In the past year alone, financial advisors have recognized the growing importance women play in household investment and financial decision-making, yet often struggle with just how to reach and engage with female investors – or, worse, fail to realize the vast opportunities female investors represent for growing their business.
In a recent Investment News article, I discuss the rise of the female investor and highlight actionable ways for advisors to become more actively engaged with female investors. After researching several key reports from Prudential, Fidelity, BlackRock and others, and speaking with savvy advisors and financial services professionals, I discovered four observations (below). What I found overall was that women generally want the same things as men when it comes to investing, but their approaches and perceptions to investing differ.
Women represent a huge opportunity for advisors
There are a number of explanations for the rise in female investors: women are living longer, increasingly working outside of the home, obtaining higher education (therefore making more money), and acquiring wealth through inheritance or divorce. Whatever the situation, women may just be the biggest opportunity facing advisors today, as evidenced by the following statistics:
- Women create, control and influence more than $11 trillion in the U.S. alone
- Women are projected to control half of the U.S. wealth by 2020
- Only 35% of women trust themselves to make sound financial advice
Focus on what matters to women
As the article points out, advisors can maximize the opportunities presented by rising female investors by focusing on what matters most to women which, ironically, is similar to what matters to men – to be financially secure, save for retirement and provide for the long-term needs of their families.
Below is a summary of the four ways to reach and engage with female investors:
1. Be findable online
Savvy financial advisors know the importance of having a social and digital footprint so female investors can find them when they are looking for financial advice. Like we often say, if you’re not findable online, you don’t exist.
2. Listen first, respond later
“Women don’t want to be talked down to, or accommodated” as Sharon Kucera, a financial advisor and former managing director at BlackRock, points out in the article. Instead, advisors must first listen to the needs and wants of female clients before offering financial advice.
3. Acknowledge gender differences, but realize that women are not all the same
It’s easy to think all women are the same, but that is simply not the case. While it’s important to acknowledge gender differences among women and men, such as women’s approach to investing, it’s equally important not to assume all women want the same things when it comes to investing. Some women “just want to know the next good stock pick.”
4. Focus on the relationship
This should come as no surprise, but it’s all about the relationship when it comes to engaging with female investors, and trust is a key part of it. We’ve talked about the importance of building trust to strengthen relationships before, and advisors who want to relate to female investors must build lasting, trustworthy relationships by offering personalized services and using social media to learn more about existing clients and establish relationships with new ones.
Read the full article for more insights.