvantage to risk. But women are equally interested in investment opportunities and willing to take risks. The real risk for many female clients is that they end up falling for certain investments based on stereotypes or “traditional” advice that may not fit their needs and desires.
Maybe it’s my natural instincts as a woman, or how I want to be treated as a client, but I’m curious about how your life has shaped your view of money, and how you I’m much more interested in digging into what the goals and concerns of are. Turn pages of charts and graphs about investment products.
For example, many women seem surprised when asked, “What was money like when you were a child?” or “What’s the problem with not being able to sleep at night?”
Role of financial institutions
Financial institutions are increasingly realizing that their advisors need to be better trained on how to improve how they work with female clients. I was lucky because in 1939 I worked for a company that was run by a woman. Muriel Sprague Richardson declared her “the shy baroness of the securities industry” in a feature article in McLean magazine. She was clearly ahead of her time and cast a huge shadow.
As women’s wealth grows, financial institutions are increasingly relying on female investment advisors for insight. For example, female investors and clients generally prefer to gather more information and spend more time before making an investment decision. They often take a more educational approach. I’ve heard that female investment advisors tend to be more tolerant of this approach, and men tend to appreciate it too.
A Boston Consulting Group study found that female investment professionals perform as well or better than their male counterparts.
That approach has paid off. According to the Boston Consulting Group, not only do female investment professionals perform as well as or better than their male counterparts in terms of return on investment, but clients who work with women also believe that their advisors are in their best interests. I feel it in action.
There are many great financial professionals, both men and women, who take the time to truly understand what is important to their clients. Women need to have higher standards and confidence in getting their needs met. They need to be empowered to take a prominent seat at the table, and once there they need to have a say.
Next month, we’ll look at the additional risks women face, how to mitigate them, and the natural benefits women can take advantage of to increase their chances of financial success.
Lynn MacNeil, F.PL., C.I.M.®, Associate Investment Advisor and Financial Planner at Richardson Wealth Limited in Montreal, with over 25 years of experience working with retirees and pre-retirees.For a second opinion, personal financial consultation, or more information on this topic or any other investment or financial matter, please contact Lynn McNeil at 514.981.5796 or [email protected]Or visit our website at www.EphtimiosMacNeil.com.
Information provided in this publication is for informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute investment, financial, legal or tax advice. This material does not consider your specific situation and is not intended to be a recommendation. It is for general purposes only and personal tax and/or legal counsel should be sought for advice regarding your specific situation. Its affiliates do not guarantee its completeness or accuracy. June 2021
Richardson Wealth Limited is a member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund. Richardson Wealth is a trademark of James Richardson & Sons, Limited and is used under license.
 Investor Economics Household Balance Sheet Report – Canada, 2017
 Boston Consulting Group, Women Want More, 2009
 Managing Women’s Wealth for the Next Decade Boston Consulting Group. April 2020