Who Uses Advisors More: Men or Women?


The financial services industry has long been male dominated.  In this male dominated field, do women feel comfortable working with a male financial advisor?  According to recent research from Spectrem Group, 61 percent of women use a financial advisor, while only 56 percent of men use an advisor.  Seventy percent of women also use only one financial advisor, while men are slightly more likely to utilize more than one financial advisor.  Why are women more inclined to use a financial advisor?

Men are more likely to feel that they can do a better job of investing than a professional, according to Spectrem Group.  Forty-seven percent of men who do not use an advisor make that choice because they feel they can do a better job of investing than a professional.  That is in stark contrast to less than a third of women who feel similarly.  The women that currently do not use an advisor are more likely than men to identify not having enough assets to warrant an advisor or not being able to afford an advisor as reasons why they have not begun a relationship with a financial advisor.  Even among this group of non-users, women are more likely to consider using an advisor at 20 percent, while only 13 percent of men who do not currently use an advisor would consider using one in the future.

Women are more likely than men to be looking for an advisor that is proactive in contacting them regarding anything important as it relates to their investments.  There is a higher level of importance on professional designations such as CFP or CFA for women than men, 78 percent to 71 percent, respectively.  Cultural background of an advisor and gender of an advisor does not matter much to either gender when selecting a financial advisor.

The level of reliance on an advisor is higher among women than men as well.  Women are more likely to be Advisor-Dependent or Advisor-Assisted than men.  Fifty-eight percent of women rely on and trust their advisor for the vast majority of their financial needs, in comparison to 52 percent of men who feel that way.  Men are more likely to have done their own investing and they are more comfortable with making financial decisions without the assistance of a financial advisor.

Another reason women use financial advisors more than men is that they do not enjoy investing at the same level as men and they are less interested in being actively involved in the day-to-day management of their investments, which paves the way for a relationship with a financial advisor that they trust to take over many of those decisions.
Women need to feel comfortable forging relationships with financial advisors.  Given that many women are not comfortable taking risks with their portfolio, it is helpful to have a solid relationship with a financial professional that can provide guidance throughout their financial journey.