THE ADVANTAGES OF FEMALE FINANCIAL ADVISORS
SPONSOR CONTENT FROM HARTFORD FUNDS
“Women want to envision the future they are saving for.” — Gail Blanke
Why do you think women who have overcome the hurdles to entering the financial advisor profession are in a better position to counsel their clients than male advisors?
The traits of a good financial advisor—building relationships, nurturing them, forming emotional bonds and really listening to your clients—are all traits that are traditionally associated with women. Which is not to say that some men don’t have them. But most women start out a step or two ahead in developing those skills. These traits are particularly important when counseling female clients. Women don’t just want to know that their financial plan is built to amass a certain amount of money by a certain date. They also want to envision the future they are saving for. They want to know what the money is for and what they can accomplish with it. That’s an attitude another woman may be best suited to address.
So if an advisor is separately counseling two clients— one male and the other female—about their individual retirement planning, how would you recommend they approach those clients differently?
For a woman, I think it would be vital to ask, “What do you want your life to be like at retirement?” For her to be motivated to want to do the hard stuff it takes to save for retirement, it’s important to have that vision in front of her—the fun she’ll be having, what she’ll be doing with her grandchildren, the difference she might be making in someone else’s life, etc.
While some male clients might be best motivated by the same approach, for many men, money is a way of keeping score; it’s about math. What do I need? How long is it going to take us to amass it? How can I be guaranteed that this is going to add up the way I want it to in the time frame that I’ve got? Period.
How have you seen these interpersonal dynamics play out with the financial advisors you counsel?
A female financial advisor I know well is there for her clients in ways that a close friend would be. She attended the funeral of a client’s wife, and the college graduation of the child of another client. She doesn’t do this in some phony way. Sure, by caring about other people she builds their trust and their confidence in her. But she takes energy from doing those things. And she’s formed not just relationships with clients, but bonds that are unbreakable.
For many clients, money is an emotional commodity. When an advisor understands not just what a client thinks about money, but how they feel about it, they can do things together that they never would have expected they could do.