Freud apparently never found an accurate answer to his oft-quoted and exasperated query “What do women want?” But a new survey from Schwab Advisor Services (SAS) provides insight into what women want from their advisors: investment performance.
The largest RIA custodian’s first Women and Financial Independence study, released Thursday, found that among 500 HNW women (defined as having household investable assets of at least $1.3 million), a majority—58%—said that having “continuous, good investment performance” was most important to them, followed by “having a long-term financial plan,” at 38%, while “having short-term financial gains” was picked by only 1%.
In an interview Thursday relating the first of the findings on the study, the SAS senior vice president of advisor technology solutions, Neesha Hathi (left), suggested that women investors are not that much different than men when it comes to the expectations they have of their advisors. “Women do care about the relationship and planning” aspects of their advisor engagements, she said, but “they care about performance just like their male counterparts.”
Other findings in the study support the contention that both married and single women want a “collaborative relationship” with their advisor, even when they might not be the key financial decision maker within a couple. Women don’t feel, Hathi said, that “I want to do this myself.” Instead, they feel “I want to do it with my partner to get the best results.” The study found that 88% of the respondents “wanted a say” in how their money is invested (75% of the respondents said they currently have an advisor).
That was one of the key takeaways from the study, Hathi said, suggesting that advisors should reconsider how they treat women as clients. “Many advisors focus on the relationship” when it comes to women clients, whether they be single or married, but the study found that women “want to be involved in the investments.” Further, the findings support the fact that women don’t constitute “some homogeneous population,” Hathi said, but instead are members of “a hugely diverse swath of the population.”