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FAs Need to Alter Course to Serve Women Clients

January 30, 2018

The wealth management industry has long been tailored to married men with traditional families and is now missing out on an increasingly wealthy and influential demographic — women, Kendra Thompson writes for Wealth Management.

Changing cultural norms have resulted in more women delaying or foregoing marriage altogether, according to Thompson, head of wealth management at Accenture. Married women, meanwhile, normally outlive their husbands, she writes. Women’s incomes are rising, while traditional gender roles within families are giving way to more “egalitarian” models, according to Thompson.

In short, women are more likely to be more involved in their finances — but they’re far from happy with what the wealth management industry has to offer them, she writes. Women are 6% less likely than men to trust their advisors and 6% less likely to be satisfied with what they get from advisors, according to Thompson. Among women whose spouses have died, seven in 10 considered going to another financial advisor, she writes.

To appeal to women, advice firms need to reconfigure their model, says Thompson. And rather than making generalizations about women’s wants, advice practices should identify patterns and aim for a segmented approach that will be able to address singles, divorcees, widows and entrepreneurs, she writes.

Accenture has found that women dislike a barrage of information, preferring to see what impact their choices have on them and their families, for example, according to Thompson. Advisors should also aim for an experience that is both educational and informative, as only 52% of women are confident about their investing savvy, Accenture found. In addition, advice practices should offer a more flexible fee structure to appeal both to women and to younger prospects who will earn or inherit wealth later in life, Thompson writes.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the Wealth Management article cited in this story, click here.