Thirteen years ago, Rebecca True was working in New York City as a technology executive for Bank of America Securities. On September 11, 2001, many of her largest clients were killed in the attacks on the World Trade Center. Because she was one of the few women in the company, she was thrust into a role of talking to the widows and helping them begin to rebuild and take care of their families. During the next eight months, she realized she had something to bring that was “far more important than building websites.”
Today, she is a financial advisor who specializes in working with women. Here are a few key stats and takeaways she shared with attendees of the 2014 Advisor Network Summit in Las Vegas.
- The female economy is now one of the largest on Earth and is expanding every day.
- Women business owners are contributing to the fastest growing segment of the economy.
- 92 percent of women become the primary decision maker at some point in their lives.
- By age 65, the majority of women are single.
- 70 percent of inheritance will go to women and this will continue to be true for the next 40 years.
- Women comprise 35 percent of all management positions and 23 percent of senior management positions.
- Women are very philanthropic.
Defining the women’s niche
Women are not a niche market. So, what is the niche?
- Women business owners
- Corporate executive women in a specific industry
- Women in transition – divorcees, widows, sudden inheritors
One size does not fit all women
Women have a distinct lack of trust when it comes to the financial industry and advisors. 73 percent are dissatisfied with the industry. They are overlooked, excluded, receive contradictory and poor advice, and get worse deals and terms than men.
- Boston Consulting Group Survey 2012
- Saving for retirement – 71 percent
- Juggling work and family responsibilities – 47 percent
- Caring for immediate family – 28 percent
- Caring for elderly parent or relative – 26 percent
- Taking care of my business – 25 percent
- Outside recreational activities – 24 percent
- Volunteer work, community activities – 19 percent
- LPL WomenInvest White Paper
What is common among women?
- Longer life expectancies
- Competing interests for time
- Love and prioritize families above everything
- Like to be well-informed about available choices before committing to a solution
- Want an advisor to relate well and really listen to their concerns
- Tend to take less risk with investments
- More focused on the reason for a solution, not necessarily performance
- Masters at networking with one another and they refer more often
- They are more loyal to professional advisors – and more profitable
How do women want to meet you?
- Just 11 percent of American women prefer to work with a female advisor. 85 percent have no gender preference for advisor
- Women want to do business with someone they know and trust
- They like to be introduced through a friend or trusted advisor
- They prefer to learn in groups and are often more collaborative
- Women like online learning and do their own research to validate ideas.
- Boston Consulting Group Survey 2012
How do you meet women?
- Fish where the fish are – get involved in your community. It helps strengthen relationships – when they have a need, they’ll call or refer you.
- Where do niches of wealthy women hang out?
- What activities are they involved in?
- What do you enjoy that they do, too?
Birds of a feather flock together – be there to meet them on social media. “I don’t market my business using social media – I use it to learn what my clients are doing and what their families are doing. To create conversation points. I also share things about my life; what my kids are up to, the articles I read. People get to know me even when I’m not right in front of them.”
Women are on Facebook; we need to be there, too.
What women want from advisors
- Communicate in a way I understand – 69 percent
- Responsiveness and timeliness in getting back to me – 68 percent
- Protection from losses – 63 percent
- Competitive returns – 62 percent
- Understanding what I worry about most – 54 percent
- Regularly schedule communication – 43 percent
- LPL WomenInvest White Paper 2012
- Define what type of women you and your practice are interested in and capable of serving.
- Determine how that type of woman wants to be educated about the financial matters that matter most to them.
- Identify where you can find groups of them and be there!
- Provide specific solutions for each life stage that addressed their needs so they tell their friends.
For more live coverage from the 2014 Advisor Network Summit, please go here.