7 ways to attract women to engage in financial advice and why it matters

Mature woman working on her finances at home with a piggybank sitting on the table beside her laptop.

By AdviceBridge

Are you attracting female clients to your advice firm and including female spouses in the financial planning process? If not, read on to find out how you could be missing out on lucrative business and steps you can take to appeal to more women.

65% of the wealth in the UK will be in the hands of women by 2025

According to Schroders latest Pulse Survey, it’s predicted that 65% of the wealth in the UK will be in the hands of women by 2025. This is primarily due to wealth transfer.

With only 11% of advisers having a strategy for advising women, combined with 70% of widows who will change adviser within a year of their spouses passing, there’s a lot of money about to walk out the door over the next couple of years.

Only 11% of advisers have a strategy for retaining, attracting, and advising women

Since women are often the first recipient of a wealth transfer when their spouse dies, if there isn’t an established relationship with the female partner, you could be losing out as they transfer wealth away from your firm.

Schroders found that 54% of advisers are now concerned about the risk of losing assets due to not having a relationship with the female member of a couple and that figure is likely to rise as more advisers become aware of this information.

Ideally, advisers should be including female spouses in the financial planning process from the outset. With an established relationship with someone they already know and trust, women will be less likely to switch advisers when their husband dies.

What women want from a financial adviser

Another survey, from Canada Life, revealed what women were looking for when seeking out financial advice:

  • 42% were looking for retirement planning or pensions advice
  • 35% were looking for support in finding investments
  • 34% for mortgage advice
  • 27% for wealth and inheritance planning.

But that doesn’t really capture what women really want from an adviser. It is much more subtle than that.

Communication is important to them, so scene setting with clear explanations and examples of real life must be used to engage and bring it all to life.

The content is obviously important but so too is the tone and way in which it is delivered. Not treating them as naïve but being empathetic and understanding of their needs.

Women’s attitude and approach to finance is often different to men. This is due to both psychology and circumstance. Women live longer, earn less, and move in and out of employment more than men. They are society’s carers, with many supporting ’30-something’ children and grandchildren.

They want to use their money to help children and grandchildren, to travel, and have experiences with their friends and family.

Additional costs also creep in with things such as paying for help with property maintenance, odd jobs, cleaners and gardeners etc.

So, getting to understand their stories, their friends and support infrastructure along with all the typical hard facts is key.

Bringing spouses into the conversation from the outset, demonstrating your understanding and helping with financial education may just enable firms to retain their female clientele, or attract them from those that don’t.

7 ways you can attract women to engage in financial advice and make it more accessible and inclusive

Personal finance can be complicated, and a financial adviser will always be best placed to help navigate life’s up and downs and help ensure we all reach our goals. But what can advisers and advice firms do to help women engage in financial advice?

Here are seven things to consider.

1. Create a warm and approachable first impression

The key thing is to ensure that you put them at ease, show that they are being listened to and that you understand their needs and concerns. Also, bear in mind that some may need more reassurance and/or explanation as they may not feel as confident or financially literate as men.

2. Understand what matters most

Many female clients want to make sure that their money is working effectively for them. They are looking for financial security, and independence. As we all become increasingly aware that the state is unlikely to be able to support us sufficiently in our retirements, women are focused on building savings and ensuring that their money is working for them.

3. Give them time to ask questions

Allow plenty of time for female clients to ask questions. Gillian Hepburn, head of UK intermediary solutions at Schroders, has said that many women have stated that they would value more financial education. So, give your female clients the opportunity to ask all the questions they have and make sure you answer clearly and without jargon to avoid intimidating them with language they may be unfamiliar with.

4. Adopt a collaborative approach

Sam Secom, chief executive of Women’s Wealth – an advice firm specialising in advice for women in their 30s and 40s – has noticed that women favour a collaborative approach. Rather than taking a back seat and letting their adviser make all the decisions, women want to improve their knowledge and be involved in planning and designing solutions.

5. Share all available information

Many women are open to learning about personal finance. They are also very capable of organising themselves and making decisions based on information and guidance. This, together with adopting a collaborative approach means you may often find that women are looking to you for expert guidance and for the confidence to go ahead with next steps in their financial planning journey.

6. Leave plenty of thinking time

Women process information differently to men. You may find that women will need time to process the information you impart and that one or two subsequent meetings will be needed to allow time for later questions to be asked and answered.

7. Take your time

Women recognise that they need to take on investment risk and are often prepared for that, but they also want to make sure they have all the facts and information before committing to a proposal. The process may take longer than it might with a male client, so be prepared to practice patience.