How To Attract Wealthy Women Clients
June 22, 2017 • Karen DeMasters
Advisors always want to attract wealthy clients, but what about attracting wealthy women in particular?
Spectrem Group, a research organization, says there are key factors advisors need to keep in mind if they want wealthy women to choose them to manage their investments.
In its report, “Successfully Growing Your Business with Wealthy Women,” released Wednesday, Spectrem defines what makes women tick and how advisors can use that knowledge. The report included 350 women with at least $1 million in investable assets.
Women are more likely to turn to an advisor for help as they age. Currently, only 57 percent of millennials and Gen Xers are using a financial advisor, compared with 80 percent of World War II-generation women and 68 percent of baby boomers, Spectrem shows in its exhaustive research.
Women are also more planning oriented than men and will look to their financial advisor to create a financial plan for them. Overall, 48 percent indicate they already have a financial plan, and millennials and Gen Xers are even more likely to have a plan than baby boomers.
Most women believe they have a great deal to learn about financial products and investments, the study shows. Only 21 percent consider themselves to be very knowledgeable about investment. Fifty-two percent feel they are fairly knowledgeable, but they still believe they have a lot to learn.
“Approaching investments with an educational twist is appealing to women who hope to understand their investments. But don’t come at it with a condescending or too-basic approach,” Spectrem says. “Keep in mind that 83 percent of wealthy women have a college degree and almost 30 percent have a graduate degree.”
At the same time, 53 percent of millennials and Gen Xers define themselves as self-directed investors, only 18 percent of women from the World War II generation and 29 percent of baby boomers consider themselves to be self-directed. Spectrem advises reaching out to wealthy women when they are young so that a relationship will be in place when the women get older and look for more advice. As they age, the women will rely on an advisor more and seek advice on a larger amount of assets.
A factor of prime importance to most women and the financial decisions they make is the age of their children. Spectrem says, “Whether they are working or not, women define their own financial security based upon the financial needs of their children.”
Women who have children intend to help them with higher education costs. When the women and their children are older, they want to leave an inheritance to their children.
The research shows that women do not care about the gender of their advisors—they care whether the advisor can be trusted. So Spectrem says, “Don’t automatically push your female clients to female advisors. They may be offended. Introduce them to the advisor that they perceive has the most experience.”
Wealthy women investors are less concerned than men with the latest investment return of their portfolio. Do not worry about a number; instead, think in terms of goals. What women really care about is the specific amount they will have to live on during retirement. This could be based on an annual amount or a monthly amount. The recent investment return must be related to their long-term goal of financial security, Spectrem says.
The study also shows that most women believe they are adequately prepared for retirement, but they fear that a health catastrophe might derail their financial security. A little more than a third of those surveyed have purchased long-term care insurance, and the percentage increases for those in the WWII generation to 58 percent.
Advisors should not fear broaching the subject of future health needs. Spectrem says baby boomers are ready to have a discussion about long-term care or other alternatives that are appropriate for them should a health crisis occur.
Advisors also can go beyond the portfolio and help clients plan for activities during retirement, and they can help them ease from full-time to part-time work and eventually into retirement.
“Women investors will represent the largest percentage of investors in the next few decades. It’s important that financial advisory firms reassess how they provide financial advice, as well as the type of financial advice that will be required in the future,” Spectrem says.