Seventy-eight percent of Gen X and 93 percent of "Silent Generation" women said they would stay with their financial advisor if they became widowed, a Russell Investments study found. 

The survey of over 900 women who are working with advisors focused on women in Gen X (ages 32 to 47) and the Silent Generation (ages 67 to 80).

In addition, 54 percent of Gen X and 64 percent of Silent Generation women said they have recommended their advisors to a friend or family member.

More than half of respondents from both groups (52 percent of Gen X and 63 percent of Silent Generation) said they share the responsibility for managing their households’ savings and investments. And 29 percent of Gen X and 24 percent of Silent Generation women said they have more responsibility than their partners.

 The survey found that women are not particularly confident about their investing knowledge. Fifty-two percent of Gen X and 35 percent of Silent Generation women stated they are “a little” or “not at all” knowledgeable about investing.

Active listening skills were overwhelmingly cited by both groups (86 percent of Gen X and 87 percent of Silent Generation) as the most important factor to a successful and lasting relationship with their advisors.

Specific drivers for satisfaction with their advisors for Gen X women included the advisor’s ability to provide effective recommendations tied to their concerns, adapt explanations to their level of knowledge and explain how decisions may affect them differently in the future.

For Silent Generation women, providing personal service and establishing a personal connection outside the business relationship ranked as the strongest drivers of satisfaction.

“Expanding relationships with women investors may represent advisors’ most important business growth opportunity. They can be predisposed to take a longer-term perspective, are assuming greater responsibility for investing decisions and value tailored guidance from an advisor,” said Jaylene Howard, consulting director for Russell’s U.S. advisor-sold business. “It’s clear that when they feel they are being heard and are on track to their investment goals, women are loyal clients who will often actively refer their advisors to family and friends.”