In 2009, women controlled 27% of global wealth, which is roughly 20.2 trillion U.S. dollars. This segment is expected to grow at 8% per year between the end of 2009 and 2014.¹
Times have changed. Gone are the days where women stay at home to raise their families and their husbands are the breadwinners. Today, women are more active in the workforce and more involved in family finances. The amount of women in the workforce is now almost equal to the number of men in the workforce, and their earnings constitute a growing share of family income. Women have also caught up to men in college attendance, and younger women are now more likely than younger men to have a college or master’s degree.²
Despite the evolving role of women, a disconnect still exists between many financial advisors and their clients. A recent survey conducted by Brinker Capital revealed some of the major areas that are leaving female clients on an uneven playing field.³
Knowledge of Investing4
Female clients feel less knowledgeable than men in most key areas of finance and investing. (% rating themselves extremely/very knowledgeable)
- Personal Finance: Women 19%; Men 32%
- Investing: Women 12%, Men 33%
- Understanding the Financial Markets: Women 10%; Men 26%
- Estate Planning: Women 18%, Men 26%
Females working with female advisors appear to believe that their female advisor works more actively to build their financial knowledge.
- 63% of females with female advisors feel their advisor works with them to build knowledge.
- 47% of females with male advisors feel their advisor works with them to build knowledge.
So What Can You Do?
- The most important step is to create a financial plan with your advisor that contains your specific goals. This should be reviewed annually to ensure accuracy.
- Have your family involved so they are familiar with your financial advisor, including having access to important documents.
- Finally, if you don’t understand something – ask questions.
¹ July 2010 Leveling the Playing Field: Upgrading the Wealth Management Experience for Women prepared by The Boston Consulting Group.
² March 2010 Women in America Report prepared by the U.S. Department of Commerce.
³ Brinker Capital Survey conducted in 2010 by an independent firm, Client Opinions. Base of respondents was 323 participants, 57% female, 43% male.
4 Statements and statistics mentioned in this section were generated based on the responses of the Brinker Capital Survey.