Traditionally, financial advisory firms have catered to only one half of the population: men, as they were once predominantly the main financial planners in their own homes. Today, however, women are increasingly involved in the investing and savings aspects of their families. On top of that, women outlive men on average and therefore have longer financial lives for which to plan. When these factors are combined with the fact that women, on average, make less than their male counterparts do, it becomes clear that women have unmet needs in the areas of financial planning and investing.

Are Women Happy with Their Financial Advisors?
Several reports show that women are not happy in general with their financial advisors. Some find the process intimidating and the advice that they receive from their advisors difficult to understand. Because of this, women still make up only a small portion of clients in most advisory practices.

That status quo is beginning to change. Financial advisors are starting to realize that they have been missing out on a significant client base. Some firms are serving only women and their specific financial planning needs. According to investment trends company, The Spectrem Group, the average wealth of women is growing faster than men's, and this segment of the market will drive demand for financial planning firms in the future.

Do women really have different financial needs than their male counterparts? In some ways, women have the same needs as men: to build a financial plan that will pay all the bills and grow wealth enough to meet life's goals and retire in comfort. On the other hand, women's needs are not being met as often as men's are. A recent survey suggested that 70% of women are unhappy with their advisors and the way they are being treated. The fact that the vast majority of financial advisors are men makes it difficult for women to relate, though some firms are courting female advisors to serve this market segment.

For-Women Firms on the Rise
For-women financial advisory firms, such as Parker Financial, LLC in Maryland, are increasing in number, focusing solely on helping women navigate life changes, such as marriage, children, retirement and widowhood. According to Parker's website, the firm caters to female entrepreneurs and executives. The company has recognized that, just because women may have significant wealth or be successful executives, it doesn't necessarily mean that they know how to manage their own personal finances. Women are more likely to be nervous about admitting their lack of financial knowledge than men. Successful advisors focus on helping to educate female clients in investing and saving issues, and make them partners in the process.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is estimated that the number of women employed in the financial advisory sector, which sits at 207,000, will grow by 32% by the year 2020. Baby boomers continue their march toward retirement, creating an increasing market for financial services. More women than men will reach retirement age and beyond. Financial advisors who take the needs of female clients into consideration will thrive.

The Bottom Line
The rise in for-women financial advisory practices stems, in part, from an increasing awareness on the part of advisors that women are an underserved market and that their wealth is increasing. As baby boomers approach retirement age, women will control more wealth in the United States than ever before.

Related Articles
  1. Investing

    What a Family Tradition Taught Me About Investing

    We share some lessons from friends and family on saving money and planning for retirement.
  2. Financial Advisors

    Tips on Passing the CFA Level I on Your First Attempt

    Obtain valuable tips and helpful study instructions that can help you pass the Level 1 Chartered Financial Analyst exam on your first attempt.
  3. Professionals

    Credit Risk Analyst: Job Description and Average Salary

    Learn what credit risk analysts do every day and how much money they make on average, and identify the skills and education needed for this career.
  4. Financial Advisors

    Putting Your CFA Level I on Your Resume

    Learn techniques for emphasizing your CFA Level I status in the Skills and Certifications or Professional Development section of your resume.
  5. Stock Analysis

    Why did Wal-Mart's Stock Take a Fall in 2015?

    Wal-Mart is the largest company in the world, with a sterling track-record of profits and dividends. So why has its stock fallen sharply in 2015?
  6. Investing News

    Should You Invest in Disney Stock Before Star Wars?

    The force is strong with Disney stock, as it continues to make gains going into the launch of EP7. But is this pricey stock a good buy at these levels?
  7. Professionals

    Top Tips for Improving Client Communications

    Effective communication with your clients is the lifeblood of your financial advisory business. If you've struggled in this area, pay heed to these tips.
  8. Investing Basics

    Do You Need More Than One Financial Advisor?

    Using more than one financial advisor for money management has its pros and cons.
  9. Investing Basics

    3 Business Tips from Restaurant Reality Shows

    The reality TV shows "Restaurant Impossible" and "Kitchen Disasters" offer lessons not just for restaurateurs, but for all business owners.
  10. Investing News

    Silicon Valley Startups Fly into Space

    Space enthusiasts are in for an exciting time as Silicon Valley startups take on the lucrative but expensive final frontier.
  1. How liquid are Vanguard mutual funds?

    The Vanguard mutual fund family is one of the largest and most well-recognized fund family in the financial industry. Its ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Do financial advisors charge VATs?

    The Personal Finance Society (PFS) and with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have outlined when a value-added tax ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How do mutual funds work in India?

    Mutual funds in India work in much the same way as mutual funds in the United States. Like their American counterparts, Indian ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Are UTMA accounts escheatable?

    Like most financial assets held by institutions such as banks and investment firms, UTMA accounts can be escheated by state ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What are the dormancy and escheatment rules for stock accounts?

    While the specific dormancy and escheatment rules for stock accounts vary by state, all states provide for the escheatment ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How do financial advisors execute trades?

    Today, almost every investor invests through online brokerage accounts. Investors often believe that their trades are directly ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Take A Bath

    A slang term referring to the situation of an investor who has experienced a large loss from an investment or speculative ...
  2. Black Friday

    1. A day of stock market catastrophe. Originally, September 24, 1869, was deemed Black Friday. The crash was sparked by gold ...
  3. Turkey

    Slang for an investment that yields disappointing results or turns out worse than expected. Failed business deals, securities ...
  4. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
  5. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  6. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
Trading Center