Recent research suggests that women not only invest and save differently from men, they might also do it better.
So why, then, do women need a robo-advisor targeted towards them?
Amanda Steinberg, co-founder of Philadelphia-based WorthFM, a woman-oriented digital financial advice provider that will launch later this year, says she isn’t solely motivated by generalizations of women’s needs.
“What I found was that the way financial services are traditionally packaged and marketed doesn’t really resonate with females,” Steinberg says. “It’s not that women need different service or are better or worse at investing. It has nothing to do with whether one is born male or female, it all comes down to how we’re socialized.”
Even in 2016, many girls are still pressured to be dependent on external help, while most boys continue to be socialized to value self-reliance.
In Steinberg’s experience, women are less likely to be goals-oriented, too.
“Having a goals-based financial plan is the most logical way to be successful, but goals are only motivating to about a quarter of people in general,” Steinberg says. “If you’re trying to engage an audience around a concept that isn’t motivating to them, they aren’t going to reach their goals.”
The new platform isn’t the "pinking" of a product, like a disposable razor or a computer, done to sell it to women at a higher price. In fact, WorthFM’s color palette reportedly doesn’t include pink.
“The problem is that you have to find a way to talk to someone who is smart and competent and successful about something that they need to know about, but they know next-to-nothing about,” Steinberg says. “Women are more likely to be raised in an environment where they’ve been told that money isn’t their responsibility, so now there’s some guilt and shame built around what they don’t know about investing.”
WorthFM is being launched in partnership with Michelle Smith, CEO of New York-based Source Financial Advisors, which specializes in advising high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth women going through divorce.