In a time where social equality is consistently making headlines, the wealth management industry still has a way to grow when it comes to women financial advisors. At best, statistics from the Bureau of Labor calculate that 31% of financial advisors are women. However, industry publications such as Barron’s and InvestmentNews estimate the number to be more in the range of 20% with only 12% of Barron’s 2021 top advisors being women.1
And it seems that the industry is now in the position of catching up to their investors when it comes to female representation. Globally, women now control 32% of wealth, and women in North America hold the largest share at 37%. This number is expected to grow at a rate of approximately 7% through 2023 with women making up nearly 50% of the skilled workforce, and key issues such as wage equality and inclusion will continue to drive these numbers.2
The great news for women financial advisors is this group of women investors are more likely to seek likeminded women financial advisors. For advisors, it is worth the time helping and developing these relationships as women investors tend to be more loyal. So, what are the beneficial characteristics and attributes women advisors tend to possess, and how can they position themselves to grow their business during this great transfer of wealth?
- Personalization and Relationships – Women advisors understand that you must first develop strong client relations to build a successful business. Thus, woman financial advisors often take extra time during initial meetings to learn about a prospect’s unique needs and goals before developing an action plan or providing advice. Conversely, women investors are seeking more comprehensive financial advice not just investment recommendations, so it’s a great match!
- Empathy – Women advisors naturally understand women investors, particularly those experiencing a transition event such as divorce or loss of a loved one. These are some of the most challenging and difficult life experiences and serving as one’s unbiased financial professional during these times creates a special bond between advisor and client.
- Training and Education – Women also place a higher level of importance on professional designations such as certified financial planner or chartered financial analyst than men do, 78% to 71%.3 Women advisors should advocate for themselves by including education and designations on their professional biographies, social media profiles, and websites. If you are a woman advisor seeking designations, the CFP® Board has an initiative focused on increasing the number of women financial planners. Since the program’s inception in 2013, there has been a 53% increase in new women CFP® professionals.
- Women Support Other Women – This relates back to our first point about relationships – not only do women advisors stand to gain referrals from their women clients, but they can gain business from other women professionals, especially those in other male dominated fields like law and accounting. Another great way to develop a support system is to work with a coach, mentor, or peer support group. Don’t forget about your female colleagues, too. Women like to see other women succeed!
- Passion for Community and the Environment – Finally, many women financial advisors are active in their local communities, which allows them to build relationships and expand their networks. Cultivating these relationships is exceptionally beneficial for winning new business and gaining referrals. Additionally, women and millennials value investment principles that can have a positive impact on social issues and the environment. A blog recently published by Fragasso Financial Advisors speaks specifically to the growth in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) investing for non-profits and charitable foundations, and it makes sense as about 70% of the non-profit workforce are women.
With anyone looking to grow their business, you need to spend your time focused on your strengths. Women financial advisors are no different and should look to maximize time spent on attributes like those referenced in this article. However, if you find yourself consumed by administrative and operational tasks, consider investing in yourself and your business by seeking the necessary resources and support. Firms like Fragasso Financial Advisors offer such an arrangement while you remain at the forefront of your business – your clients, your name, and the mid- and back-office tasks are off your plate.
All in all, woman financial advisors are paving the way for a bright future of personal finance and wealth management. If you’re looking for an independent financial advisory firm that embraces equality, diversity and offers opportunities for women, look no further than Fragasso Financial Advisors’ Independent Advisor Solutions.