VAUGHN, ONTARIO, CANADA – Jan 11, 2016 – The financial services industry is trying to undo a longstanding tradition of neglecting the unique female market. The concept of women-focused financial services has only recently surfaced after studies like one out of the Bank of Montreal’s (BMO) Nesbitt Burns full-service brokerage found that 82 percent of Canadian women are either the primary decision-makers or have equal responsibility for household financial decisions, yet only 30 percent of Canadian women surveyed said they felt that the financial services industry is serving them well.
One third of the women who responded to the BMO study survey said they have different wealth management needs than men, and believe the advice they receive should be different from the advice male clients receive.
More women than men are starting businesses today, and more are graduating from university. In addition, there will be a wealth transfer as women outlive their spouses, which means women are in control of a lot of money, and they’re soon going to be in control of a lot more.
Studies like BMOs find that while the Canadian financial industry has been working on improving services for women, it still has a long way to go. Women represent an enormous growth and business development opportunity, but many advisers ignore that market at the risk of missing trillions of dollars in assets. Financial advisers, long focused on male clients even when talking to couples, have been operating with the belief that women were disinterested. For this reason, statistics show that when a spouse dies, 80 percent of women will switch advisors.
While the majority of financial advisers in Canada are men, the industry is changing as more female clients appear. According to Advocis, the Financial Advisors Association of Canada, 25 percent of its overall membership is female, but 38 percent of members who joined in 2012 were women and 38 percent of new advisors in the industry for five years or fewer are women.
Vaughan, Ontario-based financial advisor Danny Liberatore of Wealth Enrichment Financial Group at Raymond James who advocates a holistic approach to financial planning, says he has a strong female client base, although he understands that the industry has not always been receptive to women and their specific financial requirements.
“I’m surprised that more industry professionals took so long to recognize the increased influence woman have on financial services,” he says. “Financial services are built on relationships, and yet the evidence shows that many financial planners are missing the mark with their female clients.”
“My team has always valued inclusive behavior, and our female clients in particular leave here feeling heard, understood, and managed effectively.”
Liberatore says that female investors can be more risk-averse, but they value a relationship and are open to becoming educated.
“The quick-sell method won’t work with women, they have to trust and respect you,” he says. “Women think in the long term, and in many ways they’re easier to manage as clients because they see the big picture.”
According to studies like the BMOs, women are not ones to be in and out of the market, looking for the next best deal. Instead, they look for long-term solutions, and the financial advisor who can keep them on track will find them to be exceptional long-term clients.
Still, individual women face their own individual financial obstacles, which is where the advisor who listens to their needs carefully will succeed. Women want to focus on planning and goal setting; discussing returns and product sales is not as important to them.
And since women live longer than men but often spend fewer years in the workforce, their income can be interrupted as they care for family, and they may have to retire younger than men. They also tend to head more single-parent families, and often need to fund a longer retirement than men. All these factors mean that their financial plan needs to be approached differently than their male counterparts.
While no one advocates advisors who focus solely on female clients, knowing how to serve women, particularly the need for extra retirement income and their vulnerability to the financial challenges of divorce, single parenthood, caring for aging parents and longer lifespans should be an important part of every advisor’s knowledge base. Women are more concerned with security than gains and losses, and they appreciate protection from risk. In other words, they speak a different language than men.
Establishing a deeper understanding of this highly nuanced marketplace and crafting strategies accordingly, advisors stand to gain a more comprehensive understanding and commitment to tapping into the female investor market, and responding to the growing opportunity the female investor represents.
For more information about us, please visit http://www.raymondjames.ca/wealthenrichment/index.aspx
Company Name: The Wealth Enrichment Financial Group
Contact Person: Danny Liberatore
Phone: (905) 482-8393