As you may have read in my previous blog, women are fast becoming one of the most important client segments for wealth management firms. But for decades, women have been making do with wealth management tailored for males. Whether the advisory conversations were held somewhere they were not welcome or they were assumed to be a follower rather than a leader when it came to money, women – very often – have been marginalized as investors.
At issue is that wealth advisory firms know their model must change to better address women’s financial needs, but most are still determining how. And those determining how should avoid the trap many firms fall into—lumping women into one standard category with one standard set of needs. Being able to appropriately segment female investors to better address their needs—and building community around these segments—is a tall order. But, firms that are not up to the task could put their financial health at risk. Meeting the needs of women investors could be essential to survival moving forward.
That means the situation as it stands must change. Women are more likely to use dedicated advisors than men, but are less likely to say they are satisfied with their advisors or find them trustworthy (63 percent). As a result, only 61 percent of women reported in our latest survey having a good understanding of their investments and holdings.
Established wealth management companies have not generally dissected their client data using a lens for women—but disruptors like Ellevest, a wealth management firm designed for women–are fast changing that. Large, traditional firms will need to play catch-up quickly to stem client defections. The disruptors have found a way to educate and tailor for various segments of women without condescension or unnecessary coddling—a formula their more established competitors have yet to get right.
From investing style (most women are saving for long-term goals) to fee structure (a majority want to choose the level of service provided) to communication (frequent touchpoints), women’s needs are now coming to the fore.
To better plan for this client segment, check out my latest paper on women and investing, “Reinventing Wealth Management for Women.” You can also email me, Kendra Thompson. This is a topic I am passionate about and I’d be delighted to make the time for a more in-depth conversation.