Men are 1.7 times more likely to be approached by a financial advisor than women, despite the fact that women are projected to control $22 trillion in wealth in the next decade, says a new white paper by First Clearing Correspondent Services and Cannon Financial Institute.
At the same time, more than 70 percent of women who become widows switch financial advisors once their husbands die because their advisors did not develop a relationship with the women, says Linda Eaton, senior vice president of Cannon Financial Institute.
The two organizations call the white paper Women and Wealth: The Invisible Opportunity because of the opportunity lost to advisors and financial firms when they ignore the woman or even when they treat men and women the same. It also does not help to just develop an advertising campaign supposedly aimed at women, the firms say.
First Clearing, based in St. Louis, is a clearing and consulting firm that provides solutions to help full-service and independent retail broker-dealers run more efficiently. Cannon provides professional development strategies for financial organizations to increase market share, maximize profitability and reduce liability.
Currently women control 33 percent of the wealth in North America and that will only increase as more baby boomer women become widows. But women are dissatisfied with their private banking and investment experiences, and “among the most unhappy were women in the $1 million to $5 million [asset] segment, a sweet spot for many advisory firms,” the white paper says.
Men acting more swiftly and thinking more in terms of their investments as a separate area of life, while women think more holistically and value relationships more than just pure advice, studies show.
Yet, firms are not taking advantage of making women part of the conversation about finances or developing individual relationships with them, the white paper says.
“To tap the women’s wealth market effectively, it is imperative to provide excellent service,” the paper says. “Women are referral machines. The likelihood that a woman pleased with service will tell others is greater than a similarly pleased man. It is well known in the industry that the most successful practices are fueled by referrals.”