A Guide to Building Lasting Relationships with the Female Investor
Women today are more financially independent than ever before, with an increased focus on advanced education and professional careers. They are an increasing proportion of the affluent, and this trend shows no signs of decelerating. Additionally, the life expectancy of women continues to grow, and the gap between male and female lifespan continues to widen. Not only are women amassing their own wealth, but they are also inheriting it – and with increasing rates of life expectancy, they are in need of financing a longer retirement. Surprisingly, women have extremely high rates of dissatisfaction with their financial advisors. With such a thriving and lucrative market, why aren’t financial advisors doing an adequate job with their female investors?
The female investor is an inherently different type of investor than the male investor. Emotionally, mentally and genetically men and women are not the same, therefore they invest differently and for different reasons. As a result, the needs, wants and expectations of an investor and the relationship with the advisor are not uniform across the sexes.
Building a relationship with the female investor is paramount, and it requires time and effort. Women do their research; they devote time to learn about alternative options and they must be confident in their advisor. To attract potential female clients, advisors need to develop an approach that is more personal in nature compared to their male clients. Women don’t want to be treated the same way that men are treated, but they also don’t want to be treated as all other women. Their situation, needs, wants and goals are unique and should be treated as such. The traditional financial advisor framework that is successful with male investors will not be adequate for today’s women of wealth.
A financial advisor’s efforts to build business with the female investor tends to be personally rewarding; women are often exceptional clients. Women tend to be highly organized and goal oriented and long-term planners that are receptive to comprehensive wealth management. They can often be characterized as loyal, they are substantial contributors to household financial decisions, they will put their trust in you and if they like you, they will be an excellent source of referrals.
The Women’s Market
Women represent a large and growing market segment, which presents an attractive opportunity for financial advisors to grow their assets under management. According to Virginia Tech’s Women in Leadership and Philanthropy, women control nearly 60% of the wealth in the United States. Forty-five percent of American millionaires are women, and the number of wealthy women in the U.S. is growing twice as fast as the number of wealthy men. According to the Boston Consulting Group, women will out earn men by 2024. The reason for this shift in control is twofold: women are creating more of their own wealth and women statistically live longer than men and as survivors of the estate, they inherit control.
When examining this market opportunity, it is important to recognize the differences that exist between male and female clients.
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